The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) during MRO's Primary Science Phase (PSP)

Alfred S. McEwen, Maria E. Banks, Nicole Baugh, Kris Becker, Aaron Boyd, James W. Bergstrom, Ross A. Beyer, Edward Bortolini, Nathan T. Bridges, Shane Byrne, Bradford Castalia, Frank C. Chuang, Larry S. Crumpler, Ingrid Daubar, Alix K. Davatzes, Donald G. Deardorff, Alaina DeJong, W. Alan Delamere, Eldar Noe Dobrea, Colin M. DundasEric M. Eliason, Yisrael Espinoza, Audrie Fennema, Kathryn E. Fishbaugh, Terry Forrester, Paul E. Geissler, John A. Grant, Jennifer L. Griffes, John P. Grotzinger, Virginia C. Gulick, Candice J. Hansen, Kenneth E. Herkenhoff, Rodney Heyd, Windy L. Jaeger, Dean Jones, Bob Kanefsky, Laszlo Keszthelyi, Robert King, Randolph L. Kirk, Kelly J. Kolb, Jeffrey Lasco, Alexandra Lefort, Richard Leis, Kevin W. Lewis, Sara Martinez-Alonso, Sarah Mattson, Guy McArthur, Michael T. Mellon, Joannah M. Metz, Moses P. Milazzo, Ralph E. Milliken, Tahirih Motazedian, Chris H. Okubo, Albert Ortiz, Andrea J. Philippoff, Joseph Plassmann, Anjani Polit, Patrick S. Russell, Christian Schaller, Mindi L. Searls, Timothy Spriggs, Steven W. Squyres, Steven Tarr, Nicolas Thomas, Bradley J. Thomson, Livio L. Tornabene, Charlie Van Houten, Circe Verba, Catherine M. Weitz, James J. Wray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) acquired 8 terapixels of data in 9137 images of Mars between October 2006 and December 2008, covering ∼0.55% of the surface. Images are typically 5-6 km wide with 3-color coverage over the central 20% of the swath, and their scales usually range from 25 to 60 cm/pixel. Nine hundred and sixty stereo pairs were acquired and more than 50 digital terrain models (DTMs) completed; these data have led to some of the most significant science results. New methods to measure and correct distortions due to pointing jitter facilitate topographic and change-detection studies at sub-meter scales. Recent results address Noachian bedrock stratigraphy, fluvially deposited fans in craters and in or near Valles Marineris, groundwater flow in fractures and porous media, quasi-periodic layering in polar and non-polar deposits, tectonic history of west Candor Chasma, geometry of clay-rich deposits near and within Mawrth Vallis, dynamics of flood lavas in the Cerberus Palus region, evidence for pyroclastic deposits, columnar jointing in lava flows, recent collapse pits, evidence for water in well-preserved impact craters, newly discovered large rayed craters, and glacial and periglacial processes. Of particular interest are ongoing processes such as those driven by the wind, impact cratering, avalanches of dust and/or frost, relatively bright deposits on steep gullied slopes, and the dynamic seasonal processes over polar regions. HiRISE has acquired hundreds of large images of past, present and potential future landing sites and has contributed to scientific and engineering studies of those sites. Warming the focal-plane electronics prior to imaging has mitigated an instrument anomaly that produces bad data under cold operating conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-37
Number of pages36
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Image processing
  • Mars
  • climate
  • polar geology
  • surface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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