(Including Aircraft Underflights)



Prepared By








October / 1969





(Including Aircraft Underflights)



October 1969



Submitted by

Mapping Sciences Laboratory

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Manned Spacecraft Center





            Prepared for NASA Earth Resources Division by the Mapping Sciences Laboratory, Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas and the Lockheed Electronics Company, Houston Aerospace Division under contract NAS 9-5191 (in response to Job Order 60-114, Action Document 114.24-4, Apollo 9 Preliminary Screening)





            This paper is a plotting and indexing report of the Apollo 9, 16mm, 70mm handheld, and multi-spectral photographs and photographs taken by under-flying aircraft.  The methods used to plot and index the photographs are described for each type of photography.  The catalogues and index maps of the photographs are appendices to the report.













    A                             INTRODUCTION    


1.      Background

2.      Objective

3.      Plan of Report


    B                             DISCUSSION


1.      Spacecraft photographs, 70mm

a.      Plotting

b.      Cataloguing

2.      Spacecraft photographs 16mm

a.      Plotting

b.      Cataloguing

3.      Aircraft Underflight Photographs

a.      Plotting

b.      Cataloguing


     C                            CONCLUSIONS


APPENDIX  A           Apollo 9 70mm Spacecraft Photographic Catalogue and Photographic Index Maps.


APPENDIX  B           Apollo 9 16mm Spacecraft Photographic Catalogue


APPENDIX  C           Apollo 9 Mission Aircraft Underflight Catalogue and Underflight Index Maps.


(The applicable appendices have been added to the online catalog and are not included in online version of this report.)






The photographs from each spacecraft mission are cataloged and indexed to provide reference, of the available photographs, to the public and scientific community.  Each mission produces hundreds of photographs which are useful for many different types of discipline studies.  As the number of photographic frames grows, it becomes increasingly more important to catalogue and index the photographs.



The objective of this report is to provide a catalogue and index of the earth-view photographs taken from Apollo 9 and from supporting aircrafts flown during the Apollo 9 mission.  The report includes pertinent photographic parameters, e.g. film, filter, altitude, etc., that may be helpful to users in evaluating the images and extracting useful data for analyses.

Plan of Report

The report, catalogue, and index are divided into sections by photographic platform, with subdivisions according to film size or sensor type.  The text of the report describes the procedures and data content of the catalogues.  The various types of photographic catalogues and index maps are included as appendices to the report.



1. Spacecraft photographs, 70mm

a. Plotting

The photographs are plotted on ACIC Operational Navigation and World Aeronautical Charts (ONC, WAC) at a scale of 1:1,000,000.  The plotting was accomplished by comparing the topographic and planimetric detail of the photographs to the maps and marking the maps where the principal point is located.  The principal point of the cross-hairs of a clear overlay placed over the 70mm contact film transparency.

Figures 1 and 2 are index maps published by the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center displaying the sequence and location of the Operational Navigation Chart series throughout the world.  These maps, compiled at 1:1,000,000 scale were used to determine the coordinates of the principal points for Apollo 9, photographs.  World Aeronautical Charts were used for plotting where ONCís were lacking.  The above circumstances were seldom, and do not justify the incorporation of a WAC index in this publication.

The photographs were also plotted on portions of the Army Map Service Apollo Earth Landmark Index map, scale 1:20,000,000 and reproduced at a reduced scale as Appendix A to this report, entitled Apollo 9 70mm Spacecraft Photographic Index Maps.  The individual frame borders and numbers are delineated on the index maps.  Where the frames overlap considerably, the frame numbers and borders are grouped together.


b. Cataloguing

The salient features of the photographic data were recorded in a tabular form as reproduced in Appendix A.  A brief discussion follows of how the information of the various columns of the catalogues was obtained.


Frame Number

The frame number is the number assigned to each frame by the NASA Photo Technology Laboratory, MSC, Houston. The prefix is recorded only once at the top of each page.

The SO-65 multi-spectral photographic experiment equipment consisted of four cameras, each with its own film, filter combination, exposure, shutter speed, and focus (figure 3).  The four magazines are listed in the catalogue as one, based upon simultaneous exposure of the four films, (see figure 4).  The coordinates for each of the other film/filter combinations will vary slightly. 

Because of the difference in the thickness of the film base of the color infrared, black and white infrared and the black and white 3400 Panatomic-X films, the number of frames per magazine varied.  A notation is made in the catalogue at the end of each film type.



The date represents the day the photograph was taken, with reference to   Cape Kennedy time.


Principal Point

The principal point was located by plotting the center point of the frame on a base map.  The coordinates of the principal points of some photographs are approximate because of insufficient base map detail, cloud cover or poor imagery.  For those photographs where the coordinates of the principal point could not be plotted, the nadir point of the camera is recorded in the principal point column.  The nadir point could only be recorded if the flight crew logs and telemetry data could be correlated with that particular frame.


Percent Overlap

Percent of overlap, for stereoscopic viewing, was obtained using a grid with the image area divided into ten equal portions.  The grid, when placed on each succeeding frame, was used to make a visual estimation of the percent of overlapping photographic coverage from the preceding frame of photography.


Image Evaluation

The image evaluation column contains a qualitative ranking of the relative exposure quality of the photograph.  Three terms are used:  light, normal, and dark representing over-exposure, proper exposure, and under exposure.  The photographic content requirements of users of the photographs will vary, e.g. meteorologists want the clouds enhanced, agriculturalists want the ground enhanced.  When ordering photographs, the user should take into account the condition of the original image and specify in detail his requirements so that the reproduction can be enhanced to meet those requirements.


Sun Elevation

The column pertaining to Sun evaluation lists by frame the degree of sun elevation at the time of exposure.



The GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) column contains the GMT for the approximate spacecraft nadir position at the instant of each exposure, expressed in hours and minutes.



The altitude column refers to the spacecraft altitude in nautical miles.  The information for this column was obtained from the predicted mission trajectory data furnished by the Mission Planning and Analysis Division, MSC.  The altitude recorded in the catalogue for each frame is only an approximation, since the camera shutter was not electronically connected to the spacecraft computer.



The particular ONC or WAC base map that was used to plot the principal point is recorded in the ONC/WAC column.


Percent Cloud Cover

The percent cloud cover was estimated by overlaying each photograph with a clear film grid which subdivides the image area into 100 squares.  A visual estimation was then made as to the percent of the image area covered by clouds.


Viewing Mode

All photographs of the SO-65 experiment were exposed under the mission constraint requiring no more than a + - 5 degree angle off nadir, with the exception of the first two frames which are limb shots.  The handheld photographs were constrained by a + - 15 degree off nadir viewing angle.  Exceptions occurred as requested by principal investigators.  The viewing mode column denotes which frames were taken in the near vertical or oblique mode of operation.



The descriptions of the individual frames are presented in brief form using the current list of scientific discipline categories for the Earth Resource Program.  These brief descriptions are included to aid the photographic analyst in his search for a specific discipline occurrence within each frame.  In the event a given discipline does not appear to be contained within the frame limits, that discipline category was excluded from the frame description column.  The descriptions for each frame are short, general statements.  They are based upon visual inspection of the 70mm film positive with the aid of magnification devices.  Only those discipline aspects which were most apparent to the evaluator were described.  The location of the desired disciplines, within the frame, has been denoted only geographically and not by coordinates.

The closely related characteristics of Geography to Cartography and Geology to Hydrology, make it most convenient to combine them into one description.  The other disciplines were Agriculture, Forestry, Meteorology and Oceanography.

Photographs of cloud formations which could be correlated to orbit and regional location have been recorded in the description column.  It should be remembered that these correlations are approximate since the camera shutter was not electronically connected to the spacecraft telemetry system.


2. Spacecraft Photographs, 16mm

During the Apollo 9 Mission, the astronaut crew exposed eleven magazines of 16mm color movie film over selected targets of opportunity.  Much of the photography was highly cloud covered and oblique in nature.  The photographic strips contain imagery of possible value to the earth resource scientific community and the spacecraft engineering and operational groups and other type of film/filter combinations at different altitudes.  The user can correlate and compare the images for details of resolution and tonal similarities.  Ground truth displays can be studied, e.g. standard color panels and bar targets, as well as comparison of multi-altitude photographs for forest or agriculture identification and yields analyses.

Aircraft underflights with several film/filter combinations, film sizes, and camera types were flown during the Apollo 9 spacecraft mission.  The photographs are tabulated in groups according to locality and film/filter combination.

a. Plotting

The aircraft photographs are plotted on 1:250,000 scale Army Map Service topographic maps and 1:62,500 scale U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps where the complexity of the plotting detail require a larger base map.  The photographic index plots on the topographic maps are reproduced in Appendix C.

b. Cataloguing

The catalogue of the aircraft underflights is tabulated in  Appendix C and each column are briefly described as to how the data was used below.


Frame Number

The photographs are arranged numerically by the frame number inscribed by the processing laboratory.  The frame numbers on the SO-180 infrared color film for the Wilcox Dry Lake and Cochise area are numbered for cataloguing by the Mapping Sciences Laboratory.



            The altitude data recorded is the height in feet of the aircraft above the terrain, rather than the altitude above mean sea level.



            The scale recorded is derived from the photo distance divided by the ground distance.


1:250,000 Map Number

            This column is the map number of the Army Map Service 1:250,000 scale topographic series on which many of the flight lines are plotted and reproduced in Appendix C.


Other Map Sources Used

            This column is the map number of the U.S. Geological Survey 1:62,500 scale topographic map used for plotting the complex aircraft coverage.  Photographs plotted on these base maps are reproduced in Appendix C.  Where necessary, current local service station highway maps were used to help identify image detail.



            This column records a brief location identification of the photographs and/or flight lines to aid the user in locating the aircraft photography.

            While every effort has been made to plot the photographs and record the data accurately, errors may have been occurred.  Correlation of the coverage plots with the principal or nadir points and the descriptions should give the user sufficient accuracy for screening purposes.  Users are invited to indicate errors, so that they may be corrected.

c. Conclusions

The information contained in this report should help the scientist in selecting the frames best suited to his needs, and provide him with the basic data about those selected frames to aid in the analysis of photography.

It is expected that there will be a continued demand for Apollo photography for scientific analysis; and to those scientists, the data and information in this report should be invaluable in the initial stages of their investigations.







                         APOLLO 9 70MM SPACECRAFT PHOTOGRAPHIC


                  CATALOGUE AND INDEX MAPS

NASA Responsible Official: William Stefanov    |    Curator:    |    Contributers: Earth Sciences Web Team    |    Terms of Use    |    Policies & Contacts
Server: 1