Data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been processed, and a highly detailed and nearly global topographic map of the moon has been released. The topographic map was created at the Arizona State University in Tempe, at a pixel-scale resolution close to 100 meters. The Global Lunar DTM 100 m topographic model (GLD100), was created based on data acquired by LRO’s Wide Angle Camera (WAC), which is part of the LROC imaging system. The LROC imaging system consists of two Narrow Angle Cameras (NACs) to provide high-resolution images, and the WAC to provide 100-meter resolution images in seven color bands over a 57-kilometer (35-mile) swath.
The GLD100 was created from 69,000 WAC stereo models over most of the Moon’s surface. Due to shadows near the poles it isn’t possible to image and map at the highest latitudes, however there is another instrument called LOLA that is measuring topography at the poles using lasers, and will be used to fill in these holes in the future.
While the current model includes stereo imaging, with another year of data the model will be further refined.