Digital terrain mapping by the OSIRIS-REx mission

O. S. Barnouin, M. G. Daly, E. E. Palmer, C. L. Johnson, R. W. Gaskell, M. Al Asad, E. B. Bierhaus, K. L. Craft, C. M. Ernst, R. C. Espiritu, H. Nair, G. A. Neumann, L. Nguyen, M. C. Nolan, E. Mazarico, M. E. Perry, L. C. Philpott, J. H. Roberts, R. J. Steele, J. SeabrookH. C.M. Susorney, J. R. Weirich, D. S. Lauretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security–Regolith Explorer mission will return a sample to Earth from asteroid (101955) Bennu. Digital terrain models (DTMs) of the asteroid, and products enabled by them, are key to understanding the origin and evolution of the asteroid, providing geological and geophysical context for the sample, maximizing the amount of sample returned, navigating the spacecraft, and ensuring the safety of the spacecraft during sampling. The mission has two approaches for producing these DTMs: a camera-based approach and a lidar-based approach. We provide an overview of the methods used for these two approaches and how they fit into the originally planned mission. We also discuss a summary of tests using these plans to evaluate the expected performance of the DTMs and describe the data products derived from them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104764
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • (101955) bennu
  • Asteroid shapes
  • Digital terrain models
  • Laser altimetry
  • OSIRIS-REx mission
  • Stereophotoclinometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Barnouin, O. S., Daly, M. G., Palmer, E. E., Johnson, C. L., Gaskell, R. W., Al Asad, M., ... Lauretta, D. S. (Accepted/In press). Digital terrain mapping by the OSIRIS-REx mission. Planetary and Space Science, [104764].