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- The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA)  onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)  has been operating continuously since July 2009 , accumulating approx.5.4 billion measurements from 2 billion on-orbit laser shots. LRO s near-polar orbit results in very high data density in the immediate vicinity of the lunar poles, which are each sampled every ~2h. With more than 10,000 orbits, high-resolution maps can be constructed  and studied . However, this requires careful processing of the raw data, as subtle errors in the spacecraft position and pointing can lead to visible artifacts in the final map. In other locations on the Moon, ground tracks are subparallel and longitudinal separations are typically a few hundred meters. Near the poles, the track intersection angles can be large and the inter-track spacing is small (above 80 latitude, the effective resolution is better than 50m). Precision Orbit Determination (POD) of the LRO spacecraft  was performed to satisfy the LOLA and LRO mission requirements, which lead to a significant improvement in the orbit position knowledge over the short-release navigation products. However, with pixel resolutions of 10 to 25 meters, artifacts due to orbit reconstruction still exist. Here, we show how the complete LOLA dataset at both poles can be adjusted geometrically to produce a high-accuracy, high-resolution maps with minimal track artifacts. We also describe how those maps can then feedback to the POD work, by providing topographic base maps with which individual LOLA altimetric measurements can be contributing to orbit changes. These direct altimetry constraints improve accuracy and can be used more simply than the altimetric crossovers .
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20120009936.
43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2012); 19-23 Mar. 2012; The Woodlands, TX; United States.
- Copyright, Distribution as joint owner in the copyright.
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