36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 39 Mercury, Moon, and Venus
Poster II, Thursday, November 11, 2004, 4:15-7:00pm, Exhibition Hall 1A

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[39.08] Radar Altimetery Images of Venus HENG-O Region

R.F. Jurgens, M.A. Slade, J. Jao (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology), M. Simons (California Institute of Technology)

Ground-based images of Venus made in 1990 demostrated that it is possible to produce altimetry images with 1km per pixel near the times of inferior conjunction. Our new images were made transmitting 12.5 cm wavelength from Arecibo and receiving at three stations in the Goldstone complex. Greater sensitivity is now possible using Arecibo's 1 MW transmitter and improved feed system. An added advantage is that the Arecibo transmitter can run continuously through the view period permitting continuous reception at the three Goldstone sites. Thus, the Doppler resolution in not limited by the transmit/receive cycles typical of all past experiments.

As a result of the improved sensitivity, it is now possible to achieve greater coverage on a given day and extend the coverage further from inferior conjunction. A series of 10 experiments were planned for the inferior conjunction of 2001 of which 8 were successful. These images were targeted in areas where improved resolution could provide a better understanding of the stratigraphy in the more complex regions. The early observations focused on the area near Phoebe Regio and the later ones on HENG-O through Ovda Regio.

We selected the observation from 15 April, 2001 for initial processing and software development based on its excellent data quality and the importance of the HENG-O region. Initial images show that the expected resolution should be obtained and that the reflectivity images can extend to 20 degrees from the sub-earth point. The new processing techniques make use of the Magellan altimetry as a starting point for a recursive solution to the higher resolution DEM. This procedure also improves the quality of the reflectivity images.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.