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23rd International Cartographic Conference, Moscow, Russia



At the beginning of XXI century a lot of space exploration projects (flights to Mars, permanent base on the Moon, studying of asteroids and giant-planets moons with their detailed mapping etc.) have been officially announced. It explained why this time 5 sessions on Planetary Cartography took place in ICC program. There were 20 papers for oral presentations.

R.L.Kirk (USA) pointed out that the pace of lunar exploration is about to accelerate dramatically, with as many of seven new missions planned for the current decade. These missions, of which the most important for cartography are SMART-1 (Europe), SELENE (Japan), Chang’E-1 (China), Chandrayaan-1 (India), and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (USA), will return a volume of data exceeding that of all previous lunar and planetary missions combined. Framing and scanner camera images, including multi-spectral and stereo data, hyper-spectral images, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images, and laser altimetry will all be collected, including, in most cases, multiple datasets of each type. Substantial advances in international standardization and cooperation, development of new and more efficient data processing methods, and availability of resources for processing and archiving will all be needed if the next generation of missions are to fulfil their potential for high-precision mapping of the Moon in support of subsequent exploration and scientific investigation.

Randolph Kirk (USA) and Kira Shingareva (Russia) discuss at the Congress Hall.

It was also outlined (M.I.Shpekin, Russia, E.Lazarev, Russia) that returning to idea of permanent base creating on the Moon promises also return not only to its mapping, but especially to specification of coordinate uniform system, positions of the gravity center and the center of its geometrical figure that is necessary for the further investigation development.

The presentation of Marita Waehlisch (Germany) about Saturnian moons

The paper presented to ICC by M.Waehlisch (J.Albertz, S.Gehrke, M.Waehlisch et al (Germany) informed the auditorium that the standard map series of the Mars Express mission is the Topographic Image Map Mars 1:200,000. The planet Mars is covered by altogether 10.372 sheets in equal-area map projections, 10,324 of them in Sinusoidal Projection, supplemented by 48 polar sheets in Lambert Azimuthal Projection. An average sheet of the Topographic Image Map Mars 1:200,000 displays approximately 120×120 km; considering an HRSC image width of 60 km in highest resolution of 12 m/pixel, it is evident that mosaics of adjacent orbits are necessary to cover the mapped area. Until the present day, a variety of topographic and also thematic maps of different Martian regions has been produced – including, e.g., the first large-scale maps of the north-polar region, which combine HRSC imagery and Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) contours. Furthermore, it has been shown that HRSC data of highest resolution are suitable for mapping in scales up to 1:100 000 and even 1:50 000, which can be systematically achieved by dividing standard sheets into quarters and sixteenth, respectively.

T.Duxbury (USA) has explained that the Mars Express mission is completing its global coverage of Mars in stereo at 100 m spatial resolution or better. MGS, Odyssey and Mars Express continue to provide limited surface coverage at the 1 to 20 m resolution. Currently the new Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is producing images at the 10’s of cm level. All of these datasets provide a rich and historic perspective of Mars covering nearly five decades and allow global cartographic map products to be produced in visual and infrared at the 100 m level with specialized cartographic maps being produced for landing sites at the meter or sub-meter spatial resolution level. This work was produced at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under contract to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NAS 7-2170.5c, within the NASA Mars Data Analysis Program and the MGS, Odyssey, Mars Express and MRO Participating Scientist Programs.

Tom Duxbury (USA) as a session chair and Manfred Buchrouthner (Germany) presenting the maps of terrestrial planets and their moons.

United States Geological Survey (USGS) and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory ( LPL, University of Arizona, USA) represented the paper about methods and first results of ultrahigh resolution topographic mapping of Mars (R.L.Kirk, E.Howington-Kraus, M.R.Rosiek et al, USA). The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) arrived at Mars on 10 March 2006 and began its primary science phase in November. The High Resolution Stereo Imaging Experiment (HiRISE) on MRO is the largest, most complex camera ever flown to another planet. Plans call for this scanner to image roughly 1% of Mars by area at a pixel scale of 0.3 m during the next Mars year. Among the thousands of images will be ~1000 stereopairs that will provide an unprecedented three-dimensional view of the Martian surface at meter scale. These stereopairs will provide a tremendous amount of information for focused scientific studies, landing site selection and validation, and the operation of future landers and rovers. The main goal is the approach to generating geodetically controlled digital topographic models (DTMs) from such stereopairs, as first results, and plans for future DTM production. The approach to the photogrammetric processing of HiRISE images follows that which was had previously described for the MOC and the Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC). It is used the USGS in-house digital cartographic software ISIS to do initial processing, including ingestion, decompression, and radiometric calibration of the images. “Three-dimensional” photogrammetric processing steps, including control and DTM creation and editing, are performed on a photogrammetric workstation running the commercial software SOCET SET (Ž BAE Systems).

The data on mapping satellites of giants-planets have been submitted in reports: Ť First Stereoscopic Radar Images of Titan ť (R.L.Kirk, E.Howington-Kraus, K.L.Mitchell et al, USA), Ť A High-Resolution Atlas of the Saturnian Moon Enceladus derived from Cassini Images ť (T.Roatsch, M.Waehlisch et all., Germany).

Maria Fleis (Russia) presents the work of her scientific group about cartographic projections for Solar System small bodies

Development of cartographic projections for Solar System small bodies was considered by M.Fleis (M.Fleis, M.M.Borisov et al, Russia). Special interest was caused a new cylindrical conformal projection and a new azimuthal projection for asteroid Eros offered by her. The formulae of these projections are devised for the case of matching ellipsoid revolution axis with major (not minor, as usual) axis of ellipse. Formulae are obtained without approximations and are true even for eccentricity.

A number of reports has been devoted to the planetary nomenclature, including the message on Gazetteer localization (H.Hargitai, Hungary), about the geostatistical analysis of a DB nomenclature lists as a method on mental research of extraterrestrial territories (I.Karachevtseva, E.Cherepanova, et al, Russia). The project of creating a multilingual map series for giants-planets satellites, first of all, so called Jupiter galileaen satellites was considered also.

Kira Shingareva (Russia) underlined that it is not only the period of intensive extraterrestrial mapping, but also simultaneously a period of extraterrestrial geography evolution. Remote sensing data play crucial role in extraterrestrial territories mapping issues. Methods developed for processing of Earth images and Earth mapping have been successfully adapted to extraterrestrial territories researches with needed changes and additions taking into account the specific character of celestial bodies. Tremendous data flow requires new approaches to information processing. On the basis conducting analysis of the present map materials, including data systematization on particular parameters and separate bodies, some conclusions and development perspectives are already formulated. First of all the extraterrestrial mapping problems face the corresponding commissions and working groups of such international organizations, as ISPRS and ICA. Coordination of these group efforts is necessary for the successful decision of problems.

Junior planetologists make their presentations (Evgeniy Lazarev (Russia), Henrik Hargitai (Hungary) and Alexander Kurpichev (Russia))

Today representatives of Russia, USA, Germany, Hungary, Canada most actively cooperate in this direction. However the circle of the countries showing interest to mapping extraterrestrial territory and specificity connected to it, steadily extends. Especially it became appreciable last years when the new stage was outlined in development of space exploration.


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