A new Enceladus global control network, image mosaic, and updated pointing kernels from Cassini's thirteen-year mission

Earth and Space Science
By: , and 



NASA's Cassini spacecraft spent 13 years exploring the Saturn system, including 23 targeted flybys of the small, geologically active moon Enceladus. These flybys provided a wealth of image data from Cassini's Imaging Science Subsystem. To improve the usability of the Enceladus data set, we created a new, global photogrammetric control network for Enceladus that enabled compilation of a versatile cartographic package to support geologic mapping and other investigations. The network used 586 images in four image filters with a pixel scale generally between 50 and 500 m per pixel and a phase angle less than 120° and consisted of 10,362 tie points and 173,704 individual image measures, averaging nearly 17 measures per tie point. Least squares bundle adjustment resulted in a root‐mean‐square residual of 0.45 pixel, corresponding to root‐mean‐square ground point uncertainties of 66, 51, and 46 m in latitude, longitude, and radius, respectively. Using our geodetic control network, we created new global image mosaics, coregistered flyby mosaics to support geologic mapping, and updated pointing kernels for every image used in the solution. These products, including the updated pointing kernels, are available to the community through NASA's Planetary Data System Imaging Annex. The bundle adjustment solution also yielded independently determined shape information, resulting in radii within the stated uncertainty of International Astronomical Union values. The challenges of the data set, and the technical methodology described here are applicable to bodies imaged during multiple flybys with variable viewing and illumination geometry, including other midsized satellites of Saturn, and the Europa Clipper mission.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A new Enceladus global control network, image mosaic, and updated pointing kernels from Cassini's thirteen-year mission
Series title Earth and Space Science
DOI 10.1029/2018EA000399
Volume 5
Issue 10
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 18 p.
First page 604
Last page 621
Other Geospatial Enceladus
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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