Lunar and Planetary Cartographic Catalog

Moon Mineralogy Mapper Geometric Data Restoration

This project focused on geometric restoration of hyperspectral imagery from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3 or M3) instrument that flew as a guest instrument on the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) Chandrayaan-1 (Ch1) spacecraft (e.g., Goswami and Annadurai, 2009; Pieters et al., 2009; Boardman et al., 2011; Green et al., 2011). The primary objective of this work is to geometrically restore the M3 data to significantly improve their selenolocation on the lunar surface. The original M3 archive in NASA’s Planetary Data System (PDS) can be found here.

This work was undertaken for two compelling reasons. First, the use of the relatively high resolution (~118 m/pixel) global digital elevation model (DEM) developed from altimeter measurements by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument (the LDEM GDR model, Neumann et al., 2011) and the global mosaic from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Cameras (LROC; Speyerer et al., 2011; Wagner et al., 2015) to geodetically control the M3 data greatly enhanced the accuracy of M3 spatial locations on the lunar surface and helped us to improve the data utility, science validity and integration with other data sets. The original topography or elevation model used for processing the M3 data, developed using mid-mission LRO Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) data in 2010, is known to have globally distributed errors in absolute position (up to 5 km) that far exceeded the desired pixel-level (~140 to 280 m-level) accuracy of the M3 data.  Spatial offsets and artifacts resulting from use of the early LOLA product interfered with attempts to use M3 data in comparison with other spatial datasets, and they also compromised the accuracy of photometric and reflectance processing because these steps rely on registration of the DEM to derive accurate surface orientation parameters at each pixel.

Second, reprocessing the M3 data has allowed us to improve upon the attitude determination that was done in real time and with evolving models as the Ch1 mission degraded, thus we intended to deliver a full mission data set processed in a unified and consistent manner. The original M3 data processing evolved over the time of the degrading mission and three different optimization and bootstrapping approaches are collected in the original data archive. The M3 data, even if the new LDEM GDR topographic model was not available, needed to be reprocessed in a unified manner to deliver a consistent archive with significantly improved accuracy and precision. Here we provide updates on the status of this geometric restoration effort, and links to products and services resulting from this work as they become available.


Project incomplete as of August, 2018. Photometric modeling at the end of processing revealed errors in calculated photometric angles for M3 data with equatorial coverage that discourage data release until these can be corrected.  These errors are most evident after the Step-2 processing (see below), and are likely due to unphysical movements of spacecraft pointing or position during bundle adjustments in ISIS. We estimate that about 15% of the data are affected by these errors, and about 85% may be useful with caution with the team’s photometric model applied. Below we provide links to the improved L1B products (LOC and OBS) files; these can be used with caution with the original M3 archived radiance data.  We are still evaluating the Step-2 products.


Step-1 reprocessing included work by Joe Boardman and it focused on use of the improved LOLA 3D model and LROC mosaics for improving the projection of M3 data onto the lunar surface.  Results were passed to USGS, where the current version of the ISIS system (ISIS3) was used to ingest the archived L1B data (including reorienting the data to sensor geometry and adding null lines to fill time gaps), associate SPICE (using “spiceinit”) and the DEM, develop a camera model that relate instrument behavior to image line/sample, and to use photogrammetric bundle-adjustment techniques to control the images. The ISIS3 bundle adjustment software “jigsaw” solves for parameters such as camera position and pointing that are optimally consistent with available data on image-to-image and image-to-ground correspondences. Finally, we used image-matching tools (“findfeatures”) for each M3 observation to create a surface control point network and assessed the results. The ISIS programs “ckwriter” and “spkwriter” were used to generate improved instrument pointing (CK) and spacecraft position (SPK) kernels, respectively. The Step-2, updated LOC files were then returned to AIG for development of associated updated OBS files, and these were passed to ACT for Level 2 processing.

ISIS3 software can be found here.

M3-specific (Chandrayaan-1) ISIS3 programs:

chan1m32isis – This program imports Chandrayaan-1 M3 data in Level 1B (L1B) or Level 0 (L0) PDS products into ISIS cubes.
Chandrayaan1M3Camera – This is the M3 camera model in ISIS, used by “spiceinit” and associated with the appropriate SPICE kernels and a digital elevation model to define the relationship between ground and image, and to include system and camera calibration parameters, so that the image can be projected onto the 3D lunar surface.

SPICE Kernels:

USGS updated versions (2017):


Control Network:

Under review (not yet available)

Updated M3 L1B Location (LOC) and Observation (OBS) files:

Step-1 (Boardman) updated versions (2014), 202 GB total:


Step-2 (USGS & Boardman) updated versions (2017):


There are differences in these Step-1 and Step-2 files, described here.

Updated M3 L2 Data Products:



Gaddis, L.R., J. Boardman, E. Malaret, S. Besse, R. Kirk, B. Archinal, K. Edmundson, L. Weller and S. Sides, 2015, Status of restoring Moon Mineralogy Mapper data to full spatial and photometric accuracy, 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Abs. # 2033.

Gaddis, L.R., R. Kirk, B. Archinal, K. Edmundson, L. Weller, S. Sides, J. Boardman, E. Malaret and S. Besse, 2015, New ISIS software for working with Moon Mineralogy Mapper data, 2nd Planetary Data Workshop, Abs. # 7012.

Gaddis, L.R., L. Weller, K. Edmundson, R. Kirk, B. Archinal, S. Sides, J. Boardman, E. Malaret, and S. Besse, 2016, Improved Geometric Control of Moon Mineralogy Mapper Data, 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abs. # 1504.

Gaddis, L.R., J. Boardman, E. Malaret, S. Besse, L. Weller, K. Edmundson, R. Kirk, B. Archinal, and S. Sides, 2017, The status of restoration of Moon Mineralogy Mapper data, Lunar Exploration Analysis Group 2017, abs. # 5074.

Gaddis, L.R., E. Malaret, L. Weller, J. Boardman, S. Besse, K. Edmundson, S. Sides, B. Archinal and R. Kirk, 2018, Geometric Restoration of Moon Mineralogy Mapper Data and Implications for Analysis of the Apollo 17 Landing Site, GSA Fall Meeting, Paper #166-8, Indianapolis, IN, November, 2018. 

Malaret, E., A. Battisti, and L. Gaddis (2019) 2019 Status of Geometric Restoration of Moon Mineralology Mapper data, 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abs. #2816.


Partners in this effort included staff at the Astrogeology Science Center, Flagstaff, Arizona (Lisa Gaddis, Principal Investigator,; Brent Archinal, Ken Edmundson, Randy Kirk, Stuart Sides, Lynn Weller), Co-Investigators Joseph Boardman (Analytical Imaging Geophysics, Boulder, CO) and Erick Malaret (Applied Coherent Technology, Herndon, VA). Those involved in this project gratefully acknowledge funding from the NASA Lunar Advanced Science and Exploration Research (LASER) program (L. Gaddis, PI) from 2013 to 2017.

References Cited:

Besse, S., J. Sunshine, M. Staid, J. Boardman, C. Pieters, P. Guasqui, E. Malaret, S. McLaughlin, Y. Yokota, and J-Y. Li, 2013, A visible and near-infrared photometric correction for Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), Icarus, 222, 229-242.

Boardman, J. W., C. M. Pieters, R. O. Green, S. R. Lundeen, P. Varanasi, J. W. Nettles, N. E. Petro, P. J. Isaacson, S. Besse, and L. A. Taylor (2011), Measuring moonlight: An overview of the spatial properties, lunar coverage, selenolocation and related Level 1B products of the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, J. Geophys. Res., 116, E00G14, doi:10.1029/2010JE003730.

Goswami, J. N., and M. Annadurai, 2009, Chandrayaan-1: India’s first planetary science mission to the moon, Curr. Sci., 96(4), 486491.

Green, R. O., C. M. Pieters, P. Mouroulis, M. Eastwood, J. Boardman, T. Glavich, P. J. Isaacson, M. Annadurai, S. Besse, D. Barr, B. J. Buratti, D. Cate, A. Chatterjee, R. Clark, L. Cheek, J. P. Combe, D. Dhingra, V. Essandoh, S. Geier, J. N. Goswami, R. Green, V. Haemmerle, J. W. Head III, L. Hovland, S. Hyman, R. L. Klima, T. Koch, G. Y. Kramer, A. S. K. Kumar, K. Lee, S. Lundeen, E. Malaret, T. B. McCord, S. McLaughlin, J. F. Mustard, J. W. Nettles, N. E. Petro, K. Plourde, C. Racho, J. Rodriquez, C. Runyon, G. Sellar, C. Smith, H. Sobel, M. I. Staid, J. M. Sunshine, L. A. Taylor, K. Thaisen, S. Tompkins, H. Tseng, G. Vane, P. Varanasi, M. White, and D. Wilson (2011), The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) imaging spectrometer for lunar science: Instrument description, calibration, on-orbit measurements, science data calibration and on-orbit validation, J. Geophys. Res., 116, E00G19, doi: 10.1029/2011JE003797.

Neumann, G. A. (2011) Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter Reduced Data Record and Derived Products Software Interface Specification, version 2.42. See also:

Pieters, C. M., J. N. Goswami, R. N. Clark, M. Annadurai, J. Boardman, B. J. Buratti, J.-P. Combe, M. D. Dyar, R. Green, J. W. Head III, C. A. Hibbitts, M. D. Hicks, P. Isaacson, R. L. Klima, S. Kramer, S. Kumar, E. Livo, S. Lundeen, E. Malaret, T. B. McCord, J. F. Mustard, J. W. Nettles, N. Petro, C. Runyon, M. Staid, J. Sunshine, L. A. Taylor, S. Tompkins, and P. Varanasi (2009), Character and spatial distribution of OH/H2O on the surface of the Moon seen by M3 on Chandrayaan-1, Science, 326, 568-572, doi: 10.1126/science.1178658.

Speyerer, E.J., Robinson, M.S., Denevi, B.W., and the LROC Science Team (2011) Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera global morphological map of the Moon [abs.]: 42nd Lunar Planetary Science Conference, abstract #2387.

Wagner, R. V., Speyerer, E. J., Robinson, M. S., & LROC Team (2015) New Mosaicked Data Products from the LROC Team. 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract #1473.

Malaret, E., A. Battisti, and L. Gaddis (2019) 2019 Status of Geometric Restoration of Moon Mineralogy Mapper data, 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abs. #2816.