Enhanced visualization for interpretation of Magellan radar data: Supplement to the Magellan Special Issue


  • Randolph L. Kirk,

  • Laurence A. Soderblom,

  • Ella M. Lee


The differences of radar data from more familiar photographic images, coupled with the unique geologic characteristics of Venus's surface, can make interpretation of the standard Magellan data products difficult for both planetary scientists and nonspecialists. We describe a set of digital processing techniques for transforming individual remote-sensing datasets in order to make the information they contain more apparent, and for combining multiple datasets of diverse resolution and information content into synthetic images that allow the viewer to explore correlations among the data. The creation of derived data products by techniques like those we describe is becoming increasingly widespread and important, both for scientific research and for use in educational and media presentations. We apply our processing techniques to Magellan synthetic aperture radar images, altimetry, and microwave emissivity measurements of four areas that exemplify some of the most important styles of geologic activity on Venus.