I often work with the programmatic manipulation of images and 3d environments in my work at an engineering firm. Out of pure curiosity I was wondering about the Venera mission data format. I read that the landers sent data transmissions and that images were included.

I wanted to understand the data format but can find very little information. Was the image sent as a mosaic of pixels in some way? Was it effectively a television image broadcast on a different frequency (as with TIROS I)? Searching for answers has me trying to understand how magnetic tape is used to store image data as a possible way to understand what the thinking would have been.

I came across this, http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc1989/pdf/1024.pdf but it says very little.

Sending images over the local phone network, once slow and pixelated, seemed to take a decade before it worked right on our phones. How did the Russians manage this from Venus?


1 Answer 1


After a lot of looking, I found http://mentallandscape.com/C_CatalogVenus.htm

"A digital video signal was transmitted from the lander to the orbiting main spacecraft and recorded on tape. It consisted of 6 bits per pixel (plus a 7th parity bit) encoding a logarithmic brightness value. Each scanline consists of 128 pixels, 11 of which are calibration and synchronization sent during the return stroke of the scanner. This was relayed in real time and retransmitted a few times from the tape recording."

The pixelation is evident in the early images: http://mentallandscape.com/C_Venera09_Processed.jpg

The site has some interesting photos (scans) from the orbiter as well. enter image description here


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