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Mars Exploration Rover Project

MER Landing Site Viewshed Analysis

Viewshed analysis has been performed on each MER landing site. This will allow the user to visualize what and how far the rover actually might see from the surface. The calculation is based on the camera at 1.5 meters from the surface and Mar's curvature was taken into consideration. The red pixels represent areas that could be seen by the rover if it happens to land where the “tower” icon is centered. Because the MOLA data is fairly coarse and smoothed near the equator these calculations are not exact and should be recognized as only approximate. The origin location was not always precisely placed at the landing ellipse center. For example, in the Hematite region, the origin was placed slightly south of the center to help pull the calculation out of a low in the topography.

ViewShed calculations were created in the Global Mapper application using the MOLA 128 pixels/degree topography. Contours in the images are at 100 meter intervals. Viewshed help section from Global Mapper. Clipped 128 pixels/degree MOLA landingsite DEMs (ESRI Grid, ASCII, and ISIS format) planetographic or planetocentric.

Hematite in Terra Meridiani

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Gusev Crater

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Elysium Planitia

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Isidis Planitia

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