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Space Science Reviews

, Volume 211, Issue 1–4, pp 109–133 | Cite as

Analysis of Local Slopes at the InSight Landing Site on Mars

  • R. L. Fergason
  • R. L. Kirk
  • G. Cushing
  • D. M. Galuszka
  • M. P. Golombek
  • T. M. Hare
  • E. Howington-Kraus
  • D. M. Kipp
  • B. L. Redding
Article

Abstract

To evaluate the topography of the surface within the InSight candidate landing ellipses, we generated Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) at lander scales and those appropriate for entry, descent, and landing simulations, along with orthoimages of both images in each stereopair, and adirectional slope images. These products were used to assess the distribution of slopes for each candidate ellipse and terrain type in the landing site region, paying particular attention to how these slopes impact InSight landing and engineering safety, and results are reported here. Overall, this region has extremely low slopes at 1-meter baseline scales and meets the safety constraints of the InSight lander. The majority of the landing ellipse has a mean slope at 1-meter baselines of 3.2°. In addition, a mosaic of HRSC, CTX, and HiRISE DTMs within the final landing ellipse (ellipse 9) was generated to support entry, descent, and landing simulations and evaluations. Several methods were tested to generate this mosaic and the NASA Ames Stereo Pipeline program dem_mosaic produced the best results. For the HRSC-CTX-HiRISE DTM mosaic, more than 99 % of the mosaic has slopes less than 15°, and the introduction of artificially high slopes along image seams was minimized.

Keywords

Mars Topography DTM Slope InSight 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The research described in this paper was supported by funding through an agreement through the InSight Project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Specifically, R.L. Fergason managed the project, provided technical advice throughout the project (particularly with regards to the re-fitting process), tested and determined mosaic methods, and performed all data analysis. R.L. Kirk provided senior advisement throughout this project, and provided significant help in developing the re-fitting process. E. Howington-Kraus developed the procedures and tools used to derive DTMs from CTX and HiRISE data, and particularly developed the methods to incorporate pc_align into the DTM generation process. T.M. Hare tested and determined mosaic methods and led the effort to release all data products to the InSight Council of Terrains. Emery Littlefield and Melissa Theobald edited DEMs at the USGS, significantly improving the quality of the final product. NASA Ames Research Center (and particularly Ross Beyer and Oleg Alexandrov) made necessary changes to the ASP tool dem_mosaic that enabled a higher quality DTM mosaic to be produced in this work. MRO CTX and HiRISE instrument teams helped identify appropriate stereopairs and acquired new images, as needed, to help in the characterization of the InSight landing site region. Michael Bland and Chris Okubo reviewed early drafts of this manuscript and two anonymous reviews provided invaluable comments. These suggestions greatly improved the clarity and presentation of this work.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht (outside the USA) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. L. Fergason
    • 1
  • R. L. Kirk
    • 1
  • G. Cushing
    • 1
  • D. M. Galuszka
    • 1
  • M. P. Golombek
    • 2
  • T. M. Hare
    • 1
  • E. Howington-Kraus
    • 1
  • D. M. Kipp
    • 2
  • B. L. Redding
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveyAstrogeology Science CenterFlagstaffUSA
  2. 2.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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