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Lander Imaging

NSSDC ID: 1975-075C-06
Mission Name: Viking 1 Lander
Principal Investigator: Prof. Raymond E. Arvidson


The lander imaging experiment viewed the scene surrounding the lander, the surface sampler and other parts of the lander, the sun, Phobos, and Deimos to provide data for operational purposes and for geological and meteorological investigations. A total of 3043 images were returned by the Viking 1 Lander, for a total of 6585 images returned by both Viking landers. Two scanning cameras, capable of resolving 0.04 deg (high-resolution) or 0.12 deg (low-resolution, color, and IR) were used on each lander. Each image acquired covered a vertical field of 20 deg (high-resolution) or 60 deg (low-resolution, color, and IR) and a horizontal field that was commandable from 2.5 deg to 342.5 deg in 2.5-deg increments. Images were acquired from 40 deg above the nominal horizon to 60 deg below, and were commandable in 10-deg increments. The cameras were mounted 1.3 m above the nominal landing plane and were capable of viewing two footpads and most of the area accessible to the surface sampler. The two cameras were separated by 0.8 m, and stereoscopic pictures were obtained over most of the scene. Black-and-white images in either low or high resolution included radiation wavelengths from 0.4 to 1.1 micrometers. The use of a single detector to image an entire frame allowed a relative radiometric accuracy of plus or minus 10%. For more information concerning the cameras, see Huck et al., Space Science Instrumentation, v. 1, p. 189-214, 1975.

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


  • Planetary Science: Atmospheres
  • Planetary Science: Geology and Geophysics

Additional Information

Questions or comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams.



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Elliot C. MorrisTeam MemberUS Geological Survey 
Mr. Sidney Liebes, Jr.Team MemberStanford University 
Prof. Elliot C. LevinthalTeam MemberNuclear Regulatory Commission 
Mr. Friedrich O. HuckTeam MemberNASA Langley Research Center 
Prof. Raymond E. ArvidsonPrincipal InvestigatorWashington
Dr. James B. PollackTeam MemberNASA Ames Research Center 
Dr. Carl SaganTeam MemberCornell University 
Dr. Alan B. BinderTeam MemberUniversitat

Selected References

Patterson, W. R., III, et al., Calibration and performance of the Viking Lander cameras, J. Geophys. Res., 82, No. 28, 4391-4400, Sept. 1977.

Levinthal, E. C., et al., Processing the Viking Lander camera data, J. Geophys. Res., 82, No. 28, 4412-4420, Sept. 1977.

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