DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 9. Mars Surface I
Oral, Chairs: E. R. Kraal and R. C. Quinn, Wednesday, September 3, 2003, 10:30am-12:00noon, DeAnza III

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[9.07] Ground-based Mars observations with 0.03 arcsec resolution: 4-station radar interferometry

A. F. C. Haldemann, K. W. Larsen, R. F. Jurgens, M. A. Slade, M. P. Golombek (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology), R. E. Arvidson (Washington Univ., St. Louis)

The Goldstone Solar System Radar (GSSR) successfully demonstrated 4-station delay-Doppler interferometric observations of Mars during the 2001 Mars opposition. Four stations allows the removal of the north-south ambiguity inherent in monostatic delay-Doppler images, extending the radar coverage away from the sub-Earth track with its ~ 10 km \times 150 km resolution cell. The spatial resolution of the radar maps derived from the data is 10 km \times 10 km or better. These \lambda = 3.5 cm wavelength GSSR data sample the near-nadir, quasi-specular backscattering properties of the Martian surface, which are typically controlled by surface roughness at 10\times to 100 \times \lambda. These length-scales are of interest to Mars landers and rovers, and are used to characterize landing sites for the Mars Exploration Program. The 2001 opposition provided data for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Meridiani Planum landing site, while the 2003 opposition should provide coverage of MER's Gusev Crater landing site. Orbital stereo imagery can of course measure topography at the several-meters scale in patches a few km on a side eventually covering a landing region. It is less well-suited to provide a global dataset of meter-scale roughness for geomorphological evaluation and landing site selection, which the 4-station interferometer will produce in with the next few oppositions.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.