Abstract by Rudger Dame
Calculating Roughness of Planetary Surfaces using 3D Terrain Models
Some planetary surfaces are found to be extremely smooth when viewed remotely by Radar. The question this study addresses is if Radar images can be used together with field roughness calculations of smooth surfaces on Earth to better quantify the smoothness of planetary surfaces. Using the Danakil Depression as an analog site for smooth planetary surfaces, images of multiple sites within the depression were used to build 3D models of the different geologically flat regions (e.g. salt flats). Roughness calculations based on the 3D models and Radar images of the area were made and compared. These two methods of calculating the terrain roughnesses, in all but a few cases, gave similar results. In conclusion, the method of analyzing 3D models of the surfaces to obtain a roughness values, assists in the quantifying of the degree of flatness of a planetary surface.