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- Spatial resolutions achieved with cameras on lunar and planetary landers have been limited to about 1 mm, whereas microscopes of the type proposed for such landers could have obtained resolutions of about 1 um but were never accepted because of their complexity and weight. The quasi-microscope evaluated in this paper could provide intermediate resolutions of about 10 um with relatively simple optics that would augment a camera, such as the Viking lander camera, without imposing special design requirements on the camera of limiting its field of view of the terrain. Images of natural particulate samples taken in black and white and in color show that grain size, shape, and texture are made visible for unconsolidated materials in a 50- to 500-um size range. Such information may provide broad outlines of planetary surface mineralogy and allow inferences to be made of grain origin and evolution. The mineralogical descriptions of single grains would be aided by the reflectance spectra that could, for example, be estimated from the six-channel multispectral data of the Viking lander camera.
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- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19770014460.
Accession ID: 77N21404.
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