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  • 1
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    Publication Date: 2019-01-25
    Description: The brightness of surface features on side looking radar images of Venus is determined by many factors: the angles of incidence and reflection, polarization, surface geometry and composition, and so forth. The contribution from surface properties themselves can only be deduced by combining several types of measurement. For instance, without additional information, it is impossible to distinguish the effects of changes in surface roughness from those in dielectric constant. In common with the Moon and Mars, the surface of Venus appears to scatter radar waves in two ways: small-scale surface inhomogeneities, i.e., those smaller than the incident wavelength, depolarize and scatter the energy over a wide range of angles. The Pioneer Venus radar mapper experiment made three overlapping sets of measurements of the equatorial region of Venus from 15 deg S latitude to 45 deg N; the backscatter cross section at a range of incidence angles, the shape and intensity of radar echoes from the nadir, and the microwave brightness temperature of the surface. These techniques developed during the analysis of Pioneer Venus data will be used during the Magellan mission to extract measurements of surface slopes and dielectric constants over all areas covered by the SAR and altimeter antennae, with a resolution of about 10 km. A knowledge of the mechanisms that govern surface scattering will also be useful in the analysis of higher resolution side looking radar images, particularly in distinguishing the effects of changing roughness from those caused by a long range surface tilt or changing dielectric constant.
    Keywords: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
    Type: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Abstracts for the Venus Geoscience Tutorial and Venus Geologic Mapping Workshop; p 12
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-01-25
    Keywords: PHYSICS (GENERAL)
    Type: Proc. of the 9th Ann. Precise Time and Time Interval (PTTI) Appl. and Planning Meeting; p 127-134
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2013-08-31
    Description: Magellan radar images have disclosed the presence of a large number of almost perfectly circular domes, presumably of volcanic origin, in many regions of Venus several with diameters of 30 km or more. Their high degree of symmetry has permitted measurements of their shape, as determined by the Magellan altimeter to be compared with models of dome production from the eruption of high-viscosity magmas. In this work, we examine in detail the radar images of domes in Rusalka Planitia (2.8 deg S, 150.9 deg E) and Tinatin Planitia (12.2 deg N, 7.5 deg E), selected for their circular symmetry and apparent absence of modification due to large-scale slumping or tectonic rifting.
    Keywords: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
    Type: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Papers Presented to the International Colloquium on Venus; p 34
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2013-08-31
    Description: Magellan observations indicate that many venusian impact craters have associated surfaces, typically lower in backscatter and emissivity than the surroundings, that extend up to hundreds of kilometers to the west of craters, in parabolic planforms. During Magellan's second mapping cycle, a number of these parabolic features were imaged for a second time, under a different viewing geometry. In some cases, the SAR backscatter appearance of portions of the parabolic features was quite different in the two datasets. We present a description and preliminary interpretations of the anomalous appearance of these features as observed during Magellan's first and second mapping cycles.
    Keywords: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
    Type: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Papers Presented to the International Colloquium on Venus; p 92-93
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2013-08-31
    Description: It has been known for over a decade that certain high-altitude regions on Venus exhibit bizarre radar-scattering and radiothermal-emission behavior. For example, observed values for normal-incidence power reflection coefficients in these areas can exceed 0.5; enhanced back scatter in some mountainous areas in the Magellan SAR images creates a bright surface with the appearance of snow; and reduced thermal emission in the anomalous areas makes the surface there appear hundreds of degrees cooler than the corresponding physical surface temperatures. The inferred radio emissivity in several of these regions falls to 0.3 for horizontal linear polarization at viewing angles in the range 20 deg - 40 deg. Several explanations have been offered for these linked phenomena. One involves single-surface reflection from a sharp discontinuity separating two media that have extremely disparate values of electromagnetic propagation. The mismatch may occur in either or both the real (associated with propagation velocity) or imaginary (associated with absorption) components of the relevant indices of refraction, and the discontinuity must take place over a distance appreciably shorter than a wavelength. An example of such an interaction of Earth would occur at the surface of a body of water. At radio wavelengths, water has an index of refraction of 9 (dielectric permittivity of about 80), and an associated loss factor that varies strongly with the amount of dissolved salts, but is generally significant. Its single-surface radar reflectivity at normal incidence is about 0.65, and the corresponding emissivity (viewed at the same angle) is therefore 0.35. Both these values are similar to the extremes found on Venus, but in the absence of liquid water, the process on Venus requires a different explanation. Two of the present authors (Pettengill and Ford) have suggested that scattering from a single surface possessing a very high effective dielectric permittivity could explain many of the unusual characteristics displayed by the Venus surface. A second explantion relates to the volume scattering that results from successive interactions with one or more interfaces interior to the planetary surface. If the near-surface material has a moderately low index of refraction (to ensure that a substantial fraction of the radiation incident from outside is not reflected, but rather penetrates into the surface), and a very low internal propagation loss, successive internal reflections can eventually redirect much of the energy back through the surface toward the viewer. The necessary conditions for this process to be effective are a low internal propagation loss coupled with efficient internal reflection. At sufficiently low temperatures, fractured water ice displays both the necessary low loss and near-total internal reflection. The possibility that this mechanism might be acting on Venus has recently been put forward.
    Keywords: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
    Type: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Papers Presented to the International Colloquium on Venus; p 88-89
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2013-08-31
    Description: The assessment of earthquake hazards and mineral and oil potential of a given region requires a detailed knowledge of geological structure, including the configuration of faults. Delineation of faults is traditionally based on three types of data: (1) seismicity data, which shows the location and magnitude of earthquake activity; (2) field mapping, which in remote areas is typically incomplete and of insufficient accuracy; and (3) remote sensing, including LANDSAT images and high altitude photography. Recently, high resolution radar images of tectonically active regions have been obtained by SEASAT and Shuttle Imaging Radar (SIR-A and SIR-B) systems. These radar images are sensitive to terrain slope variations and emphasize the topographic signatures of fault zones. Techniques were developed for using the radar data in conjunction with the traditional types of data to delineate major faults in well-known test sites, and to extend interpretation techniques to remote areas.
    Keywords: EARTH RESOURCES AND REMOTE SENSING
    Type: JPL The Second Spaceborne Imaging Radar Symposium; p 17-24
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2014-10-08
    Description: Three different radio techniques were used to study the electrical properties of the surface of Venus. The reflectivity of the surface at near normal incidence was studied using radar from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) spacecraft. These measurements have inferred the corresponding dielectric constants. Surface emissivities were calculated using measurements of thermal emission brightness temperature obtained both from spacecraft and from the ground. These measurements also have inferred dielectric constant. The degree of linear polarization associated with thermal energy emitted from the surface at various angles was examined. The dielectric constant was calculated. The radar data have provided the highest surface resolution of the three techniques, and were the first to show the unusually high values of Fresnel reflection coefficient (approaching 0.40 in extreme cases) that are associated with many of the elevated regions of Venus. The distribution of small scale surface roughness was estimated.
    Keywords: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
    Type: NASA, Washington Repts. of Planetary Geol. and Geophys. Program, 1984; p 99-100
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: Elevations from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) have been used to construct a precise topographic map of the martian north polar region. The northern ice cap has a maximum elevation of 3 kilometers above its surroundings but lies within a 5-kilometer-deep hemispheric depression that is contiguous with the area into which most outflow channels emptied. Polar cap topography displays evidence of modification by ablation, flow, and wind and is consistent with a primarily H2O composition. Correlation of topography with images suggests that the cap was more spatially extensive in the past. The cap volume of 1.2 x 10(6) to 1.7 x 10(6) cubic kilometers is about half that of the Greenland ice cap. Clouds observed over the polar cap are likely composed of CO2 that condensed out of the atmosphere during northern hemisphere winter. Many clouds exhibit dynamical structure likely caused by the interaction of propagating wave fronts with surface topography.
    Keywords: Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
    Type: Science (ISSN 0036-8075); Volume 282; 5396; 2053-60
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2011-08-18
    Description: A topographic map of 93% of the Venus globe was depicted by the radar altimeter of the Pioneer Venus orbiter with a resolution better than 150 km. Extremes in relief expressed as a center-of-mass-to-surface radius extend from 6049 to 6062 km; the elevated terrain is dominated by a massive equatorial area equal in size to South America. The distribution of average meter-scale surface slopes is determined for the same regions in the 1 to 10 deg range; elevated areas have higher slopes, so that most features observed in the earth-based images are also evident in the vertical-incidence spacecraft measurements.
    Keywords: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
    Type: Journal of Geophysical Research; 85; Dec. 30
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2013-08-31
    Description: The largest impact craters on Venus may be used as evidence of various geological processes within the Venusian crust. We are continuing to construct a data base for the further investigation of large craters on Venus (LCV). We hope to find evidence of crater relaxation that might constrain the thickness and thermal gradient of the crust, as was proposed in an earlier work. The current work concentrates on 27 impact craters with diameters (d) larger than 70 km, i.e., large enough that the footprint of the Magellan altimeter has a good chance of sampling the true crater bottom. All altimeter echoes from points located within (d/2)+70 km from the crater center have been inspected.
    Keywords: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
    Type: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-Fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 2: G-M; p 689-690
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