Viking Bistatic Radar Observations of the Hellas Basin on Mars: Preliminary Results

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Science  05 Jan 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4375, pp. 45-46
DOI: 10.1126/science.203.4375.45


Preliminary reduction of Viking bistatic radar data gives root-mean-square surface slopes in the Hellas basin on Mars of about 4° on horizontal scales averaged over 10 centimeters to 100 meters. This roughness decreases slightly with position along the ground track, south to north. The dielectric constant in this area appears to be approximately 3.1, greater than the martian average. These values are characteristic of lunar maria and are similar to those found near the Viking lander site in Chryse with the use of Earth-based radar.