Abstract The establishment of a lunar control network is one of the core tasks in selenodesy, in which defining an absolute control point on the Moon is the most important step. However, up to now, the number of absolute control points has been very sparse. These absolute control points have mainly been lunar laser ranging retroreflectors, whose geographical location can be observed by observations on Earth and also identified in high resolution lunar satellite images. The Chang’e-3 (CE-3) probe successfully landed on the Moon, and its geographical location has been monitored by an observing station on Earth. Since its positional accuracy is expected to reach the meter level, the CE-3 landing site can become a new high precision absolute control point. We use a sequence of images taken from the landing camera, as well as satellite images taken by CE-1 and CE-2, to identify the location of the CE-3 lander. With its geographical location known, the CE-3 landing site can be established as a new absolute control point, which will effectively expand the current area of the lunar absolute control network by 22%, and can greatly facilitate future research in the field of lunar surveying and mapping, as well as selenodesy.
Keywords Moon — methods: data analysis — techniques: image processing
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