Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Fly me to the Moon - Land where? - Use what Map?

Ron Wells asked me if I knew of any documents that described the "Lunar

Not knowing what that was sent me on a search with Google and my, my,
just where you are on the Moon might depend on what you use for your
reference as to the shape of the Moon and what mapping system you have
agreed to abide by.

It will really help to be on the same map when we decide to touch down
and set up a lunar base camp.

It is also nice to know how high the mountain is that you come over
while trying to set down in some valley. Not so much fun to strike your
landing gear on a mountain peak while looking over your shoulder
- LRK -.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will be going to the Moon and taking a
lot of pictures and measurements. For those to be interpreted here back
on Earth one needs to be talking about the same coordinate system.

Just where do you paste your picture on that lunar globe?
- LRK -

Maybe you would like to be on the same page as well.
- LRK -

------------------------------------------------------------ (11 page, 301 KB, PDF)
A Standardized Lunar Coordinate System for the
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

LRO Project White Paper
Version 4
2008 May 14

The purpose of this White Paper is to provide a summary on
the planned Lunar Coordinate System that will be used for
the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission for operational
targeting,interdisciplinary science, and communication among
future and ongoing US and international lunar missions. The
same system will be used for all LRO data products archived
in the Planetary Data System (PDS).

If you find a LOT of water, just where would your shoreline be? :-)

Well, maybe not that much water.
Some more in depth PDF document references below.
- LRK -

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Lunar Constants and Models -
Title: Lunar Constants and Models Document
Author: Ralph B. Roncoli
Date: September 23, 2005
Reference: JPL Technical Document D-32296

Summary: The primary purpose of this document is to provide a single
source for the constants and models to be used in the trajectory and
navigation design of missions whose objective is to orbit or land on the
Moon. A secondary objective is to provide the mission analyst with some
basic background information about the Moon, its orbit, and the previous
missions that have explored the Moon. As a result, this document
contains more information than the typical constants and models
document. Some of the data are required for mission studies while other
data are simply provided for "educational purposes". This document
provides only brief descriptions of the constants and models. The user
should consult the references if more detailed information is desired.
Format: PDF
Link: download here (82 page, 24.3 MB)

============================================================== (58
page, 5.5 MB)
Lunar Coordinate Systems, Frames and Geodetic Products

Brent A. Archinal
U.S. Geological SurveyFlagstaff, AZ

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
Project Science Working Group Meeting
University of Hawaii Manoa Campus
2006 November 28-30

I. Systems and Frames
* Coordinate Systems and Frames
* Conventions, historical and current
* Dataset Registration

II. Past and Present Frames/Products
* Horizontal Reference Frames and Products
* Vertical Reference Frames and Products

III. Future Control and Products
* Pre (end of) LRO Frames/Products
* Post LRO Frames/Products�Recommendations & Discussion

Care to look at more references? - LRK -
Is the Moon really round, or round enough for talking about?

Take a look at Maria Zuber's publications page:

and maybe this one there: (14 page, 4.4 MB)
Hood, L., and M.T. Zuber, Recent refinements in geophysical constraints on
lunar origin and evolution, Origin of the Earth and Moon, ed. R. Canup and
K. Righter, in press, Univ. of Ariz. Press, Tucson, 2000.


The following quote is from the paper by Hood & Zuber:

The best current representation
of the shape of the Moon is shown in Fig. 1a. The
field is Goddard Lunar Topography Model-2 (GLTM-2), a
72nd degree and order spherical harmonic expansion of lunar
radii derived from the ~73,000 valid Clementine lidar
range measurements. The GLTM-2 model has an absolute
vertical accuracy of ~100 m and a spatial resolution of 2.5°
(76 km at the equator). The model shows that the Moon can
be represented as a sphere with maximum positive and negative
deviations of ~8 km, both occurring on the farside, in
the areas of the Korolev and South Pole-Aitken Basins.

The Planetary Science Division's
Ancillary Information System

The Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility (NAIF) provides NASA
planetary flight projects and NASA funded professional planetary
researchers an information system named "SPICE" to assist scientists in
planning and interpreting scientific observations from space-borne
instruments. SPICE is also widely used in engineering tasks associated
with planetary missions.

SPICE is focused on solar system geometry. The SPICE system includes a
large suite of software, mostly in the form of subroutines, that
customers incorporate in their own application programs to read SPICE
files and to compute derived observation geometry, such as altitude,
lattitude/longitude, and lighting angles. SPICE data and software may be
used within many popular computing environments. The software is offered

NAIF serves as the "Navigation Node" of NASA's Planetary Data System,
archiving and providing the science community access to SPICE data from
NASA missions.




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