Science in China Series G: Physics, Mechanics and Astronomy

, Volume 52, Issue 7, pp 1105-1114

First online:

Lunar topographic model CLTM-s01 from Chang’E-1 laser altimeter

  • JinSong PingAffiliated withShanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences Email author 
  • , Qian HuangAffiliated withShanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of SciencesGraduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences Email author 
  • , JianGuo YanAffiliated withShanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • , JianFeng CaoAffiliated withBeijing Aerospace Control Center
  • , GeShi TangAffiliated withBeijing Aerospace Control Center
  • , Rong ShuAffiliated withShanghai Institute of Technical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

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More than 3 million range measurements from the Chang’E-1 Laser Altimeter have been used to produce a global topographic model of the Moon with improved accuracy. Our topographic model, a 360th degree and order spherical harmonic expansion of the lunar radii, is designated as Chang’E-1 Lunar Topography Model s01 (CLTM-s01). This topographic field, referenced to a mean radius of 1738 km, has an absolute vertical accuracy of approximately 31 m and a spatial resolution of 0.25° (∼7.5 km). This new lunar topographic model has greatly improved previous models in spatial coverage, accuracy and spatial resolution, and also shows the polar regions with the altimeter results for the first time. From CLTM-s01, the mean, equatorial, and polar radii of the Moon are 1737103, 1737646, and 1735843 m, respectively. In the lunar-fixed coordinate system, this model shows a COM/COF offset to be (−1.777, −0.730, 0.237) km along the x, y, and z directions, respectively. All the basic lunar shape parameters derived from CLTM-s01 are in agreement with the results of Clementine GLTM2, but CLTM-s01 offers higher accuracy and reliability due to its better global samplings.


Chang’E-1 laser altimeter (LAM) lunar topographic model