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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter picture vs Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter picture

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 14571878
Australia
08/08/2012 07:28 AM
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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter picture vs Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter picture
Is there anyone on GLP that's an expert on cameras and can explain why older technology can get better/similar resolution images at far further distances?



[link to en.wikipedia.org]
On August 12, 2005, MRO was launched aboard an Atlas V-401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station...

...In September 2006 MRO fired its thrusters twice more to fine-tune its final, nearly circular orbit to approximately 250 to 316 kilometres (160 to 196 mi) above the Martian surface...

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera is a 0.5 m reflecting telescope, the largest ever carried on a deep space mission, and has a resolution of 1 microradian (μrad), or 0.3 m from an altitude of 300 km. In comparison, satellite images of Earth are generally available with a resolution of 0.5 m, and satellite images on Google Maps are available to 1 m...

[link to en.wikipedia.org]
Ball Aerospace was given the responsibility to build the camera and they delivered HiRISE to NASA on December 6, 2004 for integration with the rest of the spacecraft.

[link to www.nasa.gov]
The four main pieces of hardware that arrived on Mars with NASA's Curiosity rover were spotted by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera captured this image about 24 hours after landing...

[link to www.nasa.gov]


VS


[link to en.wikipedia.org]
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is a NASA robotic spacecraft currently orbiting the Moon on a low 50 km polar mapping orbit...

...Launched on 18 June 2009...

[link to www.lroc.asu.edu]

...We have imaged over 20% of the Moon at high resolution using the Narrow Angle Cameras; if the LRO mission continues for several more years, we will eventually image the whole moon at 1/2 m/pixel...

LROC consists of two Narrow Angle Cameras (NACs) to provide 0.5 meter-scale panchromatic images over a 5 km swath, a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) to provide images at a scale of 100 meters/pixel in seven color bands over a 60 km swath, and a Sequence and Compressor System (SCS) supporting data acquisition for both cameras. LROC is a modified version of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiters ConTeXt Camera (CTX) and MARs Color Imager (MARCI) provided by Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) in San Diego, CA.


[link to www.nasa.gov]

[link to www.nasa.gov]
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) captured the sharpest images ever taken from space of the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 landing sites. Images show the twists and turns of the paths made when the astronauts explored the lunar surface...

The left image was released today; the right image is a zoom-in on an LRO image released in 2009. LRO was moved into a lower orbit to capture the new image. The images do not line up perfectly because of differences in lighting conditions, angle of the LRO Camera, and other variables. Image brightness and contrast have been altered to highlight surface details.
Halcyon Dayz, FCD
Contrarian's Contrarian

User ID: 19507663
Netherlands
08/08/2012 08:51 AM

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Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter picture vs Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter picture
Because it's bigger.
HiRISE's aperture 0.5m, LROC NAC's 0.26m.

The Moon having no atmosphere allows for a much lower orbit so smaller telescopes will get you the desired resolution.
Saves a bundle.

HiRISE's job is to image the most interesting features on Mars, it could never image the whole surface.
LROC has to map the whole Moon in a reasonable amount of time, a higher resolution would mean having to take many more pictures.
book

Last Edited by Halcyon Dayz, FCD on 08/08/2012 08:53 AM
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