Initial observations from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA)

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Abstract

[1] As of June 19, 2010, the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter, an instrument on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, has collected over 2.0 × 109 measurements of elevation that collectively represent the highest resolution global model of lunar topography yet produced. These altimetric observations have been used to improve the lunar geodetic grid to ∼10 m radial and ∼100 m spatial accuracy with respect to the Moon's center of mass. LOLA has also provided the highest resolution global maps yet produced of slopes, roughness and the 1064-nm reflectance of the lunar surface. Regional topography of the lunar polar regions allows precise characterization of present and past illumination conditions. LOLA's initial global data sets as well as the first high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) of polar topography are described herein.

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