COMPARISON OF DIGITAL TERRAIN MODELS FROM TWO PHOTOCLINOMETRY METHODS
Keywords: Moon, DTMs, quality control, photoclinometry, shape-from-shading
Abstract. We evaluate the horizontal resolution and vertical precision for digital topographic models (DTMs) of the Moon derived from image radiance information, a process known as photoclinometry (PC) or shape-from-shading (SfS). We use the implementations in two available planetary image processing software systems, single image PC in the U.S. Geological Survey Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers (ISIS) system, and multi-image SfS in the Ames Stereo Pipeline (ASP), and test results obtained with and without use of a starting solution from stereo, with single and multiple images, and for varying illumination conditions. To obtain the higher quality reference DTMs against which the products can be evaluated, we derived DTMs by stereoanalysis of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Narrow-Angle Camera (LROC NAC) images at their native pixel spacing of ∼0.5 m, then produced a 16-m/post stereo DTM from images downsampled to 4 m/pixel and refined it with images at 16 m/pixel. When used with a single image, both algorithms improved resolution (by a factor of 1.4 for PC and 2.4 for SfS compared to stereo). An albedo map produced in ISIS by ratioing the image to a simulation based on the stereo DTM was well correlated with one output by SfS. The albedo correction was crucial for PC with ∼60° incidence but not at ∼80°. DTMs produced by PC and SfS without a starting stereo DTM had larger errors but good detail, and could be useful for many applications. In SfS, it was necessary to increase smoothing to get a usable DTM when the weighting on an a priori DTM was reduced. Multi-image SfS including modeling of spatially varying albedo reduced vertical errors by factors of 1.5 or more compared to single-image SfS.