Journal of Earth System Science

, Volume 114, Issue 6, pp 717–720 | Cite as

Terrain mapping camera for Chandrayaan-1

  • A. S. Kiran Kumar
  • A. Roy Chowdhury


The Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC) on India’s first satellite for lunar exploration, Chandrayaan-1, is for generating high-resolution 3-dimensional maps of the Moon. With this instrument, a complete topographic map of the Moon with 5 m spatial resolution and 10-bit quantization will be available for scientific studies. The TMC will image within the panchromatic spectral band of 0.4 to 0.9 Μm with a stereo view in the fore, nadir and aft directions of the spacecraft movement and have a B/H ratio of 1. The swath coverage will be 20 km. The camera is configured for imaging in the push broom-mode with three linear detectors in the image plane. The camera will have four gain settings to cover the varying illumination conditions of the Moon. Additionally, a provision of imaging with reduced resolution, for improving Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) in polar regions, which have poor illumination conditions throughout, has been made. SNR of better than 100 is expected in the ±60° latitude region for mature mare soil, which is one of the darkest regions on the lunar surface. This paper presents a brief description of the TMC instrument.


Terrain mapping active pixel sensor digital elevation map lunar topography 


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. S. Kiran Kumar
    • 1
  • A. Roy Chowdhury
    • 1
  1. 1.Space Applications CentreISROAhmedabadIndia

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