31st Annual Meeting of the DPS, October 1999
Session 41. Titan: Physics
Contributed Oral Parallel Session, Thursday, October 14, 1999, 8:30-9:50am, Sala Pietro d'Abano

[Previous] | [Session 41] | [Next]

[41.05] A simulator of Cassini RADAR imaging mode

R. Orosei (Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale - CNR, Roma, Italy), J.I. Lunine (Univ. of Arizona, Lunar and Planetary Lab., Tucson, USA), P.T. Melacci (Dept. of Physics, Univ. of Perugia, Perugia, Italy), G. Picardi, R. Seu (INFOCOM Dpt., Univ. ``La Sapienza'', Rome, Italy)

The RADAR experiment on-board the Cassini spacecraft is a multimode instrument primarily designed for the study of the surface of Titan. Its imaging mode will provide for the first time geomorphological information on 10-30% of Titan's surface. Given the great uncertainties about the nature of Titan's surface and the possible presence of unique features, like lakes of liquid hydrocarbons, the correct interpretation of the results obtained by Cassini RADAR will require an extensive modellization of the radar system functioning and of the surface reflectivity, both in terms of dielectrical constant and of backscattering geometry. A software package is now being developed, simulating the imaging of Titan's surface by the Cassini orbiter RADAR experiment. The simulator computes the values for the radar parameters which are appropriate for a given flyby, and, given a time for the beginning of the observation, simulates the pulse transmission, the surface backscattering, the echo reception and sampling of the radar, and the processing of the sampled echoes. We conduct simulations of the appearance of various expected geological structures in Titan's crust (crater, ridges, etc.) under various assumptions about composition (pure water ice, water-rock mixtures, etc.). We then add material of contrasting dielectric properties representing solid and liquid hydrocarbons, to determine the detectability of such material with varying thicknesses of deposition inside and atop these landforms.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: orosei@ias.rm.cnr.it

[Previous] | [Session 41] | [Next]