Extracting accurate and precise topography from Lroc Narrow Angle Camera stereo observations

M. R. Henriksen, M. R. Manheim, E. J. Speyerer, Mark Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) includes two identical Narrow Angle Cameras (NAC) that acquire meter scale imaging. Stereo observations are acquired by imaging from two or more orbits, including at least one off-nadir slew. Digital terrain models (DTMs) generated from the stereo observations are controlled to Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) elevation profiles. With current processing methods, digital terrain models (DTM) have absolute accuracies commensurate than the uncertainties of the LOLA profiles (∼10 m horizontally and ∼1 m vertically) and relative horizontal and vertical precisions better than the pixel scale of the DTMs (2 to 5 m). The NAC stereo pairs and derived DTMs represent an invaluable tool for science and exploration purposes. We computed slope statistics from 81 highland and 31 mare DTMs across a range of baselines. Overlapping DTMs of single stereo sets were also combined to form larger area DTM mosaics, enabling detailed characterization of large geomorphic features and providing a key resource for future exploration planning. Currently, two percent of the lunar surface is imaged in NAC stereo and continued acquisition of stereo observations will serve to strengthen our knowledge of the Moon and geologic processes that occur on all the terrestrial planets.


  • Application
  • Dem/DTM
  • Geomorphology
  • Mapping
  • Modeling
  • Planetary
  • Processing
  • Three-dimensional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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