Mapping of large areas of the Moon by photogrammetric methods was not seriously considered until the Apollo 15 mission. In this mission, a mapping camera system and a 61-cm optical-bar high-resolution panoramic camera, as well as a laser altimeter, were used. The mapping camera system comprises a 7.6-cm metric terrain camera and a 7.6-cm stellar camera mounted in a fixed angular relationship (an angle of 96° between the two camera axes). The metric camera has a glass focal-plane plate with reseau grids. The ground-resolution capability from an altitude of 110 km is approximately 20 m. Because of the auxiliary stellar camera and the laser altimeter, the resulting metric photography can be used not only for medium- and small-scale cartographic or topographic maps, but it also can provide a basis for establishing a lunar geodetic network. The optical-bar panoramic camera has a 135- to 180-line resolution, which is approximately 1 to 2 m of ground resolution from an altitude of 110 km. Very large scale specialized topographic maps for supporting geologic studies of lunar-surface features can be produced from the stereoscopic coverage provided by this camera.
Additional Publication Details
Orbital-science investigation: Part C: photogrammetry of Apollo 15 photography