Radargrammetric Algorithms and Software for Use with Data from Magellan

by Tim R. Colvin

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The Magellan spacecraft is using its synthetic-aperture radar to map the entire surface of Venus. The resolution of these radar images is significantly better than that obtained by the Venera and Pioneer spacecraft. Magellan will orbit Venus every 3.26 hours during its nominal mapping mission of 243 days; there is enough reserve fuel for a lengthy extended mission. This Note describes algorithms and software the author developed to solve for control points, orbital parameters, the position of the north pole, and the rotation rate of Venus using Magellan radar images and their processing parameters. Ultimately, the results will aid in the mosaicking of individual radar strips into a unified cartographic product.

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