TOPOGRAPHIC MAPPING OF THE MOON IN THE 21ST CENTURY: FROM HECTOMETER TO MILLIMETER SCALES
Keywords: Lunar Exploration, Topographic Mapping, Photogrammetry, Orbital Imagery, Descent Imagery, Rover-based Imagery
Abstract. This paper presents a review of lunar topographic mapping in the two decades of the 21st century, including descriptions of lunar exploration missions, relevant payloads and data, mapping techniques, as well as global and regional mapping products. Various lunar photogrammetric mapping techniques such as construction of geometric models of lunar orbital images, block adjustments, shape from shading, co-registration of lunar orbital image and elevation data have been developed to process lunar orbital images and generate mapping products. Global topographic products at hectometer and decameter scales have been produced from orbital images and/or laser altimeter data. Regional topographic maps of the landing sites and other sites of interest have been generated at meter-scale using the sub-meter to meter resolution orbital images. Detailed local topographic products at centimeter to millimeter scales of the landing sites and rover traverse areas have been produced using descent images acquired by the landers and stereo images acquired by the rovers. These multiple-scale topographic mapping products have been extensively used to support various science applications, as well as engineering applications such as surface operations of the rovers.