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The Digital Terrain Model of Didymos From The DART/LICIACube Mission

Presentation #510.03 in the session Asteroids: Planetary Defense (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
The Digital Terrain Model of Didymos From The DART/LICIACube Mission

We will present the general shape and key physical characteristics of the Didymos asteroid. Didymos is the primary asteroid of the Didymos/Dimorphos system.

The creation of the digital terrain model (DTM) of Didymos was done using Stereophotoclinometry. For our source data, we used the images taken by the DRACO camera from DART and the LUKE camera from LICIACube. The best usable DRACO images had a pixel size of 2.8 meters while the LUKE camera’s best pixel size was 4.5 meters. The slight rotation of Didymos during approach provided a 6° stereo angle for the DART images. LICIACube flew past the south pole of Didymos and had more than 90° of stereo angle.

While the data were limited, they provided sufficient imagery to build a DTM that covered 40% of Didymos. Significant effort was required to get the two datasets to converge into a single coherent solution. The limited flight path and gravity data of both spacecrafts made the calculation of consistent reconstructed navigation solutions difficult. Further, the limited overlap in spacecraft observing geometries and illumination conditions increased the complexity of DTM generation.

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