Status Report

Analysis of Lunar Orbiter Images Recovered From Analog Tape

By SpaceRef Editor
January 6, 2011
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Analysis of Lunar Orbiter Images Recovered From Analog Tape

D. R. Wingo1 and C. J. Byrne2, 1Skycorp Incorporated, P.O. Box 375 Moffett Field, CA,, charles.byrne-at-verizon.nett

Submitted to 41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Introduction: The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) was founded in 2008 with funding from NASA ESMD to recover Lunar Orbiter images from the original 2″ analog magnetic tapes that had been held in protective storage by the National Archives and NASA for 40 years. Of the three central questions that had to be answered for project success, (can the tape drives be brought back to life, are the tapes any good, what is the quality of the data the best available), the final question, whether or not the analog image data on the tapes was superior in quality to the existing film was the ultimate criterion for success.

The results of an extensive search of the literature as well as the results of our digitization efforts indicate that while the resolution of the images are largely unaffected, the dynamic range has been markedly improved over the existing film, which provides in most cases, a dramatic improvement in overall image quality. Additionally, the capture of the entire analog signal allows for a more accurate alignment, processing, and reproduction of the images. Original Reconstruction of LO Images: All Lunar Orbiter (LO) images, whether resident on the 2″ magnetic tapes, or on the original 35mm Ground Reconstruction Equipment (GRE), are derived from images recorded on 70mm SO 243 film processed on board the spacecraft1.

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SpaceRef staff editor.