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Sample records for reconnaissance orbiter miniature

  1. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Miniature Radio Frequency (Mini-RF) Technology Demonstration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nozette, Stewart; Spudis, Paul; Bussey, Ben; Jensen, Robert; Raney, Keith; Winters, Helene; Lichtenberg, Christopher L.; Marinelli, William; Crusan, Jason; Gates, Michele; Robinson, Mark

    2010-01-01

    The Miniature Radio Frequency (Mini-RF) system is manifested on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) as a technology demonstration and an extended mission science instrument. Mini-RF represents a significant step forward in spaceborne RF technology and architecture. It combines synthetic aperture radar (SAR) at two wavelengths (S-band and X-band) and two resolutions (150 m and 30 m) with interferometric and communications functionality in one lightweight (16 kg) package. Previous radar observations (Earth-based, and one bistatic data set from Clementine) of the permanently shadowed regions of the lunar poles seem to indicate areas of high circular polarization ratio (CPR) consistent with volume scattering from volatile deposits (e.g. water ice) buried at shallow (0.1-1 m) depth, but only at unfavorable viewing geometries, and with inconclusive results. The LRO Mini-RF utilizes new wideband hybrid polarization architecture to measure the Stokes parameters of the reflected signal. These data will help to differentiate “true” volumetric ice reflections from “false” returns due to angular surface regolith. Additional lunar science investigations (e.g. pyroclastic deposit characterization) will also be attempted during the LRO extended mission. LRO’s lunar operations will be contemporaneous with India’s Chandrayaan-1, which carries the Forerunner Mini-SAR (S-band wavelength and 150-m resolution), and bistatic radar (S-Band) measurements may be possible. On orbit calibration, procedures for LRO Mini-RF have been validated using Chandrayaan 1 and ground-based facilities (Arecibo and Greenbank Radio Observatories).

  2. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission Highlights

    NASA Video Gallery

    Since launch on June 18, 2009 as a precursor mission, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has remained in orbit around the moon, collecting vast amounts of science data in support of NASA's expl...

  3. Orbit Determination of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mazarico, Erwan; Rowlands, D. D.; Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Torrence, M. H.; Lemoine, F. G.; Zuber, M. T.

    2011-01-01

    We present the results on precision orbit determination from the radio science investigation of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft. We describe the data, modeling and methods used to achieve position knowledge several times better than the required 50-100m (in total position), over the period from 13 July 2009 to 31 January 2011. In addition to the near-continuous radiometric tracking data, we include altimetric data from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) in the form of crossover measurements, and show that they strongly improve the accuracy of the orbit reconstruction (total position overlap differences decrease from approx.70m to approx.23 m). To refine the spacecraft trajectory further, we develop a lunar gravity field by combining the newly acquired LRO data with the historical data. The reprocessing of the spacecraft trajectory with that model shows significantly increased accuracy (approx.20m with only the radiometric data, and approx.14m with the addition of the altimetric crossovers). LOLA topographic maps and calibration data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera were used to supplement the results of the overlap analysis and demonstrate the trajectory accuracy.

  4. Overview of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mateer, B.; Graf, J.; Zurek, R.; Jones, R.; Eisen, H.; Johnston, M.; Jai, D. B.

    2002-01-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will deliver to Mars orbit a payload to conduct remote sensing science observations, characterize sites for future landers, and provide critical telecom/navigation relay capability for follow-on missions.

  5. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Wrapper Script

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gladden, Roy; Fisher, Forest; Khanampornpan, Teerapat

    2008-01-01

    The MRO OLVM wrapper script software allows Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) sequence and spacecraft engineers to rapidly simulate a spacecraft command product through a tool that simulates the onboard sequence management software (OLVM). This script parses sequence files to determine the appropriate time boundaries for the sequence, and constructs the script file to be executed by OLVM to span the entirety of the designated sequence. It then constructs script files to be executed by OLVM, constructs the appropriate file directories, populates these directories with needed input files, initiates OLVM to simulate the actual command product that will be sent to the spacecraft, and captures the results of the simulation run to an external file for later review. Additionally, the tool allows a user to manually construct the script, if desired, and then execute the script with a simple command line.

  6. LROC - Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, M. S.; Eliason, E.; Hiesinger, H.; Jolliff, B. L.; McEwen, A.; Malin, M. C.; Ravine, M. A.; Thomas, P. C.; Turtle, E. P.

    2009-12-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) went into lunar orbit on 23 June 2009. The LRO Camera (LROC) acquired its first lunar images on June 30 and commenced full scale testing and commissioning on July 10. The LROC consists of two narrow-angle cameras (NACs) that provide 0.5 m scale panchromatic images over a combined 5 km swath, and a wide-angle camera (WAC) to provide images at a scale of 100 m per pixel in five visible wavelength bands (415, 566, 604, 643, and 689 nm) and 400 m per pixel in two ultraviolet bands (321 nm and 360 nm) from the nominal 50 km orbit. Early operations were designed to test the performance of the cameras under all nominal operating conditions and provided a baseline for future calibrations. Test sequences included off-nadir slews to image stars and the Earth, 90° yaw sequences to collect flat field calibration data, night imaging for background characterization, and systematic mapping to test performance. LRO initially was placed into a terminator orbit resulting in images acquired under low signal conditions. Over the next three months the incidence angle at the spacecraft’s equator crossing gradually decreased towards high noon, providing a range of illumination conditions. Several hundred south polar images were collected in support of impact site selection for the LCROSS mission; details can be seen in many of the shadows. Commissioning phase images not only proved the instruments’ overall performance was nominal, but also that many geologic features of the lunar surface are well preserved at the meter-scale. Of particular note is the variety of impact-induced morphologies preserved in a near pristine state in and around kilometer-scale and larger young Copernican age impact craters that include: abundant evidence of impact melt of a variety of rheological properties, including coherent flows with surface textures and planimetric properties reflecting supersolidus (e.g., liquid melt) emplacement, blocks delicately perched on

  7. Collaborating miniature drones for surveillance and reconnaissance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bürkle, Axel

    2009-09-01

    The use of miniature Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), e.g. quadrocopters, has gained great popularity over the last years. Some complex application scenarios for micro UAVs call for the formation of swarms of multiple drones. In this paper a platform for the creation of such swarms is presented. It consists of commercial quadrocopters enhanced with on-board processing and communication units enabling autonomy of individual drones. Furthermore, a generic ground control station has been realized. Different co-operation strategies for teams of UAVs are currently evaluated with an agent based simulation tool. Finally, complex application scenarios for multiple micro UAVs are presented.

  8. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) instrument overview

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robinson, M.S.; Brylow, S.M.; Tschimmel, M.; Humm, D.; Lawrence, S.J.; Thomas, P.C.; Denevi, B.W.; Bowman-Cisneros, E.; Zerr, J.; Ravine, M.A.; Caplinger, M.A.; Ghaemi, F.T.; Schaffner, J.A.; Malin, M.C.; Mahanti, P.; Bartels, A.; Anderson, J.; Tran, T.N.; Eliason, E.M.; McEwen, A.S.; Turtle, E.; Jolliff, B.L.; Hiesinger, H.

    2010-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and Narrow Angle Cameras (NACs) are on the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The WAC is a 7-color push-frame camera (100 and 400 m/pixel visible and UV, respectively), while the two NACs are monochrome narrow-angle linescan imagers (0.5 m/pixel). The primary mission of LRO is to obtain measurements of the Moon that will enable future lunar human exploration. The overarching goals of the LROC investigation include landing site identification and certification, mapping of permanently polar shadowed and sunlit regions, meter-scale mapping of polar regions, global multispectral imaging, a global morphology base map, characterization of regolith properties, and determination of current impact hazards.

  9. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Orbit Determination Accuracy Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slojkowski, Steven E.

    2014-01-01

    Results from operational OD produced by the NASA Goddard Flight Dynamics Facility for the LRO nominal and extended mission are presented. During the LRO nominal mission, when LRO flew in a low circular orbit, orbit determination requirements were met nearly 100% of the time. When the extended mission began, LRO returned to a more elliptical frozen orbit where gravity and other modeling errors caused numerous violations of mission accuracy requirements. Prediction accuracy is particularly challenged during periods when LRO is in full-Sun. A series of improvements to LRO orbit determination are presented, including implementation of new lunar gravity models, improved spacecraft solar radiation pressure modeling using a dynamic multi-plate area model, a shorter orbit determination arc length, and a constrained plane method for estimation. The analysis presented in this paper shows that updated lunar gravity models improved accuracy in the frozen orbit, and a multiplate dynamic area model improves prediction accuracy during full-Sun orbit periods. Implementation of a 36-hour tracking data arc and plane constraints during edge-on orbit geometry also provide benefits. A comparison of the operational solutions to precision orbit determination solutions shows agreement on a 100- to 250-meter level in definitive accuracy.

  10. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Orbit Determination Accuracy Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slojkowski, Steven E.

    2014-01-01

    LRO definitive and predictive accuracy requirements were easily met in the nominal mission orbit, using the LP150Q lunar gravity model. center dot Accuracy of the LP150Q model is poorer in the extended mission elliptical orbit. center dot Later lunar gravity models, in particular GSFC-GRAIL-270, improve OD accuracy in the extended mission. center dot Implementation of a constrained plane when the orbit is within 45 degrees of the Earth-Moon line improves cross-track accuracy. center dot Prediction accuracy is still challenged during full-Sun periods due to coarse spacecraft area modeling - Implementation of a multi-plate area model with definitive attitude input can eliminate prediction violations. - The FDF is evaluating using analytic and predicted attitude modeling to improve full-Sun prediction accuracy. center dot Comparison of FDF ephemeris file to high-precision ephemeris files provides gross confirmation that overlap compares properly assess orbit accuracy.

  11. Mission Design for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beckman, Mark

    2007-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) will be the first mission under NASA's Vision for Space Exploration. LRO will fly in a low 50 km mean altitude lunar polar orbit. LRO will utilize a direct minimum energy lunar transfer and have a launch window of three days every two weeks. The launch window is defined by lunar orbit beta angle at times of extreme lighting conditions. This paper will define the LRO launch window and the science and engineering constraints that drive it. After lunar orbit insertion, LRO will be placed into a commissioning orbit for up to 60 days. This commissioning orbit will be a low altitude quasi-frozen orbit that minimizes stationkeeping costs during commissioning phase. LRO will use a repeating stationkeeping cycle with a pair of maneuvers every lunar sidereal period. The stationkeeping algorithm will bound LRO altitude, maintain ground station contact during maneuvers, and equally distribute periselene between northern and southern hemispheres. Orbit determination for LRO will be at the 50 m level with updated lunar gravity models. This paper will address the quasi-frozen orbit design, stationkeeping algorithms and low lunar orbit determination.

  12. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Interplanetary Cruise Navigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    You, Tung-Han; Graat, Eric; Halsell, Allen; Highsmith, Dolan; Long, Stacia; Bhat, Ram; Demcak, Stuart; Higa, Earl; Mottinger, Neil; Jah, Moriba

    2007-01-01

    Carrying six science instruments and three engineering payloads, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is the first mission in a low Mars orbit to characterize the surface, subsurface, and atmospheric properties with unprecedented detail. After a seven-month interplanetary cruise, MRO arrived at Mars executing a 1.0 km/s Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI) maneuver. MRO achieved a 430 km periapsis altitude with the final orbit solution indicating that only 10 km was attributable to navigation prediction error. With the last interplanetary maneuver performed four months before MOI, this was a significant accomplishment. This paper describes the navigation analyses and results during the 210-day interplanetary cruise. As of August 2007 MRO has returned more than 18 Terabits of scientific data in support of the objectives set by the Mars Exploration Program (MEP). The robust and exceptional interplanetary navigation performance paved the way for a successful MRO mission.

  13. Stationkeeping for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beckman, Mark; Lamb, Rivers

    2007-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is scheduled to launch in 2008 as the first mission under NASA's Vision for Space Exploration. Follo wing several weeks in a quasi-frozen commissioning orbit, LRO will fl y in a 50 km mean altitude lunar polar orbit. During the one year mis sion duration, the orbital dynamics of a low lunar orbit force LRO to perform periodic sets of stationkeeping maneuvers. This paper explor es the characteristics of low lunar orbits and explains how the LRO s tationkeeping plan is designed to accommodate the dynamics in such an orbit. The stationkeeping algorithm used for LRO must meet five miss ion constraints. These five constraints are to maintain ground statio n contact during maneuvers, to control the altitude variation of the orbit, to distribute periselene equally between northern and southern hemispheres, to match eccentricity at the beginning and the end of the sidereal period, and to minimize stationkeeping (Delta)V. This pape r addresses how the maneuver plan for LRO is designed to meet all of the above constraints.

  14. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter: Goals and Status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, John

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is the first mission under NASA's Vision for Space Exploration, a plan to return to the moon and eventually to Mars. LRO will launch late this year to conduct the exploration phase of the mission under NASA's Exploration Mission Directorate. The exploration phase will last one year, after which the mission will be transferred to NASA's Science Mission Directorate for the science phase. LRO will employ six individual instruments to produce accurate maps and high-resolution images of future landing sites, to assess potential lunar resources, and to characterize the radiation environment. LRO will also test the feasibility of one advanced technology demonstration package. This presentation will give an introduction to each of these instruments and an overview of their objectives.

  15. Thermal Model Correlation for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Amundsen, Ruth M.; Dec, John A.; Gasbarre, Joseph F.

    2007-01-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) launched on August 12, 2005 and began aerobraking at Mars in March 2006. In order to save propellant, MRO used aerobraking to modify the initial orbit at Mars. The spacecraft passed through the atmosphere briefly on each orbit; during each pass the spacecraft was slowed by atmospheric drag, thus lowering the orbit apoapsis. The largest area on the spacecraft, most affected by aeroheating, was the solar arrays. A thermal analysis of the solar arrays was conducted at NASA Langley Research Center to simulate their performance throughout the entire roughly 6-month period of aerobraking. A companion paper describes the development of this thermal model. This model has been correlated against many sets of flight data. Several maneuvers were performed during the cruise to Mars, such as thruster calibrations, which involve large abrupt changes in the spacecraft orientation relative to the sun. The data obtained from these maneuvers allowed the model to be well-correlated with regard to thermal mass, conductive connections, and solar response well before arrival at the planet. Correlation against flight data for both in-cruise maneuvers and drag passes was performed. Adjustments made to the model included orientation during the drag pass, solar flux, Martian surface temperature, through-array resistance, aeroheating gradient due to angle of attack, and aeroheating accommodation coefficient. Methods of correlation included comparing the model to flight temperatures, slopes, temperature deltas between sensors, and solar and planet direction vectors. Correlation and model accuracy over 400 aeroheating drag passes were determined, with overall model accuracy better than 5 C.

  16. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Accelerometer Experiment Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keating, G. M.; Bougher, S. W.; Theriot, M. E.; Zurek, R. W.; Blanchard, R. C.; Tolson, R. H.; Murphy, J. R.

    2007-05-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) launched on August 12, 2005, designed for aerobraking, achieved Mars Orbital Insertion (MOI), March 10, 2006. Atmospheric density decreases exponentially with increasing height. By small propulsive adjustments of the apoapsis orbital velocity, periapsis altitude is fine tuned to the density surface that safely used the atmosphere of Mars to aerobrake over 400 orbits. MRO periapsis precessed from the South Pole at 6pm LST to near the equator at 3am LST. Meanwhile, apoapsis was brought dramatically from 40,000km at MOI to 460 km at aerobraking completion (ABX) August 30, 2006. After ABX, a few small propulsive maneuvers established the Primary Science Orbit (PSO), which without aerobraking would have required an additional 400 kg of fuel. Each of the 400 plus aerobraking orbits provided a vertical structure and distribution of density, scale heights, and temperatures, along the orbital path, providing key in situ insight into various upper atmosphere (greater than 100 km) processes. One of the major questions for scientists studying Mars is: "Where did the water go?" Honeywell's substantially improved electronics package for its IMU (QA-2000 accelerometer, gyro, electronics) maximized accelerometer sensitivities at the requests of The George Washington University, JPL, and Lockheed Martin. The improved accelerometer sensitivities allowed density measurements to exceed 200km, at least 40 km higher than with Mars Odyssey (MO). This extended vertical structures from MRO into the neutral lower exosphere, a region where various processes may allow atmospheric gasses to escape. Over the eons, water may have been lost in both near the surface and in the upper atmosphere. Thus the water balance throughout the entire atmosphere from subsurface to exosphere may both be critical. Comparisons of data from Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), MO and MRO help characterize key temporal and spatial cycles including: winter polar warming, planetary scale

  17. Addressing terrain masking in orbital reconnaissance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehta, Sharad; Cico, Luke

    2012-06-01

    During aerial orbital reconnaissance, a sensor system is mounted on an airborne platform for imaging a region on the ground. The latency between the image acquisition and delivery of information to the end-user is critical and must be minimized. Due to fine ground pixel resolution and a large field-of-view for wide-area surveillance applications, a massive volume of data is gathered and imagery products are formed using a real-time multi-processor system. The images are taken at oblique angles, stabilized and ortho-rectified. The line-of-sight of the sensor to the ground is often interrupted by terrain features such as mountains or tall structures as depicted in Figure1. The ortho-rectification process renders the areas hidden from the line-of sight of the sensor with spurious information. This paper discusses an approach for addressing terrain masking in size, weight, and power (SWaP) and memory-restricted onboard processing systems.

  18. Calibration of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tschimmel, M.; Robinson, M. S.; Humm, D. C.; Denevi, B. W.; Lawrence, S. J.; Brylow, S.; Ravine, M.; Ghaemi, T.

    2008-12-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) onboard the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft consists of three cameras: the Wide-Angle Camera (WAC) and two identical Narrow Angle Cameras (NAC-L, NAC-R). The WAC is push-frame imager with 5 visible wavelength filters (415 to 680 nm) at a spatial resolution of 100 m/pixel and 2 UV filters (315 and 360 nm) with a resolution of 400 m/pixel. In addition to the multicolor imaging the WAC can operate in monochrome mode to provide a global large- incidence angle basemap and a time-lapse movie of the illumination conditions at both poles. The WAC has a highly linear response, a read noise of 72 e- and a full well capacity of 47,200 e-. The signal-to-noise ratio in each band is 140 in the worst case. There are no out-of-band leaks and the spectral response of each filter is well characterized. Each NAC is a monochrome pushbroom scanner, providing images with a resolution of 50 cm/pixel from a 50-km orbit. A single NAC image has a swath width of 2.5 km and a length of up to 26 km. The NACs are mounted to acquire side-by-side imaging for a combined swath width of 5 km. The NAC is designed to fully characterize future human and robotic landing sites in terms of topography and hazard risks. The North and South poles will be mapped on a 1-meter-scale poleward of 85.5° latitude. Stereo coverage can be provided by pointing the NACs off-nadir. The NACs are also highly linear. Read noise is 71 e- for NAC-L and 74 e- for NAC-R and the full well capacity is 248,500 e- for NAC-L and 262,500 e- for NAC- R. The focal lengths are 699.6 mm for NAC-L and 701.6 mm for NAC-R; the system MTF is 28% for NAC-L and 26% for NAC-R. The signal-to-noise ratio is at least 46 (terminator scene) and can be higher than 200 (high sun scene). Both NACs exhibit a straylight feature, which is caused by out-of-field sources and is of a magnitude of 1-3%. However, as this feature is well understood it can be greatly reduced during ground

  19. Precision Orbit Determination for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemoine, F. G.; Mazarico, E.; Rowlands, D. D.; Torrence, M. H.; McGarry, J. F.; Neumann, G. A.; Mao, D.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2010-05-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft was launched on June 18, 2009. In mid-September 2009, the spacecraft orbit was changed from its commissioning orbit (30 x 216 km polar) to a quasi-frozen polar orbit with an average altitude of 50km (+-15km). One of the goals of the LRO mission is to develop a new lunar reference frame to facilitate future exploration. Precision Orbit Determination is used to achieve the accuracy requirements, and to precisely geolocate the high-resolution datasets obtained by the LRO instruments. In addition to the tracking data most commonly used to determine spacecraft orbits in planetary missions (radiometric Range and Doppler), LRO benefits from two other types of orbital constraints, both enabled by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument. The altimetric data collected as the instrument's primary purpose can be used to derive constraints on the orbit geometry at the times of laser groundtrack intersections (crossovers). The multi-beam configuration and high firing-rate of LOLA further improves the strength of these crossovers, compared to what was possible with the MOLA instrument onboard Mars Global Surveyor (MGS). Furthermore, one-way laser ranges (LR) between Earth International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) stations and the spacecraft are made possible by the addition of a small telescope mounted on the spacecraft high-gain antenna. The photons received from Earth are transmitted to one LOLA detector by a fiber optics bundle. Thanks to the accuracy of the LOLA timing system, the precision of 5-s LR normal points is below 10cm. We present the first results of the Precision Orbit Determination (POD) of LRO through the commissioning and nominal phases of the mission. Orbit quality is discussed, and various gravity fields are evaluated with the new (independent) LRO radio tracking data. The altimetric crossovers are used as an independent data type to evaluate the quality of the orbits. The contribution of the LR

  20. Using Mean Orbit Period in Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Maneuver Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chung, Min-Kun J.; Menon, Premkumar R.; Wagner, Sean V.; Williams, Jessica L.

    2014-01-01

    Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has provided communication relays for a number of Mars spacecraft. In 2016 MRO is expected to support a relay for NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) spacecraft. In addition, support may be needed by another mission, ESA's ExoMars EDL Demonstrator Module's (EDM), only 21 days after the InSight coverage. The close proximity of these two events presents a unique challenge to a conventional orbit synchronization maneuver where one deterministic maneuver is executed prior to each relay. Since the two events are close together and the difference in required phasing between InSight and EDM may be up to half an orbit (yielding a large execution error), the downtrack timing error can increase rapidly at the EDM encounter. Thus, a new maneuver strategy that does not require a deterministic maneuver in-between the two events (with only a small statistical cleanup) is proposed in the paper. This proposed strategy rests heavily on the stability of the mean orbital period. The ability to search and set the specified mean period is fundamental in the proposed maneuver design as well as in understanding the scope of the problem. The proposed strategy is explained and its result is used to understand and solve the problem in the flight operations environment.

  1. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Uplink Analysis Tool

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khanampompan, Teerapat; Gladden, Roy; Fisher, Forest; Hwang, Pauline

    2008-01-01

    This software analyzes Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) orbital geometry with respect to Mars Exploration Rover (MER) contact windows, and is the first tool of its kind designed specifically to support MRO-MER interface coordination. Prior to this automated tool, this analysis was done manually with Excel and the UNIX command line. In total, the process would take approximately 30 minutes for each analysis. The current automated analysis takes less than 30 seconds. This tool resides on the flight machine and uses a PHP interface that does the entire analysis of the input files and takes into account one-way light time from another input file. Input flies are copied over to the proper directories and are dynamically read into the tool s interface. The user can then choose the corresponding input files based on the time frame desired for analysis. After submission of the Web form, the tool merges the two files into a single, time-ordered listing of events for both spacecraft. The times are converted to the same reference time (Earth Transmit Time) by reading in a light time file and performing the calculations necessary to shift the time formats. The program also has the ability to vary the size of the keep-out window on the main page of the analysis tool by inputting a custom time for padding each MRO event time. The parameters on the form are read in and passed to the second page for analysis. Everything is fully coded in PHP and can be accessed by anyone with access to the machine via Web page. This uplink tool will continue to be used for the duration of the MER mission's needs for X-band uplinks. Future missions also can use the tools to check overflight times as well as potential site observation times. Adaptation of the input files to the proper format, and the window keep-out times, would allow for other analyses. Any operations task that uses the idea of keep-out windows will have a use for this program.

  2. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Contamination Sensitivity Training

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rivera, Rachel

    2007-01-01

    The following packet is a contamination control training intended for personnel handling or coming to contact with Lunar Reconnaissance Or biter (LRO) flight hardware. This training is being implemented to f amiliarize personnel, coming into contact with LRO hardware, what its contamination sensitivities are and what can be done by all to maint ain its cleanliness levels.

  3. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mini RF System (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nozette, S.

    2009-12-01

    The Miniature Radio Frequency (Mini-RF) system is manifested on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) as a technology demonstration and an extended mission science instrument. Mini-RF represents a significant step forward in space-borne RF technology and architecture. It combines synthetic aperture radar (SAR) at two wavelengths (S and X band) and two resolutions (150 m and 30 m) with interferometric and communications functionality in one lightweight (16kg) package. Previous radar observations (Earth-based, and one bistatic data set from Clementine) of the permanently shadowed regions of the lunar poles seem to indicate areas of high circular polarization ratio (CPR) consistent with volume scattering from volatile deposits (e.g. water ice) buried at shallow (0.1-1 m) depth, but only at unfavorable viewing geometries, and with inconclusive results (ref. 1-5). The LRO Mini-RF utilizes new wide band hybrid polarization architecture to measure the Stokes parameters of the reflected signal. These data will help to differentiate “true” volumetric ice reflections from ”false” returns due to angular surface regolith (ref. 6) . Additional lunar science investigations (e.g. pyroclastic deposit characterization) will also be attempted during the LRO extended mission. LRO’s lunar operations will be contemporaneous with India’s Chandrayaan-1, which carries the Forerunner Mini-SAR (S band wavelength and 150-m resolution). On orbit calibration procedures for LRO Mini RF have been validated using Chandrayaan 1 and ground based facilities (Arecibo and Greenbank Radio Observatories). References: 1) Nozette S. et al. (1996) Science 274, 1495. 2) Simpson R. and Tyler L. (1999) JGR 104, 3845. 3) Nozette S. et al. (2001) JGR 106, 23253. 4) Campbell D. et al., (2006) Nature 443, 835. 5) Feldman W. et al., (2001) JGR 106, 23231. 6) Raney R.K. (2007) IEEE Trans Geosci. Remote Sens. 45, 3397

  4. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Sun Safe Mode

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garrick, Joseph; Roger, J.

    2010-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a spacecraft designed and built at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration s (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD, was launched on June 18, 2009 from Cape Canaveral. It is currently in orbit about the Moon taking detailed science measurements and providing a highly accurate mapping of the suface in preparation for the future return of astronauts to a permanent moon base. Onboard the spacecraft is a complex set of algorithms designed by the attitude control engineers at GSFC to control the pointig for all operational events, including anomalies that require the spacecraft to be put into a well known attitude configuration for a sufficiently long duration to allow for the investigation and correction of the anomaly. GSFC level requirements state that each spacecraft s control system design must include a configuration for this pointing and lso be able to maintain a thermally safe and power positive attitude. This stable control algorithm for anomalous events is commonly referred to as the safe mode and consists of control logic thatwill put the spacecraft in this safe configuration defined by the spacecraft s hardware, power and environment capabilities and limitations. The LRO Sun Safe mode consists of a coarse sun-pointing set of algorithms that puts the spacecraft into this thermally safe and power positive attitude and can be achieved wihin a required amount of time from any initial attitude, provided that the system momentum is within the momentum capability of the reaction wheels. On LRO the Sun Safe mode makes use of coarse sun sensors (CSS), an inertial reference unit (IRU) and reaction wheels (RW) to slew the spacecraft to a solar inertial pointing. The CSS and reaction wheels have some level of redundancy because of their numbers. However, the IRU is a single-point-failure piece of hardware. Without the rate information provided by the IRU, the Sun Safe control algorithms could not

  5. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO): Observations for Lunar Exploration and Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, J. W.; Vondrak, R. R.; Garvin, J.; Chin, G.

    2009-12-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has the objectives of mapping the lunar surface, identifying safe landing sites, searching for resources and measuring the space radiation environment. After launch on June 18, 2009, the LRO spacecraft and instruments were activated and calibrated in an eccentric polar lunar orbit until September 15, when LRO was moved to a circular polar orbit with a mean altitude of 50 km. LRO will operate for at least one year to support the goals of NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), and for at least two years of extended operations for additional lunar science measurements supported by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD). LRO carries six instruments and a technology demonstration. The LRO instruments are: Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER), Diviner Lunar Radiometer Exploration Experiment (DLRE), Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP), Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND), Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA), and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). The technology demonstration is a synthetic aperture radar system (mini-RF). LRO observations also supports the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), the lunar impact mission that was co-manifested with LRO on the Atlas V launch vehicle. This paper describes the LRO objectives and measurements that support exploration of the Moon and that address the science objectives outlined by the National Academy of Science’s report on the Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon (SCEM). We also describe data accessibility by the science community.

  6. Precise Orbit Determination of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and inferred gravity field information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maier, A.; Baur, O.; Krauss, S.

    2014-04-01

    This contribution deals with Precise Orbit Determination of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is tracked with optical laser ranges in addition to radiometric Doppler range-rates and range observations. The optimum parameterization is assessed by overlap analysis tests that indicate the inner precision of the computed orbits. Information about the very long wavelengths of the lunar gravity field is inferred from the spacecraft positions. The NASA software packages GEODYN II and SOLVE were used for orbit determination and gravity field recovery [1].

  7. flexplan: Mission Planning System for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnoy, Assaf; Beech, Theresa

    2013-01-01

    flexplan is a mission planning and scheduling (MPS) tool that uses soft algorithms to define mission scheduling rules and constraints. This allows the operator to configure the tool for any mission without the need to modify or recompile code. In addition, flexplan uses an ID system to track every output on the schedule to the input from which it was generated. This allows flexplan to receive feedback as the schedules are executed, and update the status of all activities in a Web-based client. flexplan outputs include various planning reports, stored command loads for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), ephemeris loads, and pass scripts for automation.

  8. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter: Plans for the Extended Science Phase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vondrak, R. R.; Keller, J. W.; Chin, G.; Garvin, J. B.; Rice, J. W., Jr.; Petro, N. E.

    2012-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft (LRO), launched on June 18, 2009, began with the goal of seeking safe landing sites for future robotic missions or the return of humans to the Moon as part of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD). In addition, LRO's objectives included the search for surface resources and to investigate the Lunar radiation environment. Having marked the two-year anniversary, we will review here the major results from the LRO mission for both exploration and science and discuss plans and objectives going forward including plans for an extended science phase out to 2014.

  9. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Navigation During the Primary Science Phase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Highsmith, Dolan; You, Tung-Han; Demcak, Stuart; Graat, Eric; Higa, Earl; Long, Stacia; Bhat, Ram; Mottinger, Neil; Halsell, Allen; Peralta, Fernando

    2008-01-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter began science operations in November 2006, with a suite of seven instruments and investigations, some of which required navigation accuracies much better than previous Mars missions. This paper describes the driving performance requirements levied on Navigation and how well those requirements have been met thus far. Trending analyses that have a direct impact on the Navigation performance, such as atmospheric bias determination, are covered in detail, as well as dynamic models, estimation strategy, tracking data reduction techniques, and residual noise.

  10. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO): Observations for Lunar Exploration and Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vondrak, Richard; Keller, John; Chin, Gordon; Garvin, James

    2010-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was implemented to facilitate scientific and engineering-driven mapping of the lunar surface at new spatial scales and with new remote sensing methods, identify safe landing sites, search for in situ resources, and measure the space radiation environment. After its successful launch on June 18,2009, the LRO spacecraft and instruments were activated and calibrated in an eccentric polar lunar orbit until September 15, when LRO was moved to a circular polar orbit with a mean altitude of 50 km. LRO will operate for at least one year to support the goals of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), and for at least two years of extended operations for additional lunar science measurements supported by NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). LRO carries six instruments with associated science and exploration investigations, and a telecommunications/radar technology demonstration. The LRO instruments are: Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER), Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment (DLRE), Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP), Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND), Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA), and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). The technology demonstration is a compact, dual-frequency, hybrid polarity synthetic aperture radar instrument (Mini-RF). LRO observations also support the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), the lunar impact mission that was co-manifested with LRO on the Atlas V (401) launch vehicle. This paper describes the LRO objectives and measurements that support exploration of the Moon and that address the science objectives outlined by the National Academy of Science's report on the Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon (SCEM). We also describe data accessibility by the science and exploration community.

  11. Status of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Geodetic Investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazarico, E.; Rowlands, D. D.; Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Torrence, M. H.; Lemoine, F. G.; Zuber, M. T.

    2011-12-01

    We present the status of the Precision Orbit Determination work performed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Science Team. LOLA, the multi-beam laser altimeter instrument onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), has been operating continuously since July 13, 2009 and has provided more than 4.5 billion measurements as of July 2011. The high precision (10cm) and small footprint (5m) of the altimetric data, as well as the high resolution (25cm per pixel) of the LRO Camera (LROC), require high-accuracy orbits of the LRO spacecraft in order to maximize their scientific value and to enable proper coregistration of the various datasets obtained by LRO. Radiometric tracking data are complemented by altimetric crossover constraints derived from individual LOLA profiles. With a pre-LRO a priori gravity field (GLGM-3), the crossovers helped substantially improve the self-consistency of the reconstructed LRO orbits (assessed through orbit overlaps), from ~70m overlap RMS (radiometric-only) down to ~25m.We also used the LRO tracking and altimetric data to obtain a new solution of the lunar gravity field, specifically designed to provide enhanced orbit accuracy. With this preliminary LRO field (LLGM-1), the radiometric-only orbits achieve ~25m overlap precision. When complemented by the altimetric crossovers, the orbit consistency improves to better than 15m. Results from more than 2 years of radiometric tracking data and LOLA altimetry will be shown, including an updated gravity field solution. Current efforts to use very long integration arcs (4 months at a time) will also be presented, with the goal of combining all the available farside crossover constraints to help refine the short-wavelength farside gravity field.

  12. Precision Orbit Determination for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter: orbit quality and gravity field estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazarico, E.; Rowlands, D. D.; Neumann, G. A.; Lemoine, F. G.; Torrence, M. H.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.; Mao, D.

    2010-12-01

    We present results of the Precision Orbit Determination work undertaken by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Science Team for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission, in order to meet the position knowledge accuracy requirements (50-m total position) and to precisely geolocate the LRO datasets. In addition to the radiometric tracking data, one-way laser ranges (LR) between Earth stations and the spacecraft are made possible by a small telescope mounted on the spacecraft high-gain antenna. The photons received from Earth are transmitted to one LOLA detector by a fiber optics bundle. The LOLA timing system enables 5-s LR normal points with precision better than 10cm. Other types of geodetic constraints are derived from the altimetric data itself. The orbit geometry can be constrained at the times of laser groundtrack intersections (crossovers). Due to the Moon's slow rotation, orbit solutions and normal equations including altimeter crossovers are processed and created in one month batches. Recent high-resolution topographic maps near the lunar poles are used to produce a new kind of geodetic constraints. Purely geometric, those do not necessitate actual groundtrack intersections. We assess the contributions of those data types, and the quality of our orbits. Solutions which use altimetric crossover meet the horizontal 50-m requirement, and perform usually better (10-20m). We also obtain gravity field solutions based on LRO and historical data. The various LRO data are accumulated into normal equations, separately for each one month batch and for each measurement type, which enables the final weights to be adjusted during the least-squares inversion step. Expansion coefficients to degree and order 150 are estimated, and a Kaula rule is still needed to stabilize the farside field. The gravity field solutions are compared to previous solutions (GLGM-3, LP150Q, SGM100h) and the geopotential predicted from the latest LOLA spherical harmonic expansion.

  13. Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murchie, S.; Arvidson, R.; Bedini, P.; Beisser, K.; Bibring, J.-P.; Bishop, J.; Boldt, J.; Cavender, P.; Choo, T.; Clancy, R. T.; Darlington, E. H.; Des Marais, D.; Espiritu, R.; Fort, D.; Green, R.; Guinness, E.; Hayes, J.; Hash, C.; Heffernan, K.; Hemmler, J.; Heyler, G.; Humm, D.; Hutcheson, J.; Izenberg, N.; Lee, R.; Lees, J.; Lohr, D.; Malaret, E.; Martin, T.; McGovern, J. A.; McGuire, P.; Morris, R.; Mustard, J.; Pelkey, S.; Rhodes, E.; Robinson, M.; Roush, T.; Schaefer, E.; Seagrave, G.; Seelos, F.; Silverglate, P.; Slavney, S.; Smith, M.; Shyong, W.-J.; Strohbehn, K.; Taylor, H.; Thompson, P.; Tossman, B.; Wirzburger, M.; Wolff, M.

    2007-05-01

    The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) is a hyperspectral imager on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft. CRISM consists of three subassemblies, a gimbaled Optical Sensor Unit (OSU), a Data Processing Unit (DPU), and the Gimbal Motor Electronics (GME). CRISM's objectives are (1) to map the entire surface using a subset of bands to characterize crustal mineralogy, (2) to map the mineralogy of key areas at high spectral and spatial resolution, and (3) to measure spatial and seasonal variations in the atmosphere. These objectives are addressed using three major types of observations. In multispectral mapping mode, with the OSU pointed at planet nadir, data are collected at a subset of 72 wavelengths covering key mineralogic absorptions and binned to pixel footprints of 100 or 200 m/pixel. Nearly the entire planet can be mapped in this fashion. In targeted mode the OSU is scanned to remove most along-track motion, and a region of interest is mapped at full spatial and spectral resolution (15-19 m/pixel, 362-3920 nm at 6.55 nm/channel). Ten additional abbreviated, spatially binned images are taken before and after the main image, providing an emission phase function (EPF) of the site for atmospheric study and correction of surface spectra for atmospheric effects. In atmospheric mode, only the EPF is acquired. Global grids of the resulting lower data volume observations are taken repeatedly throughout the Martian year to measure seasonal variations in atmospheric properties. Raw, calibrated, and map-projected data are delivered to the community with a spectral library to aid in interpretation.

  14. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter: Plans for the Science Phase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vondrak, Richard R.; Keller, John W.; Chin, Gordon; Petro, Noah; Rice, James; Garvin, James

    2011-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft (LRO), which was launched on June 18, 2009, began with the goal of seeking safe landing sites for future robotic missions or the return of humans to the Moon as part of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD). In addition, LRO's primary objectives included the search for resources and to investigate the Lunar radiation environment. This phase of the mission was completed on September 15,2010 when the operational responsibility for LRO was transferred from ESMD to NASA's Science Mission directorate (SMD). Under SMD, the mission focuses on a new set of goals related to the history of the Moon, its current state and what its history can tell us about the evolution of the Solar System.

  15. Science Planning for the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wenkert, Daniel D.; Bridges, Nathan T.; Eggemeyer, William Curtis; Hale, Amy Snyder; Kass, David; Martin, Terry Z.; Noland, Stephen J.; Safaeinili, Ali; Smrekar, Suzanne

    2006-01-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), launched on August 12, 2005, carries six science instruments, each with unique requirements for repetitive global monitoring, regional or global survey mapping, and/or targeted observations of Mars. Some prefer nadir-only observations, while other instruments require many off-nadir observations (especially for stereo viewing). Because the operations requirements are often incompatible, an interactive science planning process has been developed. This process is more complex than in some recent NASA Mars missions, but less complex (and more repetitive) than processes used by many large planetary missions. It takes full advantage of MRO's novel onboard processing capabilities, and uses simple electronic interactions between geographically distributed teams. This paper describes the process used during MRO's Primary Science Phase (PSP) to plan both interactive and non-interactive observations of Mars, and what has already been learned in the tests and rehearsals preparing for PSP.

  16. Engineering a Successful Mission: Lessons from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Everett, David F.

    2011-01-01

    Schedule pressure is common in the commercial world, where late delivery of a product means delayed income and loss of profit. 12 Research spacecraft developed by NASA, on the other hand, tend to be driven by the high cost of launch vehicles and the public scrutiny of failure-- the primary driver is ensuring proper operation in space for a system that cannot be retrieved for repair. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) development faced both schedule pressure and high visibility. The team had to balance the strong push to meet a launch date against the need to ensure that this first mission for Exploration succeeded. This paper will provide an overview of the mission from concept through its first year of operation and explore some of the challenges the systems engineering team faced taking a mission from preliminary design review to pre-ship review in 3 years.

  17. Tracking Data Certification for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morinelli, Patrick J.; Socoby, Joseph; Hendry, Steve; Campion, Richard

    2010-01-01

    This paper details the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Flight Dynamics Facility (FDF) tracking data certification effort of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Space Communications Network (SCN) complement of tracking stations consisting of the NASA White Sands 1 antenna (WS1), and the commercial provider Universal Space Network (USN) antennas at South Point, Hawaii; Dongara Australia; Weilheim, Germany; and Kiruna, Sweden. Certification assessment required the cooperation and coordination of parties not under the control of either the LRO project or ground stations as uplinks on cooperating spacecraft were necessary. The LRO range-tracking requirement of 10m 1 sigma could be satisfactorily demonstrated using any typical spacecraft capable of range tracking. Though typical Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) or Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting (GEO) spacecraft may be adequate for range certification, their measurement dynamics and noise would be unacceptable for proper Doppler certification of 1-3mm/sec 1 sigma. As LRO will orbit the Moon, it was imperative that a suitable target spacecraft be utilized which can closely mimic the expected lunar orbital Doppler dynamics of +/-1.6km/sec and +/-1.5m/sq sec to +/-0.15m/sq sec, is in view of the ground stations, supports coherent S-Band Doppler tracking measurements, and can be modeled by the FDF. In order to meet the LRO metric tracking data specifications, the SCN ground stations employed previously uncertified numerically controlled tracking receivers. Initial certification testing revealed certain characteristics of the units that required resolution before being granted certification.

  18. Preparations for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter gravity and altimetry missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazarico, E.; Lemoine, F. G.; Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Rowlands, D. D.; Zuber, M. T.

    2008-12-01

    The launch of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is expected in early 2009. We present results of the preparations undertaken at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument and the Radio Science experiment. A new lunar reference frame, vital to current exploration efforts for a return to the Moon, will be developed from the combined data sets collected by both experiments. In addition to collecting topographic data, LOLA will assist the Precision Orbit Determination of the LRO spacecraft. The 50-m total positioning requirement is very challenging due to the low altitude (50km on average) and the lack of radio tracking over most of the lunar far side. While commercial S-band tracking data will be the principal measurements used for orbit reconstruction, the unique five-beam altimeter enables the use of the altimetric cross-over technique with unprecedented accuracy. Previous simulations showed that the more numerous (by a factor of 25) crossings could greatly help in reducing the uncertainties in the recovered orbit. We show here that cross-track information contained in the acquired topographic swaths (compared to multiple two-dimensional profiles) can constrain orbits to a few meters horizontally and better than 50cm vertically. Swath cross-overs will be most valuable in mid-latitudes, where cross-overs are sparse and tracks intersect at shallow angles. A spacecraft physical model, for use in the GEODYN II orbit determination program, includes inter-plate self- shadowing in the calculation of the spacecraft cross-sectional area for solar radiation pressure. Simulations indicate that solar radiation effects on the orbit can be on the order of 10-20m. Because the thermal radiation forces are larger and more variable than on Mars, the current model of the thermal flux map was updated, with effects on the order of 1-5m. The benefit of using the self-shadowing model for the albedo and thermal forces is currently being

  19. Orbit determination of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter using laser ranging and radiometric tracking data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Löcher, Anno; Kusche, Jürgen

    2014-05-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) launched in 2009 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) still orbits the Moon in a polar orbit at an altitude of 50 kilometers and below. Its main objective is the detailed exploration of the Moon's surface by means of the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) and three high resolution cameras bundled in the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) unit. Referring these observations to a Moon-fixed reference frame requires the computation of highly accurate and consistent orbits. For this task only Earth-based observations are available, primarily radiometric tracking data from stations in the United States, Australia and Europe. In addition, LRO is prepared for one-way laser measurements from specially adapted sites. Currently, 10 laser stations participate more or less regularly in this experiment. For operational reasons, the official LRO orbits from NASA only include radiometric data so far. In this presentation, we investigate the benefit of the laser ranging data by feeding both types of observations in an integrated orbit determination process. All computations are performed by an in-house software development based on a dynamical approach improving orbit and force parameters in an iterative way. Special attention is paid to the determination of bias parameters, in particular of timing biases between radio and laser stations and the drift and aging of the LRO spacecraft clock. The solutions from the combined data set will be compared to radio- and laser-only orbits as well as to the NASA orbits. Further results will show how recent gravity field models from the GRAIL mission can improve the accuracy of the LRO orbits.

  20. Observing Mode Attitude Controller for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calhoun, Philip C.; Garrick, Joseph C.

    2007-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission is the first of a series of lunar robotic spacecraft scheduled for launch in Fall 2008. LRO will spend at least one year in a low altitude polar orbit around the Moon, collecting lunar environment science and mapping data to enable future human exploration. The LRO employs a 3-axis stabilized attitude control system (ACS) whose primary control mode, the "Observing mode", provides Lunar Nadir, off-Nadir, and Inertial fine pointing for the science data collection and instrument calibration. The controller combines the capability of fine pointing with that of on-demand large angle full-sky attitude reorientation into a single ACS mode, providing simplicity of spacecraft operation as well as maximum flexibility for science data collection. A conventional suite of ACS components is employed in this mode to meet the pointing and control objectives. This paper describes the design and analysis of the primary LRO fine pointing and attitude re-orientation controller function, known as the "Observing mode" of the ACS subsystem. The control design utilizes quaternion feedback, augmented with a unique algorithm that ensures accurate Nadir tracking during large angle yaw maneuvers in the presence of high system momentum and/or maneuver rates. Results of system stability analysis and Monte Carlo simulations demonstrate that the observing mode controller can meet fine pointing and maneuver performance requirements.

  1. Atmospheric structure from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter accelerometer measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keating, G.; Bougher, S.; Theriot, M.; Zurek, R.; Blanchard, R.; Tolson, R.; Murphy, J.

    Designed for aerobraking, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) launched on August 12, 2005, achieved Mars Orbital Insertion (MOI), March 10, 2006. Atmospheric density decreases exponentially with increasing height. By small propulsive adjustments of the apoapsis orbital velocity, periapsis altitude is fine tuned to the density surface that will safely use the atmosphere of Mars to aerobrake over 500 orbits. MRO periapsis precesses from the South Pole at 6pm LST to near the equator at 3am LST. Meanwhile, apoapsis is brought dramatically from ˜40,000km at MOI to 460 km at aerobraking completion (ABX) mid September 2006. After ABX, a few small propulsive maneuvers will establish the Primary Science Orbit (PSO), which without aerobraking would have required an additional 400 kg of fuel. Each of the 500 plus aerobraking orbits provides a vertical structure and distribution of density, scale heights, and temperatures, along the orbital path, providing key in situ insight into various upper atmosphere (> 100 km) processes. One of the major questions for scientists studying Mars is: "Where did the water go?" Honeywell's substantially improved electronics package for its IMU (QA-2000 accelerometer, gyro, electronics) maximized accelerometer sensitivities at the requests of The George Washington University, JPL, and Lockheed Martin. The improved accelerometer sensitivities allowed density measurements to exceed 200km, at least 40 km higher than with Mars Odyssey (MO). This extends vertical structures from MRO into the neutral lower exosphere, a region where various processes may allow atmospheric gasses to escape. Over the eons, water may have been lost in both the lower atmosphere and the upper atmosphere, thus the water balance throughout the entire atmosphere from subsurface to exosphere may be equally critical. Comparisons of data from Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), MO and MRO will help characterize key temporal and spatial cycles including: polar vortices, winter polar

  2. Planetary protection implementation on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barengoltz, J.; Witte, J.

    2008-09-01

    In August 2005 NASA launched a large orbiting science observatory, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), for what is scheduled to be a 5.4-year mission. High resolution imaging of the surface is a principal goal of the mission. One consequence of this goal however is the need for a low science orbit. Unfortunately this orbit fails the required 20-year orbit life set in NASA Planetary Protection (PP) requirements [NASA. Planetary protection provisions for robotic extraterrestrial missions, NASA procedural requirements NPR 8020.12C, NASA HQ, Washington, DC, April 2005.]. So rather than sacrifice the science goals of the mission by raising the science orbit, the MRO Project chose to be the first orbiter to pursue the bio-burden reduction approach. Cleaning alone for a large orbiter like MRO is insufficient to achieve the bio-burden threshold requirement in NASA PP requirements. The burden requirement for an orbiter includes spores encapsulated in non-metallic materials and trapped in joints, as well as located on all internal and external surfaces (the total spore burden). Total burden estimates are dominated by the mated and encapsulated burden. The encapsulated burden cannot be cleaned. The total burden of a smaller orbiter (e.g., Mars Odyssey) likely could not have met the requirement by cleaning; for the large MRO it is clearly impossible. Of course, a system-level partial sterilization, with its attendant costs and system design issues, could have been employed. In the approach taken by the MRO Project, hardware which will burn up (completely vaporize or ablate) before reaching the surface or will at least attain high temperature (500 °C for 0.5 s or more) due to entry heating was exempt from burden accounting. Thus the bio-burden estimate was reduced. Lockheed Martin engineers developed a process to perform what is called breakup and burn-up (B&B) analysis.Lockheed Martin Corporation.2 The use of the B&B analysis to comply with the spore burden requirement is

  3. An overview of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) science mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zurek, Richard W.; Smrekar, Suzanne E.

    2007-05-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is the latest addition to the suite of missions on or orbiting Mars as part of the NASA Mars Exploration Program. Launched on 12 August 2005, the orbiter successfully entered Mars orbit on 10 March 2006 and finished aerobraking on 30 August 2006. Now in its near-polar, near-circular, low-altitude (~300 km), 3 p.m. orbit, the spacecraft is operating its payload of six scientific instruments throughout a one-Mars-year Primary Science Phase (PSP) of global mapping, regional survey, and targeted observations. Eight scientific investigations were chosen for MRO, two of which use either the spacecraft accelerometers or tracking of the spacecraft telecom signal to acquire data needed for analysis. Six instruments, including three imaging systems, a visible-near infrared spectrometer, a shallow-probing subsurface radar, and a thermal-infrared profiler, were selected to complement and extend the capabilities of current working spacecraft at Mars. Whether observing the atmosphere, surface, or subsurface, the MRO instruments are designed to achieve significantly higher resolution while maintaining coverage comparable to the current best observations. The requirements to return higher-resolution data, to target routinely from a low-altitude orbit, and to operate a complex suite of instruments were major challenges successfully met in the design and build of the spacecraft, as well as by the mission design. Calibration activities during the seven-month cruise to Mars and limited payload operations during a three-day checkout prior to the start of aerobraking demonstrated, where possible, that the spacecraft and payload still had the functions critical to the science mission. Two critical events, the deployment of the SHARAD radar antenna and the opening of the CRISM telescope cover, were successfully accomplished in September 2006. Normal data collection began 7 November 2006 after solar conjunction. As part of its science mission, MRO will

  4. An Overview of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Science Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zurek, Richard W.; Smrekar, Suzanne E.

    2007-01-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is the latest addition to the suite of missions on or orbiting Mars as part of the NASA Mars Exploration Program. Launched on 12 August 2005, the orbiter successfully entered Mars orbit on 10 March 2006 and finished aerobraking on 30 August 2006. Now in its near-polar, near-circular, low-altitude (approximately 300 km), 3 p.m. orbit, the spacecraft is operating its payload of six scientific instruments throughout a one-Mars-year Primary Science Phase (PSP) of global mapping, regional survey, and targeted observations. Eight scientific investigations were chosen for MRO, two of which use either the spacecraft accelerometers or tracking of the spacecraft telecom signal to acquire data needed for analysis. Six instruments, including three imaging systems, a visible-near infrared spectrometer, a shallow-probing subsurface radar, and a thermal-infrared profiler, were selected to complement and extend the capabilities of current working spacecraft at Mars. Whether observing the atmosphere, surface, or subsurface, the MRO instruments are designed to achieve significantly higher resolution while maintaining coverage comparable to the current best observations. The requirements to return higher-resolution data, to target routinely from a low-altitude orbit, and to operate a complex suite of instruments were major challenges successfully met in the design and build of the spacecraft, as well as by the mission design. Calibration activities during the seven-month cruise to Mars and limited payload operations during a three-day checkout prior to the start of aerobraking demonstrated, where possible, that the spacecraft and payload still had the functions critical to the science mission. Two critical events, the deployment of the SHARAD radar antenna and the opening of the CRISM telescope cover, were successfully accomplished in September 2006. Normal data collection began 7 November 2006 after solar conjunction. As part of its science

  5. CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars) on MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murchie, Scott L.; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Bedini, Peter; Beisser, K.; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Bishop, J.; Boldt, John D.; Choo, Tech H.; Clancy, R. Todd; Darlington, Edward H.; Des Marais, D.; Espiritu, R.; Fasold, Melissa J.; Fort, Dennis; Green, Richard N.; Guinness, E.; Hayes, John R.; Hash, C.; Heffernan, Kevin J.; Hemmler, J.; Heyler, Gene A.; Humm, David C.; Hutchison, J.; Izenberg, Noam R.; Lee, Robert E.; Lees, Jeffrey J.; Lohr, David A.; Malaret, Erick R.; Martin, T.; Morris, Richard V.; Mustard, John F.; Rhodes, Edgar A.; Robinson, Mark S.; Roush, Ted L.; Schaefer, Edward D.; Seagrave, Gordon G.; Silverglate, Peter R.; Slavney, S.; Smith, Mark F.; Strohbehn, Kim; Taylor, Howard W.; Thompson, Patrick L.; Tossman, Barry E.

    2004-12-01

    CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars) is a hyperspectral imager that will be launched on the MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) spacecraft in August 2005. MRO"s objectives are to recover climate science originally to have been conducted on the Mars Climate Orbiter (MCO), to identify and characterize sites of possible aqueous activity to which future landed missions may be sent, and to characterize the composition, geology, and stratigraphy of Martian surface deposits. MRO will operate from a sun-synchronous, near-circular (255x320 km altitude), near-polar orbit with a mean local solar time of 3 PM. CRISM"s spectral range spans the ultraviolet (UV) to the mid-wave infrared (MWIR), 383 nm to 3960 nm. The instrument utilizes a Ritchey-Chretien telescope with a 2.12° field-of-view (FOV) to focus light on the entrance slit of a dual spectrometer. Within the spectrometer, light is split by a dichroic into VNIR (visible-near-infrared, 383-1071 nm) and IR (infrared, 988-3960 nm) beams. Each beam is directed into a separate modified Offner spectrometer that focuses a spectrally dispersed image of the slit onto a two dimensional focal plane (FP). The IR FP is a 640 x 480 HgCdTe area array; the VNIR FP is a 640 x 480 silicon photodiode area array. The spectral image is contiguously sampled with a 6.6 nm spectral spacing and an instantaneous field of view of 61.5 μradians. The Optical Sensor Unit (OSU) can be gimbaled to take out along-track smear, allowing long integration times that afford high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) at high spectral and spatial resolution. The scan motor and encoder are controlled by a separately housed Gimbal Motor Electronics (GME) unit. A Data Processing Unit (DPU) provides power, command and control, and data editing and compression. CRISM acquires three major types of observations of the Martian surface and atmosphere. In Multispectral Mapping Mode, with the gimbal pointed at planet nadir, data are collected at frame rates

  6. Radio Occultation Measurements with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinson, David P.; Asmar, S.; Kahan, D.; Akopian, V.; Maalouf, S.

    2012-10-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) circles Mars in a low-altitude, sun-synchronous, polar orbit, crossing the equator at local times of about 3 and 15 h. There are frequent opportunities for radio occultation (RO) sounding of the martian atmosphere, which has been conducted routinely since January 2008. Observations are limited to one orbit per day, so as to minimize the impact on transmission of data collected by the primary scientific instruments. We are retrieving atmospheric profiles from the MRO RO data, and we are delivering the results to the NASA Planetary Data System (PDS) for archiving and public distribution. The value of these RO profiles derives from their combination of accurate absolute calibration, excellent vertical resolution (about 500 m), and accurate registration in radius. The first attribute qualifies the RO profiles as a reliable standard for cross-instrument calibration, and comparisons are underway with atmospheric observations by the MRO Mars Climate Sounder (MCS). The second attribute yields unique insight into the structure and dynamics of the lower atmosphere (0-10 km) and its interaction with surface reservoirs of dust and volatiles. The third attribute allows precise measurements of geopotential height and surface pressure, which constrain the mass distribution of the atmosphere and its seasonal variations. These attributes also enable long-term monitoring of interannual variability and climatic trends. We will characterize the spatial and seasonal coverage of the observations to date, and we will illustrate the atmospheric phenomena captured by the MRO RO profiles. This research is funded in part by Grant NNX12AL48G of the Mars Data Analysis Program.

  7. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter: Integrating Results From the Primary Science Phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zurek, R. W.; Smrekar, S. E.

    2008-12-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) recently completed its one-Mars-year Primary Science Phase, observing the Martian atmosphere, surface and subsurface with 7 science investigations using 6 science instruments and tracking of the spacecraft as it orbited Mars. In addition, an eighth investigation made use of the onboard accelerometers during a 5-month period of MRO aerobraking to characterize upper atmospheric structure. Hallmarks-and challenges-of the MRO science mission have been: 1) unprecedented spatial resolution at all wavelengths used when observing from orbit; 2) coordinated imaging of local areas; and 3) the balancing of mapping, regional survey, and targeted observation of selected locales, frequently including repeat observations for stereo or for change detection. This talk will give an overview of the data return, including coverage in various observing modes, and will review how the various data sets have combined to provide new perspectives in our attempts to understand Mars, its present climate and its past evolution. Examples include the combination of surface compositional and morphologic information--on scales comparable to those examined by a terrestrial field geologist-to understand modification of the surface, revelations of the interior structure of the polar ice caps and of ice-rich deposits elsewhere which illuminate climate changes in recent geologic time, and monitoring of modern day variations, particularly as they reveal seasonal and inter-annual redistribution of dust and water, but also as they characterize ongoing mass wasting and cratering of the surface. Together, these all point to a complex history of change on Mars, with alternating episodes of significant water activity early in the planet's history, but with some water activity occurring in later geologic times, including the modern era.

  8. Free Space Laser Communication Experiments from Earth to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in Lunar Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Xiaoli; Skillman, David R.; Hoffman, Evan D.; Mao, Dandan; McGarry, Jan F.; Zellar, Ronald S.; Fong, Wai H; Krainak, Michael A.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Smith, David E.

    2013-01-01

    Laser communication and ranging experiments were successfully conducted from the satellite laser ranging (SLR) station at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in lunar orbit. The experiments used 4096-ary pulse position modulation (PPM) for the laser pulses during one-way LRO Laser Ranging (LR) operations. Reed-Solomon forward error correction codes were used to correct the PPM symbol errors due to atmosphere turbulence and pointing jitter. The signal fading was measured and the results were compared to the model.

  9. Free space laser communication experiments from Earth to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in lunar orbit.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiaoli; Skillman, David R; Hoffman, Evan D; Mao, Dandan; McGarry, Jan F; McIntire, Leva; Zellar, Ronald S; Davidson, Frederic M; Fong, Wai H; Krainak, Michael A; Neumann, Gregory A; Zuber, Maria T; Smith, David E

    2013-01-28

    Laser communication and ranging experiments were successfully conducted from the satellite laser ranging (SLR) station at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in lunar orbit. The experiments used 4096-ary pulse position modulation (PPM) for the laser pulses during one-way LRO Laser Ranging (LR) operations. Reed-Solomon forward error correction codes were used to correct the PPM symbol errors due to atmosphere turbulence and pointing jitter. The signal fading was measured and the results were compared to the model. PMID:23389171

  10. The Search for Lunar Lobate Scarps Using Images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banks, M. E.; Watters, T. R.; Robinson, M. S.; Bell, J. F.; Pritchard, M. E.; Williams, N. R.; Daud, K.; Lroc Team

    2011-03-01

    A search for previously undetected lobate scarps was conducted using images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera. To date, previously undetected lobate scarps have been identified in LROC images and mosaics in 73 different locations.

  11. Launch and Commissioning of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Neerav; Calhoun, Philip; Garrick, Joseph; Hsu, Oscar; Simpson, James

    2010-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) launched on June 18, 2009 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. LRO, designed, built, and operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, is gathering crucial data on the lunar environment that will help astronauts prepare for long-duration lunar expeditions. To date, the Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C) subsystem has operated nominally and met all requirements. However, during the early phase of the mission, the GN&C Team encountered some anomalies. For example, during the Solar Array and High Gain Antenna deployments, one of the safing action points tripped, which was not expected. Also, the spacecraft transitioned to its safe hold mode, SunSafe, due to encountering an end of file for an ephemeris table. During the five-day lunar acquisition, one of the star trackers triggered the spacecraft to transition into a safe hold configuration, the cause of which was determined. These events offered invaluable insight to better understand the performance of the system they designed. An overview of the GN&C subsystem will be followed by a mission timeline. Then, interesting flight performance as well as anomalies encountered by the GN&C Team will be discussed in chronological order.

  12. Orbit Determination and Navigation Software Testing for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pini, Alex

    2011-01-01

    During the extended science phase of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's lifecycle, the operational duties pertaining to navigation primarily involve orbit determination. The orbit determination process utilizes radiometric tracking data and is used for the prediction and reconstruction of MRO's trajectories. Predictions are done twice per week for ephemeris updates on-board the spacecraft and for planning purposes. Orbit Trim Maneuvers (OTM-s) are also designed using the predicted trajectory. Reconstructions, which incorporate a batch estimator, provide precise information about the spacecraft state to be synchronized with scientific measurements. These tasks were conducted regularly to validate the results obtained by the MRO Navigation Team. Additionally, the team is in the process of converting to newer versions of the navigation software and operating system. The capability to model multiple densities in the Martian atmosphere is also being implemented. However, testing outputs among these different configurations was necessary to ensure compliance to a satisfactory degree.

  13. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission: From Launch to the Primary Science Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnston, Martin D.; Graf, James E.; Zurek, Richard W.; Eisen, Howard J.; Jai, Benhan; Erickson, James K.

    2007-01-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, USA, aboard an Atlas V-401 launch vehicle on August 12, 2005. The MRO spacecraft carries a very sophisticated scientific payload. Its primary science mission is to to provide global, regional survey, and targeted observations from a low altitude orbit for one Martian year (687 Earth days). After a seven month interplanetary transit, the spacecraft fired its six main engines and established a highly elliptical capture orbit at Mars. During the post-MOI early check-out period, four instruments acquired engineering-quality data. This was followed by five months of aerobraking operations. After aerobraking was terminated, a series of propulsive maneuvers were used to establish the desired low altitude science orbit. As the spacecraft is readied for its primary science mission, spacecraft and instrument checkout and deployment activities have continued.

  14. Orbit determination and gravity field recovery from Doppler tracking data to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maier, Andrea; Baur, Oliver

    2016-03-01

    We present results for Precise Orbit Determination (POD) of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) based on two-way Doppler range-rates over a time span of ~13 months (January 3, 2011 to February 9, 2012). Different orbital arc lengths and various sets of empirical parameters were tested to seek optimal parametrization. An overlap analysis covering three months of Doppler data shows that the most precise orbits are obtained using an arc length of 2.5 days and estimating arc-wise constant empirical accelerations in along track direction. The overlap analysis over the entire investigated time span of 13 months indicates an orbital precision of 13.79 m, 14.17 m, and 1.28 m in along track, cross track, and radial direction, respectively, with 21.32 m in total position. We compare our orbits to the official science orbits released by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The differences amount to 9.50 m, 6.98 m, and 1.50 m in along track, cross track, and radial direction, respectively, as well as 12.71 m in total position. Based on the reconstructed LRO orbits, we estimated lunar gravity field coefficients up to spherical harmonic degree and order 60. The results are compared to gravity field solutions derived from data collected by other lunar missions.

  15. Pre-flight and On-orbit Geometric Calibration of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Speyerer, E. J.; Wagner, R. V.; Robinson, M. S.; Licht, A.; Thomas, P. C.; Becker, K.; Anderson, J.; Brylow, S. M.; Humm, D. C.; Tschimmel, M.

    2016-04-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) consists of two imaging systems that provide multispectral and high resolution imaging of the lunar surface. The Wide Angle Camera (WAC) is a seven color push-frame imager with a 90∘ field of view in monochrome mode and 60∘ field of view in color mode. From the nominal 50 km polar orbit, the WAC acquires images with a nadir ground sampling distance of 75 m for each of the five visible bands and 384 m for the two ultraviolet bands. The Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) consists of two identical cameras capable of acquiring images with a ground sampling distance of 0.5 m from an altitude of 50 km. The LROC team geometrically calibrated each camera before launch at Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, California and the resulting measurements enabled the generation of a detailed camera model for all three cameras. The cameras were mounted and subsequently launched on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) on 18 June 2009. Using a subset of the over 793000 NAC and 207000 WAC images of illuminated terrain collected between 30 June 2009 and 15 December 2013, we improved the interior and exterior orientation parameters for each camera, including the addition of a wavelength dependent radial distortion model for the multispectral WAC. These geometric refinements, along with refined ephemeris, enable seamless projections of NAC image pairs with a geodetic accuracy better than 20 meters and sub-pixel precision and accuracy when orthorectifying WAC images.

  16. SHARAD sounding radar on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seu, Roberto; Phillips, Roger J.; Biccari, Daniela; Orosei, Roberto; Masdea, Arturo; Picardi, Giovanni; Safaeinili, Ali; Campbell, Bruce A.; Plaut, Jeffrey J.; Marinangeli, Lucia; Smrekar, Suzanne E.; Nunes, Daniel C.

    2007-05-01

    SHARAD (SHAllow RADar) is a sounding radar provided by Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) as a Facility Instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission. Its 20-MHz center frequency and 10-MHz bandwidth complement the lower-frequency, relatively narrower bandwidth capability of the MARSIS sounding radar. A joint Italian-U.S. team has guided the experiment development and is responsible for data analysis and interpretation. The radar transmits signals at a 700 Hz pulse repetition frequency (PRF) and collects reflections from both the surface and near subsurface of Mars. Vertical and horizontal resolutions are, respectively, 15 m (free-space) and 3-6 km (cross-track) by 0.3-1 km (along-track). The scientific objective of SHARAD is to map, in selected locales, dielectric interfaces to at least several hundred meters depth in the Martian subsurface and to interpret these results in terms of the occurrence and distribution of expected materials, including competent rock, soil, water, and ice. A signal-to-noise ratio of ~50 dB (for a specular surface return) is achieved with 10 W of radiated power by using range and azimuth focusing in ground data processing. Preprocessed data as well as range- and azimuth-focused data will be formatted according to Planetary Data System (PDS) standards and be made available from the ASI Science Data Center (ASDC) and from the Geosciences Node of the Planetary Data System (PDS). Important targets for SHARAD include the polar layered deposits, sedimentary stacks (especially in Terra Meridiani), buried channel systems, buried impact craters, volcanic complexes, and shallow ice deposits in equilibrium with the atmosphere.

  17. Precise orbit determination of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and first gravity field results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maier, Andrea; Baur, Oliver

    2014-05-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was launched in 2009 and is expected to orbit the Moon until the end of 2014. Among other instruments, LRO has a highly precise altimeter on board demanding an orbit accuracy of one meter in the radial component. Precise orbit determination (POD) is achieved with radiometric observations (Doppler range rates, ranges) on the one hand, and optical laser ranges on the other hand. LRO is the first satellite at a distance of approximately 360 000 to 400 000 km from the Earth that is routinely tracked with optical laser ranges. This measurement type was introduced to achieve orbits of higher precision than it would be possible with radiometric observations only. In this contribution we investigate the strength of each measurement type (radiometric range rates, radiometric ranges, optical laser ranges) based on single-technique orbit estimation. In a next step all measurement types are combined in a joined analysis. In addition to POD results, preliminary gravity field coefficients are presented being a subsequent product of the orbit determination process. POD and gravity field estimation was accomplished with the NASA/GSFC software packages GEODYN and SOLVE.

  18. Orbit determination and gravity field recovery from tracking data to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maier, Andrea; Baur, Oliver

    2015-04-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), launched in 2009, is well suited for the estimation of the long wavelengths of the lunar gravity field due to its low altitude of 50 km. Further, the orbit of LRO was polar for two years providing global coverage. The satellite has been primarily tracked via S-band (mainly two-way Doppler range-rates and two-way radiometric ranges) from the dedicated station in White Sands and from the Universal Space Network (USN). Due to the onboard altimeter the orbital precision requirement in the radial direction was rigorously defined as 1m. Because simulation studies before LRO's launch showed that this precision could not be reached with S-band observations alone, it was decided to additionally track LRO via optical laser ranges. It is worthwhile to point out that LRO is the first spacecraft in interplanetary space routinely tracked with optical one-way laser ranges. Gravity field recovery from orbit perturbations is intrinsically related to precise orbit determination. This is why considerable effort was made to find the optimum settings for orbit modeling. For a time span of three months we conducted a series of orbit overlapping tests based on Doppler observations to find the optimum arc length and the optimum set of empirical parameters. The analysis of observation residuals and orbit overlap differences showed that the estimated orbits are most precise when subdividing the time span into 2.5 days and estimating one constant empirical acceleration in along track direction. These settings were then used to analyze 13 months of Doppler data to LRO. The processing of the optical one-way laser was difficult due to the involvement of two non-synchronous clocks in one measurement (one clock at the ground station and one clock onboard LRO). The NASA software GEODYN, which was used for orbit determination and parameter estimation, models the LRO clock using a drift rate (first-order term) and an aging rate (second-order term). It seems

  19. Orbit Determination for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Using an Extended Kalman Filter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slojkowski, Steven; Lowe, Jonathan; Woodburn, James

    2015-01-01

    Orbit determination (OD) analysis results are presented for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) using a commercially available Extended Kalman Filter, Analytical Graphics' Orbit Determination Tool Kit (ODTK). Process noise models for lunar gravity and solar radiation pressure (SRP) are described and OD results employing the models are presented. Definitive accuracy using ODTK meets mission requirements and is better than that achieved using the operational LRO OD tool, the Goddard Trajectory Determination System (GTDS). Results demonstrate that a Vasicek stochastic model produces better estimates of the coefficient of solar radiation pressure than a Gauss-Markov model, and prediction accuracy using a Vasicek model meets mission requirements over the analysis span. Modeling the effect of antenna motion on range-rate tracking considerably improves residuals and filter-smoother consistency. Inclusion of off-axis SRP process noise and generalized process noise improves filter performance for both definitive and predicted accuracy. Definitive accuracy from the smoother is better than achieved using GTDS and is close to that achieved by precision OD methods used to generate definitive science orbits. Use of a multi-plate dynamic spacecraft area model with ODTK's force model plugin capability provides additional improvements in predicted accuracy.

  20. Experiences Supporting the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera: the Devops Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Licht, A.; Estes, N. M.; Bowman-Cisnesros, E.; Hanger, C. D.

    2013-12-01

    Introduction: The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Science Operations Center (SOC) is responsible for instrument targeting, product processing, and archiving [1]. The LROC SOC maintains over 1,000,000 observations with over 300 TB of released data. Processing challenges compound with the acquisition of over 400 Gbits of observations daily creating the need for a robust, efficient, and reliable suite of specialized software. Development Environment: The LROC SOC's software development methodology has evolved over time. Today, the development team operates in close cooperation with the systems administration team in a model known in the IT industry as DevOps. The DevOps model enables a highly productive development environment that facilitates accomplishment of key goals within tight schedules[2]. The LROC SOC DevOps model incorporates industry best practices including prototyping, continuous integration, unit testing, code coverage analysis, version control, and utilizing existing open source software. Scientists and researchers at LROC often prototype algorithms and scripts in a high-level language such as MATLAB or IDL. After the prototype is functionally complete the solution is implemented as production ready software by the developers. Following this process ensures that all controls and requirements set by the LROC SOC DevOps team are met. The LROC SOC also strives to enhance the efficiency of the operations staff by way of weekly presentations and informal mentoring. Many small scripting tasks are assigned to the cognizant operations personnel (end users), allowing for the DevOps team to focus on more complex and mission critical tasks. In addition to leveraging open source software the LROC SOC has also contributed to the open source community by releasing Lunaserv [3]. Findings: The DevOps software model very efficiently provides smooth software releases and maintains team momentum. Scientists prototyping their work has proven to be very efficient

  1. Laser Ranging to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter: improved timing and orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, D.; Mcgarry, J.; Sun, X.; Torrence, M. H.; Skillman, D.; Hoffman, E.; Mazarico, E.; Rowlands, D. D.; Golder, J.; Barker, M. K.; Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2013-12-01

    The Laser ranging (LR) experiment to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been under operation for more than 4 years, since the launch of the spacecraft in June 2009. Led by NASA's Next Generation Satellite Laser Ranging(NGSLR) station at Greenbelt, Maryland, ten laser ranging stations over the world have been participating in the experiment and have collected over 3,200 hours of ranging data. These range measurements are used to monitor the behavior of the LRO clock and to generate orbital solutions for LRO. To achieve high-quality results in range, ground stations like NGSLR are using H-maser clocks to obtain a stable and continuous time baseline for the orbit solutions. An All-View GPS receiver was included at NGSLR since January 2013 which monitors the H-maser time against the master clock at the United State Naval Observatory (USNO) via the GPS satellites. NGSLR has successfully established nano-second level epoch time accuracy and 10-15 clock stability since then. Time transfer experiments using LRO as a common receiver have been verified in ground testing between NGSLR and MOBLAS7 via a ground terminal with a Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA)-like receiver at Greenbelt, Maryland. Two hour-long ground tests using a LOLA-like detector and two different ground targets yielded results consistent with each other, and those from the previous 10-minute test completed one year ago. Time transfer tests between NGSLR and MOBLAS7 via LRO are ongoing. More time transfer tests are being planned from NGSLR to McDonald Laser Ranging Station (MLRS) in Texas and later from NGSLR to European satellite laser ranging (SLR) stations. Upon the completion of these time transfer experiments, nanosecond-level epoch time accuracy will be brought to stations besides NGSLR, and such high precision of the ground time can contribute to the LRO precision orbit determination (POD) process. Presently, by using the high-resolution GRAIL gravity models, the LRO orbits determined from

  2. Special ISO Class 6 Cleanroom for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matthews, Richard A.; Matthews, Scott A.

    2008-01-01

    The parameters and restrictions for a horizontal flow ISO Class 6 Clean room to support the assembly of the new LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) were unusual. The project time line was critical. A novel Clean room design was developed and built within the time restraints. This paper describes the design criteria, timing, successful performance, and future benefits of this unique Clean room project.

  3. Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars investigation and data set from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's primary science phase

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murchie, S.L.; Seelos, F.P.; Hash, C.D.; Humm, D.C.; Malaret, E.; McGovern, J.A.; Choo, T.H.; Seelos, K.D.; Buczkowski, D.L.; Morgan, M.F.; Barnouin-Jha, O. S.; Nair, H.; Taylor, H.W.; Patterson, G.W.; Harvel, C.A.; Mustard, J.F.; Arvidson, R. E.; McGuire, P.; Smith, M.D.; Wolff, M.J.; Titus, T.N.; Bibring, J.-P.; Poulet, F.

    2009-01-01

    The part of the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer (CRISM) for Mars investigation conducted during the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's (MRO's) primary science phase was a comprehensive investigation of past aqueous environments, structure of the planet's crust, past climate, and current meteorology. The measurements to implement this investigation include over 9500 targeted observations of surface features taken at spatial resolutions of better than 40 m/pixel, monitoring of seasonal variations in atmospheric aerosols and trace gases, and acquisition of a 200 m/pixel map covering over 55% of Mars in 72 selected wavelengths under conditions of relatively low atmospheric opacity. Key results from these data include recognition of a diversity of aqueous mineral-containing deposits, discovery of a widespread distribution of phyllosilicates in early to middle Noachian units, the first definitive detection of carbonates in bedrock, new constraints on the sequence of events that formed Hesperian-aged, sulfate-rich layered deposits, characterization of seasonal polar processes, and monitoring of the 2007 global dust event. Here we describe CRISM's science investigations during the Primary Science Phase, the data sets that were collected and their calibration and uncertainties, and how they have been processed and made available to the scientific community. We also describe the ongoing investigation during MRO's extended science phase. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  4. Solar Array Disturbances to Spacecraft Pointing During the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calhoun, Philip

    2010-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), the first spacecraft to support NASA s return to the Moon, launched on June 18, 2009 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle. It was initially inserted into a direct trans-lunar trajectory to the Moon. After a five day transit to the Moon, LRO was inserted into the Lunar orbit and successfully lowered to a low altitude elliptical polar orbit for spacecraft commissioning. Successful commissioning was completed in October 2009 when LRO was placed in its near circular mission orbit with an approximate altitude of 50km. LRO will spend at least one year orbiting the Moon, collecting lunar environment science and mapping data, utilizing a suite of seven instruments to enable future human exploration. The objective is to provide key science data necessary to facilitate human return to the Moon as well as identification of opportunities for future science missions. LRO's instrument suite will provide the high resolution imaging data with sub-meter accuracy, highly accurate lunar cartographic maps, mineralogy mapping, amongst other science data of interest. LRO employs a 3-axis stabilized attitude control system (ACS) whose primary control mode, the "Observing Mode", provides Lunar nadir, off-nadir, and inertial fine pointing for the science data collection and instrument calibration. This controller combines the capability of fine pointing with on-demand large angle full-sky attitude reorientation. It provides simplicity of spacecraft operation as well as additional flexibility for science data collection. A conventional suite of ACS components is employed in the Observing Mode to meet the pointing and control objectives. Actuation is provided by a set of four reaction wheels developed in-house at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Attitude feedback is provided by a six state Kalman filter which utilizes two SELEX Galileo Star Trackers for attitude updates, and a single Honeywell Miniature

  5. Mafic Materials in Scott Crater? A Test for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, Bonnie L.

    2007-01-01

    Clementine 750 nm and multispectral ratio data, along with Lunar Orbiter and radar data, were used to study the crater Scott in the lunar south polar region. The multispectral data provide evidence for mafic materials, impact melts, anorthositic materials, and a small pyroclastic deposit. High-resolution radar data and Lunar Orbiter photography for this area show differences in color and surface texture that correspond with the locations of the hypothesized mafic and anorthositic areas on the crater floor. This region provides a test case for the upcoming Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Verification of the existence of a mafic deposit at this location is relevant to future lunar resource utilization planning.

  6. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Navigation Strategy for Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent and Landing Telecommunication Relay Support

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Jessica L.; Menon, Premkumar R.; Demcak, Stuart W.

    2012-01-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is an orbiting asset that performs remote sensing observations in order to characterize the surface, subsurface and atmosphere of Mars. To support upcoming NASA Mars Exploration Program Office objectives, MRO will be used as a relay communication link for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission during the MSL Entry, Descent and Landing sequence. To do so, MRO Navigation must synchronize the MRO Primary Science Orbit (PSO) with a set of target conditions requested by the MSL Navigation Team; this may be accomplished via propulsive maneuvers. This paper describes the MRO Navigation strategy for and operational performance of MSL EDL relay telecommunication support.

  7. On-Orbit Geometric Calibration of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Wide Angle Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Speyerer, E. J.; Wagner, R.; Robinson, M. S.

    2013-12-01

    Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is equipped with a single Wide Angle Camera (WAC) [1] designed to collect monochromatic and multispectral observations of the lunar surface. Cartographically accurate image mosaics and stereo image based terrain models requires the position of each pixel in a given image be known to a corresponding point on the lunar surface with a high degree of accuracy and precision. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) team initially characterized the WAC geometry prior to launch at the Malin Space Science Systems calibration facility. After lunar orbit insertion, the LROC team recognized spatially varying geometric offsets between color bands. These misregistrations made analysis of the color data problematic and showed that refinements to the pre-launch geometric analysis were necessary. The geometric parameters that define the WAC optical system were characterized from statistics gathered from co-registering over 84,000 image pairs. For each pair, we registered all five visible WAC bands to a precisely rectified Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) image (accuracy <15 m) [2] to compute key geometric parameters. In total, we registered 2,896 monochrome and 1,079 color WAC observations to nearly 34,000 NAC observations and collected over 13.7 million data points across the visible portion of the WAC CCD. Using the collected statistics, we refined the relative pointing (yaw, pitch and roll), effective focal length, principal point coordinates, and radial distortion coefficients. This large dataset also revealed spatial offsets between bands after orthorectification due to chromatic aberrations in the optical system. As white light enters the optical system, the light bends at different magnitudes as a function of wavelength, causing a single incident ray to disperse in a spectral spread of color [3,4]. This lateral chromatic aberration effect, also known as 'chromatic difference in magnification' [5] introduces variation to the effective focal

  8. Demonstration of orbit determination for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter using one-way laser ranging data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, S.; Hussmann, H.; Oberst, J.; Dirkx, D.; Mao, D.; Neumann, G. A.; Mazarico, E.; Torrence, M. H.; McGarry, J. F.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2016-09-01

    We used one-way laser ranging data from International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) ground stations to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) for a demonstration of orbit determination. In the one-way setup, the state of LRO and the parameters of the spacecraft and all involved ground station clocks must be estimated simultaneously. This setup introduces many correlated parameters that are resolved by using a priori constraints. Moreover the observation data coverage and errors accumulating from the dynamical and the clock modeling limit the maximum arc length. The objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of the arc length, the dynamical and modeling accuracy and the observation data coverage on the accuracy of the results. We analyzed multiple arcs using lengths of 2 and 7 days during a one-week period in Science Mission phase 02 (SM02, November 2010) and compared the trajectories, the post-fit measurement residuals and the estimated clock parameters. We further incorporated simultaneous passes from multiple stations within the observation data to investigate the expected improvement in positioning. The estimated trajectories were compared to the nominal LRO trajectory and the clock parameters (offset, rate and aging) to the results found in the literature. Arcs estimated with one-way ranging data had differences of 5-30 m compared to the nominal LRO trajectory. While the estimated LRO clock rates agreed closely with the a priori constraints, the aging parameters absorbed clock modeling errors with increasing clock arc length. Because of high correlations between the different ground station clocks and due to limited clock modeling accuracy, their differences only agreed at the order of magnitude with the literature. We found that the incorporation of simultaneous passes requires improved modeling in particular to enable the expected improvement in positioning. We found that gaps in the observation data coverage over 12 h (≈6 successive LRO orbits

  9. Introduction to Special Section on Results of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vondrak, Richard R.

    2012-01-01

    Since 2009 the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has made comprehensive measurements of the Moon and its environment. The seven LRO instruments use a variety of primarily remote sensing techniques to obtain a unique set of observations. The analyses of the LRO data sets have overturned previous beliefs and deepened our appreciation of the complex nature of our nearest neighbor. This introduction to the special section describes the LRO mission and summarizes some of the science results in the papers that follow.

  10. Integration and Testing of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Attitude Control System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simpson, Jim; Badgley, Jason; McCaughey, Ken; Brown, Kristen; Calhoun, Philip; Davis, Edward; Garrick, Joseph; Gill, Nathaniel; Hsu, Oscar; Jones, Noble; Oritz-Cruz, Gerardo; Raymond, Juan; Roder, Russell; Shah, Neerav; Wilson, John

    2010-01-01

    Throughout the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Integration and Testing (I&T) phase of the project, the Attitude Control System (ACS) team completed numerous tests on each hardware component in ever more flight like environments. The ACS utilizes a select group of attitude sensors and actuators. This paper chronicles the evolutionary steps taken to verify each component was constantly ready for flight as well as providing invaluable trending experience with the actual hardware. The paper includes a discussion of each ACS hardware component, lessons learned of the various stages of I&T, a discussion of the challenges that are unique to the LRO project, as well as a discussion of work for future missions to consider as part of their I&T plan. LRO ACS sensors were carefully installed, tested, and maintained over the 18 month I&T and prelaunch timeline. Care was taken with the optics of the Adcole Coarse Sun Sensors (CSS) to ensure their critical role in the Safe Hold mode was fulfilled. The use of new CSS stimulators provided the means of testing each CSS sensor independently, in ambient and vacuum conditions as well as over a wide range of thermal temperatures. Extreme bright light sources were also used to test the CSS in ambient conditions. The integration of the two SELEX Galileo Star Trackers was carefully planned and executed. Optical ground support equipment was designed and used often to check the performance of the star trackers throughout I&T in ambient and thermal/vacuum conditions. A late discovery of potential contamination of the star tracker light shades is discussed in this paper. This paper reviews how each time the spacecraft was at a new location and orientation, the Honeywell Miniature Inertial Measurement Unit (MIMU) was checked for data output validity. This gyro compassing test was performed at several key testing points in the timeline as well as several times while LRO was on the launch pad. Sensor alignment tests were completed several

  11. Development, Qualification and Integration of the Optical Fiber Array Assemblies for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ott, Melanie N.; Switzer, Robert; Chuska, Richard; LaRocca, Frank; Thomas, William Joe; Macmurphy, Shawn

    2008-01-01

    The NASA Goddard Fiber Optics Team in the Electrical Engineering Division of the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate, designed, developed and integrated the space flight optical fiber array hardware for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The two new assemblies that were designed and manufacturing at GSFC for the LRO exist in configurations that are unique in the world for the application of ranging and LIDAR. Described here is an account of the journey and the lessons learned from design to integration for the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter and the Laser Ranging Application on the LRO.

  12. Geometric Calibration of the Clementine UVVIS Camera Using Images Acquired by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Speyerer, E. J.; Wagner, R. V.; Robinson, M. S.

    2016-06-01

    The Clementine UVVIS camera returned over half a million images while in orbit around the Moon in 1994. Since the Clementine mission, our knowledge of lunar topography, gravity, and the location of features on the surface has vastly improved with the success of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission and ongoing Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission. In particular, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) has returned over a million images of the Moon since entering orbit in 2009. With the aid of improved ephemeris and on-orbit calibration, the LROC team created a series of precise and accurate global maps. With the updated reference frame, older lunar maps, such as those generated from Clementine UVVIS images, are misaligned making cross-mission analysis difficult. In this study, we use feature-based matching routines to refine and recalibrate the interior and exterior orientation parameters of the Clementine UVVIS camera. After applying these updates and rigorous orthorectification, we are able generate precise and accurate maps from UVVIS images to help support lunar science and future cross-mission investigations.

  13. A Simulation Study of Multi-Beam Altimetry for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Other Planetary Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rowlands, D. D.; Lemoine, F. G.; Chinn, D. S.; Luthcke, S. B.

    2009-01-01

    The combined use of altimetry, Earth-based Doppler and Earth-based range measurements in the lunar reconnaissance orbiter (LRO) mission (Chin et al. in Space Sci Rev 129:391-419, 2007) has been examined in a simulation study. It is found that in the initial phases of the mission orbit and altimeter geolocation accuracies should be better than 10m in the radial component and 60m overall. It is demonstrated that LRO's precise 1-way laser range measurement from Earth-based stations (Smith et al. in Proceedings of the 15th International Laser Ranging Workshop, Canberra, Australia, October 15-20, 2006) will be useful for gravity recovery. The advantages of multiple laser beams are demonstrated for altimeter calibration, orbit determination and gravity recovery in general planetary settings as well as for LRO.

  14. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter: Ka Band Radio Science Experiments and the Effect of the Troposphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Asmar, Sami W.; Morabito, David

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the possibilities of utilizing the telecommunication links between spacecraft and Earth to examine changes in the phase/frequency, amplitude, and polarization of radio signals to investigate, specifically for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)mission utilizes X-band coherent (uplink and downlink) carrier Doppler and range for its gravity investigation Gravity team will also take advantage of Ka-band downlink signal Tropospheric calibration data from Advanced Water Vapor Radiometer (AWVR) will be used. The calibration of the received Ka band signal for the effect of the troposphere is discussed.

  15. Thermal Modeling of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Solar Panel and Instruments during Aerobraking

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dec, John A.; Gasbarre, Joseph F.; Amundsen, Ruth M.

    2007-01-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) launched on August 12, 2005 and started aerobraking at Mars in March 2006. During the spacecraft s design phase, thermal models of the solar panels and instruments were developed to determine which components would be the most limiting thermally during aerobraking. Having determined the most limiting components, thermal limits in terms of heat rate were established. Advanced thermal modeling techniques were developed utilizing Thermal Desktop and Patran Thermal. Heat transfer coefficients were calculated using a Direct Simulation Monte Carlo technique. Analysis established that the solar panels were the most limiting components during the aerobraking phase of the mission.

  16. Inflight Calibration of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Wide Angle Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahanti, P.; Humm, D. C.; Robinson, M. S.; Boyd, A. K.; Stelling, R.; Sato, H.; Denevi, B. W.; Braden, S. E.; Bowman-Cisneros, E.; Brylow, S. M.; Tschimmel, M.

    2016-04-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Wide Angle Camera (WAC) has acquired more than 250,000 images of the illuminated lunar surface and over 190,000 observations of space and non-illuminated Moon since 1 January 2010. These images, along with images from the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) and other Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter instrument datasets are enabling new discoveries about the morphology, composition, and geologic/geochemical evolution of the Moon. Characterizing the inflight WAC system performance is crucial to scientific and exploration results. Pre-launch calibration of the WAC provided a baseline characterization that was critical for early targeting and analysis. Here we present an analysis of WAC performance from the inflight data. In the course of our analysis we compare and contrast with the pre-launch performance wherever possible and quantify the uncertainty related to various components of the calibration process. We document the absolute and relative radiometric calibration, point spread function, and scattered light sources and provide estimates of sources of uncertainty for spectral reflectance measurements of the Moon across a range of imaging conditions.

  17. Aeroheating Analysis for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter with Comparison to Flight Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liechty, Derek S.

    2007-01-01

    The aeroheating environment of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been analyzed using the direct simulation Monte Carlo and free-molecular techniques. The results of these analyses were used to develop an aeroheating database to be used for the preflight planning and the in-flight operations support for the aerobraking phase of the MRO mission. The aeroheating predictions calculated for the MRO include the heat transfer coefficient (CH) over a range of angles-of-attack, sideslip angles, and number densities. The effects of flow chemistry, surface temperature, and surface grid resolution were also investigated to determine the aeroheating database uncertainties. Flight heat flux data has been calculated from surface temperature sensor data returned to Earth from the MRO in orbit around Mars during the aerobraking phase of its mission. The heat flux data have been compared to the aeroheating database and agree favorably.

  18. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission - Six years of science and exploration at the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, J. W.; Petro, N. E.; Vondrak, R. R.

    2016-07-01

    Since entering lunar orbit on June 23, 2009 the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has made comprehensive measurements of the Moon and its environment. The seven LRO instruments use a variety of primarily remote sensing techniques to obtain a unique set of observations. These measurements provide new information regarding the physical properties of the lunar surface, the lunar environment, and the location of volatiles and other resources. Scientific interpretation of these observations improves our understanding of the geologic history of the Moon, its current state, and what its history can tell us about the evolution of the Solar System. Scientific results from LRO observations overturned existing paradigms and deepened our appreciation of the complex nature of our nearest neighbor. This paper summarizes the capabilities, measurements, and some of the science and exploration results of the first six years of the LRO mission.

  19. Topography of the Lunar Poles and Application to Geodesy with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mazarico, Erwan; Neumann, Gregory A.; Rowlands, David D.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2012-01-01

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) [1] onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) [2] has been operating continuously since July 2009 [3], accumulating approx.5.4 billion measurements from 2 billion on-orbit laser shots. LRO s near-polar orbit results in very high data density in the immediate vicinity of the lunar poles, which are each sampled every 2h. With more than 10,000 orbits, high-resolution maps can be constructed [4] and studied [5]. However, this requires careful processing of the raw data, as subtle errors in the spacecraft position and pointing can lead to visible artifacts in the final map. In other locations on the Moon, ground tracks are subparallel and longitudinal separations are typically a few hundred meters. Near the poles, the track intersection angles can be large and the inter-track spacing is small (above 80 latitude, the effective resolution is better than 50m). Precision Orbit Determination (POD) of the LRO spacecraft [6] was performed to satisfy the LOLA and LRO mission requirements, which lead to a significant improvement in the orbit position knowledge over the short-release navigation products. However, with pixel resolutions of 10 to 25 meters, artifacts due to orbit reconstruction still exist. Here, we show how the complete LOLA dataset at both poles can be adjusted geometrically to produce a high-accuracy, high-resolution maps with minimal track artifacts. We also describe how those maps can then feedback to the POD work, by providing topographic base maps with which individual LOLA altimetric measurements can be contributing to orbit changes. These direct altimetry constraints improve accuracy and can be used more simply than the altimetric crossovers [6].

  20. The Impact of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Education and Public Outreach Programs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buxner, S.; Canipe, M.; Wenger, M.; Hsu, B.; Jones, A.; Hessen, K.

    2014-07-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Education and Public Outreach Program includes Lunar Workshops for Educators (LWEs) held at several sites throughout the U.S. and a large public engagement program, International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN). Program evaluation has revealed that LWEs result in growth in participants' knowledge related to current lunar discoveries and exploration of the Moon. Teachers learn about misconceptions about the Moon and ways to teach about lunar science and exploration to address students' misconceptions. The LWEs also impact the teaching practices of some participants more broadly to incorporate inquiry and other teaching techniques modeled in the workshops. InOMN events are social experiences in which visitors reported the value of seeing their children learning new things, being moved by seeing beautiful and valuable objects, and gaining information and knowledge. Each program has met the goal of engaging participants in the excitement of lunar exploration.

  1. Aeroheating Analysis for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter with Comparison to Flight Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liechty, Derek S.

    2006-01-01

    The aeroheating environment of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been analyzed using the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo and free-molecular techniques. The results of these analyses were used to develop an aeroheating database to be used for the pre-flight planning and the in-flight operations support for the aerobraking phase of the MRO mission. The aeroheating predictions calculated for the MRO include the heat transfer coefficient (C(H)) over a range of angles-of-attack, side-slip angles, and number densities. The effects of flow chemistry were also investigated. Flight heat flux data deduced from surface temperature sensors have been compared to pre-flight predictions and agree favorably.

  2. Evidence of recent thrust faulting on the Moon revealed by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera.

    PubMed

    Watters, Thomas R; Robinson, Mark S; Beyer, Ross A; Banks, Maria E; Bell, James F; Pritchard, Matthew E; Hiesinger, Harald; van der Bogert, Carolyn H; Thomas, Peter C; Turtle, Elizabeth P; Williams, Nathan R

    2010-08-20

    Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera images reveal previously undetected lobate thrust-fault scarps and associated meter-scale secondary tectonic landforms that include narrow extensional troughs or graben, splay faults, and multiple low-relief terraces. Lobate scarps are among the youngest landforms on the Moon, based on their generally crisp appearance, lack of superposed large-diameter impact craters, and the existence of crosscut small-diameter impact craters. Identification of previously known scarps was limited to high-resolution Apollo Panoramic Camera images confined to the equatorial zone. Fourteen lobate scarps were identified, seven of which are at latitudes greater than +/-60 degrees, indicating that the thrust faults are globally distributed. This detection, coupled with the very young apparent age of the faults, suggests global late-stage contraction of the Moon. PMID:20724632

  3. Link Design and Planning for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Ka-band (32 GHz) Telecom Demonstration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shambayati, Shervin; Davarian, Faramaz; Morabito, David

    2004-01-01

    NASA is planning an engineering telemetry demonstration with Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Capabilities of Ka-band (32 GHz) for use with deep space mission are demonstrated using the link optimization algorithms and weather forecasting. Furthermore, based on the performance of previous deep space missions with Ka-band downlink capabilities, experiment plans are developed for telemetry operations during superior solar conjunction. A general overview of the demonstration is given followed by a description of the mission planning during cruise, the primary science mission and superior conjunction. As part of the primary science mission planning the expected data return for various data optimization methods is calculated. These results indicate that, given MRO's data rates, a link optimized to use of at most two data rates, subject to a minimum availability of 90%, performs almost as well as a link with no limits on the number of data rates subject to the same minimum availability.

  4. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter: Looking back at the Exploration Mission, Looking Forward to the Science Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, John; Vondrak, Richard; Chin, Gordon; Garvin, Jim

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft (LRO) was launched on June 18, 2009 and arrived at the Moon 5 days later on June 23. LRO's mission, as part of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), is to seek safe landing sites for future robotic missions or the return of humans to the Moon. In addition LRO's primary objectives include the search for resources and to investigate the Lunar radiation environment. The Exploration Mission for ESMD will be completed on September 15, 2010. LRO will then begin a two-year Science Mission under NASA's Science Mission Directorate. This presentation updates the status and recent results from the LRO Exploration Mission, as well as the plans and objectives for the Science Mission.

  5. Fault dislocation modeled structure of lobate scarps from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera digital terrain models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, N. R.; Watters, T. R.; Pritchard, M. E.; Banks, M. E.; Bell, J. F.

    2013-02-01

    Before the launch of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, known characteristics of lobate scarps on the Moon were limited to studies of only a few dozen scarps revealed in Apollo-era photographs within ~20° of the equator. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera now provides meter-scale images of more than 100 lobate scarps, as well as stereo-derived topography of about a dozen scarps. High-resolution digital terrain models (DTMs) provide unprecedented insight into scarp morphology and dimensions. Here, we analyze images and DTMs of the Slipher, Racah X-1, Mandel'shtam-1, Feoktistov, Simpelius-1, and Oppenheimer F lobate scarps. Parameters in fault dislocation models are iteratively varied to provide best fits to DTM topographic profiles to test previous interpretations that the observed landforms are the result of shallow, low-angle thrust faults. Results suggest that these faults occur from the surface down to depths of hundreds of meters, have dip angles of 35-40°, and have typical maximum slips of tens of meters. These lunar scarp models are comparable to modeled geometries of lobate scarps on Mercury, Mars, and asteroid 433 Eros, but are shallower and ~10° steeper than geometries determined in studies with limited Apollo-era data. Frictional and rock mass strength criteria constrain the state of global differential stress between 3.5 and 18.6 MPa at the modeled maximum depths of faulting. Our results are consistent with thermal history models that predict relatively small compressional stresses that likely arise from cooling of a magma ocean.

  6. Initial Results of 3D Topographic Mapping Using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Stereo Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, R.; Oberst, J.; McEwen, A. S.; Archinal, B. A.; Beyer, R. A.; Thomas, P. C.; Chen, Y.; Hwangbo, J.; Lawver, J. D.; Scholten, F.; Mattson, S. S.; Howington-Kraus, A. E.; Robinson, M. S.

    2009-12-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), launched June 18, 2009, carries the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) as one of seven remote sensing instruments on board. The camera system is equipped with a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and two Narrow Angle Cameras (NAC) for systematic lunar surface mapping and detailed site characterization for potential landing site selection and resource identification. The LROC WAC is a pushframe camera with five 14-line by 704-sample framelets for visible light bands and two 16-line by 512-sample (summed 4x to 4 by 128) UV bands. The WAC can also acquire monochrome images with a 14-line by 1024-sample format. At the nominal 50-km orbit the visible bands ground scale is 75-m/pixel and the UV 383-m/pixel. Overlapping WAC images from adjacent orbits can be used to map topography at a scale of a few hundred meters. The two panchromatic NAC cameras are pushbroom imaging sensors each with a Cassegrain telescope of a 700-mm focal length. The two NAC cameras are aligned with a small overlap in the cross-track direction so that they cover a 5-km swath with a combined field-of-view (FOV) of 5.6°. At an altitude of 50-km, the NAC can provide panchromatic images from its 5,000-pixel linear CCD at a ground scale of 0.5-m/pixel. Calibration of the cameras was performed by using precision collimator measurements to determine the camera principal points and radial lens distortion. The orientation of the two NAC cameras is estimated by a boresight calibration using double and triple overlapping NAC images of the lunar surface. The resulting calibration results are incorporated into a photogrammetric bundle adjustment (BA), which models the LROC camera imaging geometry, in order to refine the exterior orientation (EO) parameters initially retrieved from the SPICE kernels. Consequently, the improved EO parameters can significantly enhance the quality of topographic products derived from LROC NAC imagery. In addition, an analysis of the spacecraft

  7. A Modified Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) High Gain Antenna (HGA) Controller Based on Flight Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Neerav

    2010-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was launched on June 18, 2009 and is currently in a 50 km mean altitude polar orbit around the Moon. LRO was designed and built by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. The spacecraft is three-axis stabilized via the attitude control system (ACS), which is composed of various control modes using different sets of sensors and actuators. In addition to pointing the spacecraft, the ACS is responsible for pointing LRO s two appendages, the Solar Array (SA) and the High Gain Antenna (HGA). This study reviews LRO s HGA control system. Starting with an overview of the HGA system, the paper delves into the single input single output (SISO) linear analysis followed by the controller design. Based on flight results, an alternate control scheme is devised to address inherent features in the flight control system. The modified control scheme couples the HGA loop with the spacecraft pointing control loop, and through analysis is shown to be stable and improve transient performance. Although proposed, the LRO project decided against implementing this modification.

  8. Mission Life Thermal Analysis and Environment Correlation for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garrison, Matthew B.; Peabody, Hume

    2012-01-01

    Standard thermal analysis practices include stacking worst-case conditions including environmental heat loads, thermo-optical properties and orbital beta angles. This results in the design being driven by a few bounding thermal cases, although those cases may only represent a very small portion of the actual mission life. The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Thermal Branch developed a procedure to predict the flight temperatures over the entire mission life, assuming a known beta angle progression, variation in the thermal environment, and a degradation rate in the coatings. This was applied to the Global Precipitation Measurement core spacecraft. In order to assess the validity of this process, this work applies the similar process to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. A flight-correlated thermal model was exercised to give predictions of the thermal performance over the mission life. These results were then compared against flight data from the first two years of the spacecraft s use. This is used to validate the process and to suggest possible improvements for future analyses.

  9. Stray light lessons learned from the Mars reconnaissance orbiter's optical navigation camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowman, Andrew E.; Stauder, John L.

    2004-10-01

    The Optical Navigation Camera (ONC) is a technical demonstration slated to fly on NASA"s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in 2005. Conventional navigation methods have reduced accuracy in the days immediately preceding Mars orbit insertion. The resulting uncertainty in spacecraft location limits rover landing sites to relatively safe areas, away from interesting features that may harbor clues to past life on the planet. The ONC will provide accurate navigation on approach for future missions by measuring the locations of the satellites of Mars relative to background stars. Because Mars will be a bright extended object just outside the camera"s field of view, stray light control at small angles is essential. The ONC optomechanical design was analyzed by stray light experts and appropriate baffles were implemented. However, stray light testing revealed significantly higher levels of light than expected at the most critical angles. The primary error source proved to be the interface between ground glass surfaces (and the paint that had been applied to them) and the polished surfaces of the lenses. This paper will describe troubleshooting and correction of the problem, as well as other lessons learned that affected stray light performance.

  10. Interplanetary space weather effects on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter avalanche photodiode performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clements, E. B.; Carlton, A. K.; Joyce, C. J.; Schwadron, N. A.; Spence, H. E.; Sun, X.; Cahoy, K.

    2016-05-01

    Space weather is a major concern for radiation-sensitive space systems, particularly for interplanetary missions, which operate outside of the protection of Earth's magnetic field. We examine and quantify the effects of space weather on silicon avalanche photodiodes (SiAPDs), which are used for interplanetary laser altimeters and communications systems and can be sensitive to even low levels of radiation (less than 50 cGy). While ground-based radiation testing has been performed on avalanche photodiode (APDs) for space missions, in-space measurements of SiAPD response to interplanetary space weather have not been previously reported. We compare noise data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) SiAPDs with radiation measurements from the onboard Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) instrument. We did not find any evidence to support radiation as the cause of changes in detector threshold voltage during radiation storms, both for transient detector noise and long-term average detector noise, suggesting that the approximately 1.3 cm thick shielding (a combination of titanium and beryllium) of the LOLA detectors is sufficient for SiAPDs on interplanetary missions with radiation environments similar to what the LRO experienced (559 cGy of radiation over 4 years).

  11. Precision Time Transfer and Obit Determination Using Laser Ranging to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, D.; Barker, M. K.; Clarke, C. B.; Golder, J. E.; Hoffman, E.; Horvath, J. E.; Mazarico, E.; Mcgarry, J.; Neumann, G. A.; Torrence, M. H.; Rowlands, D. D.; Skillman, D.; Smith, D. E.; Sun, X.; Zuber, M. T.

    2011-12-01

    Since the commissioning of LRO in June, 2009, one-way laser ranging (LR) to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been conducted successfully from NASA's Next Generation Satellite Laser Ranging System (NGSLR) at Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical observatory (GGAO) in Greenbelt, Maryland. With the support of the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS), ten international satellite laser ranging (SLR) ground stations have participated in this experiment and over 1200 hours of ranging data have been collected. In addition to supplementing the precision orbit determination (POD) of LRO, LR is able to perform time transfer between the ground station and the spacecraft clocks. The LRO clock oscillator is stable to 1 part in 10^{12} over several hours, and as stable for much longer periods after correcting for a long-term drift rate and an aging rate. With a precisely-determined LRO ephemeris, the oscillator-determined laser pulse receive time can be differenced with ground station clock transmit times using H-maser and GPS-steered Rb oscillators as references. Simultaneous ranging to LRO among 2, 3, or 4 ground stations has made it possible for relative time transfer among the participating LR stations. Results have shown about 100 ns difference between some LR stations and the primary NGSLR station. At present, the time transfer accuracy is limited to 100 ns at NGSLR. However, an All-View GPS receiver has been installed, which, in combination with a H-maser, is expected to improve the accuracy to 1 ns r.m.s. at NGSLR. Results of new ranging and time transfer experiments using the new time base will be reported. The ability to use LR for time transfer validates the selection of a commercially-supplied, oven-controlled crystal oscillator on board LRO for one-way laser ranging.The increased clock accuracy also provides stronger orbit constraints for LRO POD. The improvements due to including LR data in the LRO POD will be presented.

  12. Insight into gully formation on Mars with CRISM on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nunez, J. I.; Barnouin, O. S.; McGovern, A.; Seelos, F. P.; Seelos, K. D.; Buczkowski, D.; Murchie, S. L.

    2013-12-01

    Gullies are widespread on Mars, with most occurrences found in the southern hemisphere. Indicative of recent downslope movement, multiple alternative models have been proposed for their formation, including groundwater release, melting of snow or near-surface ground ice, dry granular flows, or different CO2-lubricated flows. Ongoing morphological changes to gully channels and aprons observed with the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) over intervals as short as one Martian year have indicated seasonal activity consistent with models for gully formation driven by CO2 frost sublimation as well as dry granular flow. To determine if compositional information could provide additional insight into the mechanics of gully formation and seasonal activity, we have analyzed over 100 images of gullies and their apron deposits taken with the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) over multiple Martian years. Newly processed prototype Map-projected Targeted Reduced Data Record (MTRDR) hyperspectral image cubes were used to identify and extract spectral information. Additional Mars Orbital Laser Altimeter (MOLA) and HiRISE DTM data were used to obtain topographical information. Most gullies observed are spectrally indistinct from their surroundings, most likely due to dust coatings. Where spectral contrast was observed, gullies predominantly exposed and transported underlying mafic material downslope. Rarely were hydrated minerals or alteration products observed in place within these gullies or within their apron deposits, indicating very limited chemical reaction with liquid water. Where detected, hydrated minerals include phyllosilicates and sulfates, and usually occur in a pre-existing layer that is exposed and subsequently transported downslope. Gullies do not show evidence for in situ precipitation or alteration as a result of long lived water-rock interactions. Finally, spectral evidence for

  13. Investigation of small scale roughness properties of Martian terrains using Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, A. B.; Rossi, A.

    2009-04-01

    Studies of layered terrains in polar regions as well as inside craters and other areas on Mars often require knowledge of local topography at much finer resolution than global MOLA topography allows. For example, in the polar layered deposits spatial relationships are important to understand unconformities that are observed on the edges of the layered terrains [15,3]. Their formation process is not understood at this point, yet fine scale topography, joint with ground penetrating radar like SHARAD and MARSIS may shed light on their 3D structure. Landing site analysis also requires knowledge of local slopes and roughness at scales from 1 to 10 m [1,2]. Mars Orbiter Camera [13] has taken stereo images at these scales, however interpretation was difficult due to unstable behavior of the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft during image take (wobbling effect). Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is much better stabilized, since it is required for optimal operation of its high resolution camera. In this work we have utilized data from MRO sensors (CTX camera [11] and HIRISE camera [12] in order to derive digital elevation models (DEM) from images targeted as stereo pairs. We employed methods and approaches utilized for the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) stereo data [4,5]. CTX data varies in resolution and stereo pairs analyzed in this work can be derived at approximately 10m scale. HIRISE images allow DEM post spacing at around 1 meter. The latter are very big images and our computer infrastructure was only able to process either reduced resolution images, covering larger surface or working with smaller patches at the original resolution. We employed stereo matching technique described in [5,9], in conjunction with radiometric and geometric image processing in ISIS3 [16]. This technique is capable of deriving tiepoint co-registration at subpixel precision and has proven itself when used for Pathfinder and MER operations [8]. Considerable part of this work was to accommodate CTX and

  14. Characterization of previously unidentified lunar pyroclastic deposits using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gustafson, J. Olaf; Bell, James F.; Gaddis, Lisa R.R.; Hawke, B. Ray Ray; Giguere, Thomas A.

    2012-01-01

    We used a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) global monochrome Wide-angle Camera (WAC) mosaic to conduct a survey of the Moon to search for previously unidentified pyroclastic deposits. Promising locations were examined in detail using LROC multispectral WAC mosaics, high-resolution LROC Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) images, and Clementine multispectral (ultraviolet-visible or UVVIS) data. Out of 47 potential deposits chosen for closer examination, 12 were selected as probable newly identified pyroclastic deposits. Potential pyroclastic deposits were generally found in settings similar to previously identified deposits, including areas within or near mare deposits adjacent to highlands, within floor-fractured craters, and along fissures in mare deposits. However, a significant new finding is the discovery of localized pyroclastic deposits within floor-fractured craters Anderson E and F on the lunar farside, isolated from other known similar deposits. Our search confirms that most major regional and localized low-albedo pyroclastic deposits have been identified on the Moon down to ~100 m/pix resolution, and that additional newly identified deposits are likely to be either isolated small deposits or additional portions of discontinuous, patchy deposits.

  15. Recent extensional tectonics on the Moon revealed by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watters, Thomas R.; Robinson, Mark S.; Banks, Maria E.; Tran, Thanh; Denevi, Brett W.

    2012-03-01

    Large-scale expressions of lunar tectonics--contractional wrinkle ridges and extensional rilles or graben--are directly related to stresses induced by mare basalt-filled basins. Basin-related extensional tectonic activity ceased about 3.6 Gyr ago, whereas contractional tectonics continued until about 1.2 Gyr ago. In the lunar highlands, relatively young contractional lobate scarps, less than 1 Gyr in age, were first identified in Apollo-era photographs. However, no evidence of extensional landforms was found beyond the influence of mare basalt-filled basins and floor-fractured craters. Here we identify previously undetected small-scale graben in the farside highlands and in the mare basalts in images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera. Crosscut impact craters with diameters as small as about 10m, a lack of superposed craters, and graben depths as shallow as ~1m suggest these pristine-appearing graben are less than 50 Myr old. Thus, the young graben indicate recent extensional tectonic activity on the Moon where extensional stresses locally exceeded compressional stresses. We propose that these findings may be inconsistent with a totally molten early Moon, given that thermal history models for this scenario predict a high level of late-stage compressional stress that might be expected to completely suppress the formation of graben.

  16. HiRISE focal plane for use on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorn, David A.; Meiers, William; Burkepile, Jon; Freymiller, Ed D.; Delamere, Alan W.; McEwen, Alfred S.; Maggs, Peter; Pool, Peter J.; Wallace, Iain

    2004-01-01

    The primary mission of the upcoming HiRISE instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft is to better understand the geologic and climatic processes on Mars and to evaluate future landing sites. To accomplish this goal, a high resolution space-based camera is being developed that employs a 0.5m aperture Cassegrain-type telescope coupled to a large focal plane array (FPA) measuring approximately 14" (L) x 2" (W) x 2" (D). The FPA is populated with 14 time delay and integrate (TDI) format custom charge-coupled device (CCD)-based detectors. The FPA includes panchromatic, near infrared, and blue-green spectral channels. The panchromatic channel has 20,000 pixels in the cross track direction. Each color channel consists of 4,000 pixels in the cross track direction. The minimum ground sampling distance of all channels is 50 cm per pixel. The instrument"s instantaneous field of view is 1.43o x 0.1o. Over the 5-year mission, the FPA will map a portion of the surface of Mars with high spatial resolution and high signal-to-noise ratio (>100:1 at all latitudes). Electronics are housed immediately behind the FPA, which yields a low noise, compact design that is both robust and fault tolerant. Test and characterization data from the FPA and custom CCD-based detectors is discussed along with the results from performance models.

  17. Recent Results from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission and Plans for the Extended Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keller, John W.; Vondrak, Richard; Chin, Gordon; Petro, Noah; Gavin, James W.

    2012-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft (LRO), launched on June 18, 2009, began with the goal of seeking safe landing sites for future robotic missions or the return of humans to the Moon as part of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD). In addition, LRO's objectives included the search for surface resources and to investigate the Lunar radiation environment. After spacecraft commissioning, this phase of the mission began on September 15, 2009, completed on September 15, 2010 when operational responsibility for LRO was transferred to NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). The SMD mission is scheduled for 2 years and will be completed in 2012 with an opportunity for an extended mission beyond 2012. Under SMD, the mission focuses on a new set of goals related to understanding the geologic history of the Moon, its current state, and what it can tell us about the evolution of the Solar System. Having marked the two year anniversary will review here the major results from the LRO mission for both exploration and science and discuss plans and objectives going forward including a proposed 2-year extended mission. These objectives include: 1) understanding the bombardment history of the Moon, 2) interpreting Lunar geologic processes, 3) mapping the global Lunar regolith, 4) identifying volatiles on the Moon, and 5) measuring the Lunar atmosphere and radiation environment.

  18. Global documentation of gullies with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Context Camera and implications for their formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, Tanya N.; Osinski, Gordon R.; Tornabene, Livio L.; Jones, Eriita

    2015-05-01

    Hypotheses ranging from fluvial processes and debris flows to CO2 frost-lubricated or entirely dry flows have been proposed for the formation of martian gullies. In order to constrain these potential formation mechanisms, we mapped the global distribution of gullies on Mars using >54,000 images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Context Camera (CTX) covering ∼85% of the martian surface at a resolution of ∼6 m/pixel. The results of this mapping effort confirm the results of studies using lower resolution and/or less areally extensive datasets that gullies are confined to the martian mid- to high-latitudes (∼30-80° in both hemispheres). We also find a clear transition in gully orientation with increasing latitude, going from poleward-facing to equator-facing preference. In general, gullies are more developed on poleward-facing walls, and mid-latitude gullies are more developed than those at higher latitudes. Gullies are also found to be strongly correlated with regions of distinct thermophysical properties of sand- to pebble-sized grains, low albedo, and higher thermal inertia. These observations all point to climate, insolation, and thermal properties of the substrate playing key factors in gully formation on Mars, supporting either a melting ground ice or snowpack hypothesis as the source for water involved in gully formation.

  19. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter - Six Years of Science and Exploration at the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, John W.; Petro, Noah E.; McClanahan, Timothy P.; Vondrak, Richard R.

    2015-11-01

    The LRO mission, currently in an extended mission phase, is producing a remotely sensed dataset that is unrivaled in planetary science. With an ever-increasing baseline of measurements the LRO data has revealed the Moon’s surface and environment to be dynamic, with new craters and distal ejecta, variations in volatiles at and near the surface, a variable exosphere, and a surface that responds to variations in the flux of radiation from the Sun. Taken together the LRO dataset has significant value in forming how we understand airless bodies work in the Solar System and how planets evolve. We will discuss recent observations from the mission including, geologically recent volcanism, contemparay impacts, and polar volatiles.We will also discuss the mission's support of future exploration of the Moon. As initially conceived, one of the primary objectives for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was to identify safe landing sites for future human and robotic exploration, and LRO mission remains capable of targeted high resolution observations to support the planning of future robotic missions to the Moon. The LRO team seeks to engage with mission planners to discuss LRO's enabaling capabilities.

  20. Off-axis scatter measurement of the Mars reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Optical Navigation Camera (ONC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stauder, John L.; Lowman, Andrew E.; Thiessen, Dave; Day, Darryl; Miles, D. O.

    2005-08-01

    The Optical Navigation Camera (ONC) is part of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) scheduled for an August 2005 launch. The design is a 500 mm focal length, F/8.3 Ritchey-Chretien with a refractive field corrector. Prior to flight, the off-axis performance of the ONC was measured at visible wavelengths in the off-axis scatter facility at the Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL). This unique facility is designed to minimize scatter from the test setup to prevent data corruption. Testing was conducted in a clean room environment, and the results indicate that no detectable contamination of the optics occurred during testing. Measurements were taken in two time frames to correct an unanticipated stray light path, which occurred just outside of the sensor's field-of-view. The source of the offending path was identified as scatter from the edges of the field corrector lenses. Specifically, scatter from the interface between the flat ground glass and polished surfaces resulted in significant "humps" in the off-axis response centered at +/- 1.5°. Retesting showed the removal of the humps, and an overall satisfactory performance of the ONC. The troubleshooting, correction, and lessons learned regarding the above stray light path was reported on in an earlier paper. This paper discusses the measurement process, results, and a comparison to a software prediction and other planetary sensors. The measurement validated the final stray light design and complemented the software analysis.

  1. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter In-flight Anomalies and Lessons Learned: An Update

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bayer, Todd J.

    2008-01-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission has as its primary objectives: advance our understanding of the current Mars climate, the processes that have formed and modified the surface of the planet and the extent to which water has played a role in surface processes; identify sites of possible aqueous activity indicating environments that may have been or are conducive to biological activity; and thus identify and characterize sites for future landed missions; and provide forward and return relay services for current and future Mars landed assets. MRO's crucial role in the long term strategy for Mars exploration requires a high level of reliability during its 5.4 year mission. This requires an architecture which incorporates extensive redundancy and cross-strapping. Because of the distances and hence light-times involved, the spacecraft itself must be able to utilize this redundancy in responding to time-critical failures. For cases where fault protection is unable to recognize a potentially threatening condition, either due to known limitations or software flaws, intervention by ground operations is required. These aspects of MRO's design were discussed in a previous paper [Ref. 1]. This paper provides an update to the original paper, describing MRO's significant in-flight anomalies over the past year, with lessons learned for redundancy and fault protection architectures and for ground operations.

  2. LAMP: The Lyman Alpha Mapping Project on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gladstone, G. Randall; Stern, S. Alan; Retherford, Kurt D.; Black, Ronald K.; Slater, David C.; Davis, Michael W.; Versteeg, Maarten H.; Persson, Kristian B.; Parker, Joel W.; Kaufmann, David E.; Egan, Anthony F.; Greathouse, Thomas K.; Feldman, Paul D.; Hurley, Dana; Pryor, Wayne R.; Hendrix, Amanda R.

    2010-01-01

    The Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) is a far-ultraviolet (FUV) imaging spectrograph on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission. Its main objectives are to (i) identify and localize exposed water frost in permanently shadowed regions (PSRs), (ii) characterize landforms and albedos in PSRs, (iii) demonstrate the feasibility of using natural starlight and sky-glow illumination for future lunar surface mission applications, and (iv) characterize the lunar atmosphere and its variability. As a byproduct, LAMP will map a large fraction of the Moon at FUV wavelengths, allowing new studies of the microphysical and reflectance properties of the regolith. The LAMP FUV spectrograph will accomplish these objectives by measuring the signal reflected from the night-side lunar surface and in PSRs using both the interplanetary HI Lyman- α sky-glow and FUV starlight as light sources. Both these light sources provide fairly uniform, but faint, illumination. With the expected LAMP sensitivity, by the end of the primary 1-year LRO mission, the SNR for a Lyman- α albedo map should be >100 in polar regions >1 km2, providing useful FUV constraints to help characterize subtle compositional and structural features. The LAMP instrument is based on the flight-proven Alice series of spectrographs flying on the Rosetta comet mission and the New Horizons Pluto mission. A general description of the LAMP instrument and its initial ground calibration results are presented here.

  3. A High Power Density Power System Electronics for NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hernandez-Pellerano, A.; Stone, R.; Travis, J.; Kercheval, B.; Alkire, G.; Ter-Minassian, V.

    2009-01-01

    A high power density, modular and state-of-the-art Power System Electronics (PSE) has been developed for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission. This paper addresses the hardware architecture and performance, the power handling capabilities, and the fabrication technology. The PSE was developed by NASA s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and is the central location for power handling and distribution of the LRO spacecraft. The PSE packaging design manages and distributes 2200W of solar array input power in a volume less than a cubic foot. The PSE architecture incorporates reliable standard internal and external communication buses, solid state circuit breakers and LiIon battery charge management. Although a single string design, the PSE achieves high reliability by elegantly implementing functional redundancy and internal fault detection and correction. The PSE has been environmentally tested and delivered to the LRO spacecraft for the flight Integration and Test. This modular design is scheduled to flight in early 2009 on board the LRO and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) spacecrafts and is the baseline architecture for future NASA missions such as Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) and Magnetospheric MultiScale (MMS).

  4. Orbit Determination for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Using an Extended Kalman Filter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slojkowski, Steven; Lowe, Jonathan; Woodburn, James

    2015-01-01

    Since launch, the FDF has performed daily OD for LRO using the Goddard Trajectory Determination System (GTDS). GTDS is a batch least-squares (BLS) estimator. The tracking data arc for OD is 36 hours. Current operational OD uses 200 x 200 lunar gravity, solid lunar tides, solar radiation pressure (SRP) using a spherical spacecraft area model, and point mass gravity for the Earth, Sun, and Jupiter. LRO tracking data consists of range and range-rate measurements from: Universal Space Network (USN) stations in Sweden, Germany, Australia, and Hawaii. A NASA antenna at White Sands, New Mexico (WS1S). NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) stations. DSN data was sparse and not included in this study. Tracking is predominantly (50) from WS1S. The OD accuracy requirements are: Definitive ephemeris accuracy of 500 meters total position root-mean-squared (RMS) and18 meters radial RMS. Predicted orbit accuracy less than 800 meters root sum squared (RSS) over an 84-hour prediction span.

  5. Initial Mars Upper Atmospheric Structure Results from the Accelerometer Science Experiment aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keating, G. M.; Bougher, S. W.; Theriot, M. E.; Tolson, R. H.; Blanchard, R. C.; Zurek, R. W.; Forbes, J. M.; Murphy, J.

    2006-12-01

    Designed for aerobraking, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) launched on August 12, 2005, achieved Mars Orbital Insertion (MOI), March 10, 2006, and successfully completed aerobraking on August 30, 2006. Atmospheric density decreases exponentially with increasing height. By small propulsive adjustments of the apoapsis orbital velocity, periapsis altitude was fine tuned to the density surface that safely used the atmosphere of Mars to aerobrake over 445 orbits, providing 890 vertical structures. MRO periapsis precesses from near the South Pole at 6pm LST to near the equator at 3am LST. Meanwhile, apoapsis is brought dramatically from 40,000km at MOI to 480 km at aerobraking completion (ABX). Without aerobraking this would have required an additional 400kg of fuel. After ABX, two small propulsive orbital adjustment maneuvers September 5, 2006 and September 11, 2006 established the final Primary Science Orbit (PSO). Each of the 445 aerobraking orbits provides, a pair of vertical structures inbound toward periapsis and outbound from periapsis, with a distribution of density, scale heights, temperatures, and pressures along the orbital path, providing key in situ insight into various upper atmosphere (> 100 km) processes. One of the major questions for scientists studying Mars is: Where did the water go? Honeywell's substantially improved electronics package for its IMU (QA-2000 accelerometer, gyro, electronics) maximized accelerometer sensitivities at the requests of The George Washington University, JPL, and Lockheed Martin. The improved accelerometer sensitivities allowed density measurements to exceed 200km, at least 40 km higher than with Mars Odyssey (MO). This extends vertical structures from MRO into the neutral lower exosphere, a region where various processes may allow atmospheric gasses to escape. Over the eons, water may have been lost in both the lower atmosphere and the upper atmosphere, thus the water balance throughout the entire atmosphere from

  6. Investigating at the Moon With new Eyes: The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission Camera (LROC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiesinger, H.; Robinson, M. S.; McEwen, A. S.; Turtle, E. P.; Eliason, E. M.; Jolliff, B. L.; Malin, M. C.; Thomas, P. C.

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission Camera (LROC) H. Hiesinger (1,2), M.S. Robinson (3), A.S. McEwen (4), E.P. Turtle (4), E.M. Eliason (4), B.L. Jolliff (5), M.C. Malin (6), and P.C. Thomas (7) (1) Brown Univ., Dept. of Geological Sciences, Providence RI 02912, Harald_Hiesinger@brown.edu, (2) Westfaelische Wilhelms-University, (3) Northwestern Univ., (4) LPL, Univ. of Arizona, (5) Washington Univ., (6) Malin Space Science Systems, (7) Cornell Univ. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission is scheduled for launch in October 2008 as a first step to return humans to the Moon by 2018. The main goals of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) are to: 1) assess meter and smaller- scale features for safety analyses for potential lunar landing sites near polar resources, and elsewhere on the Moon; and 2) acquire multi-temporal images of the poles to characterize the polar illumination environment (100 m scale), identifying regions of permanent shadow and permanent or near permanent illumination over a full lunar year. In addition, LROC will return six high-value datasets such as 1) meter-scale maps of regions of permanent or near permanent illumination of polar massifs; 2) high resolution topography through stereogrammetric and photometric stereo analyses for potential landing sites; 3) a global multispectral map in 7 wavelengths (300-680 nm) to characterize lunar resources, in particular ilmenite; 4) a global 100-m/pixel basemap with incidence angles (60-80 degree) favorable for morphologic interpretations; 5) images of a variety of geologic units at sub-meter resolution to investigate physical properties and regolith variability; and 6) meter-scale coverage overlapping with Apollo Panoramic images (1-2 m/pixel) to document the number of small impacts since 1971-1972, to estimate hazards for future surface operations. LROC consists of two narrow-angle cameras (NACs) which will provide 0.5-m scale panchromatic images over a 5-km swath, a wide

  7. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Command and Data Handling Flight Electronics Subsystem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nguyen, Quang; Yuknis, William; Haghani, Noosha; Pursley, Scott; Haddad, Omar

    2012-01-01

    A document describes a high-performance, modular, and state-of-the-art Command and Data Handling (C&DH) system developed for use on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission. This system implements a complete hardware C&DH subsystem in a single chassis enclosure that includes a processor card, 48 Gbytes of solid-state recorder memory, data buses including MIL-STD-1553B, custom RS-422, SpaceWire, analog collection, switched power services, and interfaces to the Ka-Band and S-Band RF communications systems. The C&DH team capitalized on extensive experience with hardware and software with PCI bus design, SpaceWire networking, Actel FPGA design, digital flight design techniques, and the use of VxWorks for the real-time operating system. The resulting hardware architecture was implemented to meet the LRO mission requirements. The C&DH comprises an enclosure, a backplane, a low-voltage power converter, a single-board computer, a communications interface board, four data storage boards, a housekeeping and digital input/output board, and an analog data acquisition board. The interfaces between the C&DH and the instruments and avionics are connected through a SpaceWire network, a MIL-STD-1553 bus, and a combination of synchronous and asynchronous serial data transfers over RS-422 and LVDS (low-voltage differential-signaling) electrical interfaces. The C&DH acts as the spacecraft data system with an instrument data manager providing all software and internal bus scheduling, ingestion of science data, distribution of commands, and performing science operations in real time.

  8. Recent Results from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission and Plans for the Extended Science Phase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vondrak, Richard; Keller, John W.; Chin, Gordon; Petro, Noah; Garvin, James B.; Rice, James W.

    2012-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft (LRO), launched on June 18, 2009, began with the goal of seeking safe landing sites for future robotic missions or the return of humans to the Moon as part of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD). In addition, LRO's objectives included the search for surface resources and to investigate the Lunar radiation environment. After spacecraft commissioning, the ESMD phase of the mission began on September 15, 2009 and completed on September 15, 2010 when operational responsibility for LRO was transferred to NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). The SMD mission was scheduled for 2 years and completed in September, 2012. The LRO mission has been extended for two years under SMD. The extended mission focuses on a new set of goals related to understanding the geologic history of the Moon, its current state, and what it can tell us about the evolution Of the Solar System. Here we will review the major results from the LRO mission for both exploration and science and discuss plans and objectives going forward including plans for the extended science phase out to 2014. Results from the LRO mission include but are not limited to the development of comprehensive high resolution maps and digital terrain models of the lunar surface; discoveries on the nature of hydrogen distribution, and by extension water, at the lunar poles; measurement of the day and night time temperature of the lunar surface including temperature down below 30 K in permanently shadowed regions (PSRs); direct measurement of Hg, H2, and CO deposits in the PSRs, evidence for recent tectonic activity on the Moon, and high resolution maps of the illumination conditions as the poles. The objectives for the second and extended science phases of the mission under SMD include: 1) understanding the bombardment history of the Moon, 2) interpreting Lunar geologic processes, 3) mapping the global Lunar regolith, 4) identifying volatiles on the Moon, and 5

  9. Results from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission and Plans for the Extended Science Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vondrak, Richard R.; Keller, J. W.; Chin, G.; Garvin, J.; Petro, N.

    2012-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft (LRO), launched on June 18,2009, began with the goal of seeking safe landing sites for future robotic missions or the return of humans to the Moon as part of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD). In addition, LRO's objectives included the search for surface resources and the measurement of the lunar radiation environment. After spacecraft commissioning, the ESMD phase of the mission began on September 15, 2009 and was completed on September 15, 2010 when operational responsibility for LRO was transferred to NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). The SMD mission was scheduled for 2 years and completed in September of 2012. Under SMD, the Science Mission focused on a new set of goals related to understanding the history of the Moon, its current state, and what it can tell us about the evolution of the Solar System. Having recently marked the completion of the two-year Science Mission, we will review here the major results from the LRO for both exploration and science and discuss plans and objectives for the Extended Science that will last until September, 2014. Some results from the LRO mission are: the development of comprehensive high resolution maps and digital terrain models of the lunar surface; discoveries on the nature of hydrogen distribution, and by extension water, at the lunar poles; measurement of the daytime and nighttime temperature of the lunar surface including temperature down below 30 K in permanently shadowed regions (PSRs); direct measurement of Hg, H2, and CO deposits in the PSRs; evidence for recent tectonic activity on the Moon; and high resolution maps of the illumination conditions at the poles.

  10. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Professional Development Workshop Series: Example of an Excellent Mechanism of Scientific Dissemination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, A. P.; Hsu, B. C.; Bleacher, L.; Millham, R. A.

    2010-12-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Lunar Institute for Educators pilot workshop was held at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD in July of 2010. At this workshop, educators of grades 6-12 learned about lunar science, exploration, and how our understanding of the Moon has changed since the Apollo missions. The workshop exposed teachers to science results from recent lunar missions, particularly LRO, through presentations and discussions with lunar scientists. It allowed them to explore real LRO data, participate in hands-on lunar science activities, and learn how to incorporate these data and activities into their classrooms. Other workshop activities focused on mitigating student, and teacher, misconceptions about the Moon. As a result of the workshop, educators reported feeling a renewed excitement about the Moon, and more confidence in teaching lunar science to their students. Quarterly follow-up professional development sessions will monitor the progress of the workshop participants throughout the year, and provide additional support to the teachers, as needed. Evaluations from the 2010 pilot program are being used to improve LRO workshops as they expand contextually and geographically in the coming years. Ten workshops will be held across the United States in 2011 and 2012. Areas that have been underserved, with respect to NASA workshops, will be specifically targeted. Educator professional development workshops such as this one are an excellent mechanism for scientists to disseminate the latest discoveries from their missions and research to educators across the country and to get real data in the hands of students, further strengthening the students’ interest and understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) content and careers. Making a model: educators construct topographic maps of Play-Doh volcanoes.

  11. Lunar Atmospheric H2 Detections by the LAMP UV Spectrograph on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Jason C.; Stern, S.; Chaufray, J.; Feldman, P. D.; Gladstone, G.; Retherford, K. D.; LAMP Sciecne Team

    2013-10-01

    H2 in the lunar atmosphere was predicted by Hodges (1973), who theorized that the low H upper limit derived from Apollo 17 Ultraviolet Spectrometer (UVS) (Fastie et al., 1973; Feldman and Morrison, 1991) suggested that the bulk of solar wind protons must become neutralized and form H2 on the lunar surface. By balancing the H thermal escape rate with the impact rate, Hodges (1973) predicted a night time surface density of N(H2) = 1.2 x 104 cm-3. However, measurements from UVS observations yielded only an upper limit of < 9000 H2 molecules cm-3 (Feldman and Morrison 1991). After reflected energetic neutral hydrogen was detected by IBEX (McComas et al., 2009) and Chandrayaan-1 (Wieser et al., 2009), Hodges (2011) revisited the H2 issue. Based on Hodges (2011) model, the solar wind protons exit the lunar surface as neutral H (98.5%) and protons (1%) at escape speeds. The remaining 0.5% are bound to the lunar atmosphere as neutral H with a H surface density that is compatible with Apollo 17 observations (< 17 cm-3 Feldman and Morrison, 1991). Here we report the detection of H2 seen in twilight observations of the lunar atmosphere observed by the LAMP (Lyman Alpha Mapping Project) instrument aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Using millions of seconds of lunar atmospheric integration time collected between September 2009 and March 2013, we have identified the presence of H2 for the first time using ultraviolet spectroscopy. We derive an H2 surface density of (1.2 ± 0.4) x 103 cm-3 at 120 K. This is 10 times smaller than originally predicted, and several times below previous upper limits. We point out that our result is consistent with the prediction made by Wurz et al. (2012), who estimated a surface density between 1050 and 2100 cm-3, depending on how readily atmospheric H2 escapes.

  12. Lunar cosmic ray radiation environments during Luna and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sohn, Jongdae; Oh, Suyeon; Yi, Yu

    2014-09-01

    The RV-2N-series instruments onboard Luna missions and the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) instrument onboard Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) were designed to characterize the global lunar radiation environment and its biological impacts by measuring cosmic ray (CR) intensity. In this study, we have shown that the RV-2N-series instruments onboard of Russian Luna missions and the CRaTER reliably detect both background CRs and solar proton events (SPEs) in the lunar radiation environment using the proton intensity measured by the RV-2N-series onboard Luna missions out of the Russian Luna program for the exploration of the Moon (November 1970-August 1975) and the CR intensity on the Moon observed by the CRaTER (June 2009-March 2011). Those were compared with the CR intensities observed by neutron monitors (McMurdo, Thule, Oulu) on the Earth. The sunspot number is used as the index of solar activity (NOAA National Geophysical Data Center). As a result, the background CR intensities on the Moon turned out to have a good anti-correlation with the solar activity. We have also identified the proton intensity increasing events on the Moon which have the similar profiles to those observed by neutron monitors on the Earth. Most of these events show the significant increase of proton intensities in the lunar radiation environment when the SPEs associated with solar eruptions are verified. Therefore, most of the proton intensity increasing events are associated with the energetic solar particles in the lunar environment.

  13. The Widespread Distribution of Swirls in Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denevi, B. W.; Robinson, M. S.; Boyd, A. K.; Blewett, D. T.

    2015-10-01

    Lunar swirls, the sinuous high-and low-reflectance features that cannot be mentioned without the associated adjective "enigmatic,"are of interest because of their link to crustal magnetic anomalies [1,2]. These localized magnetic anomalies create mini-magnetospheres [3,4] and may alter the typical surface modification processes or result in altogether distinct processes that form the swirls. One hypothesis is that magnetic anomalies may provide some degree of shielding from the solar wind [1,2], which could impede space weathering due to solar wind sputtering. In this case, swirls would serve as a way to compare areas affected by typical lunar space weathering (solar wind plus micrometeoroid bombardment) to those where space weathering is dominated by micrometeoroid bombardment alone, providing a natural means to assess the relative contributions of these two processes to the alteration of fresh regolith. Alternately,magnetic anomalies may play a role in the sorting of soil grains, such that the high-reflectance portion of swirls may preferentially accumulate feldspar-rich dust [5]or soils with a lower component of nanophase iron [6].Each of these scenarios presumes a pre-existing magnetic anomaly; swirlshave also been suggested to be the result of recent cometary impacts in which the remanent magnetic field is generated by the impact event[7].Here we map the distribution of swirls using ultraviolet and visible images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera(LROC) Wide Angle Camera (WAC) [8,9]. We explore the relationship of the swirls to crustal magnetic anomalies[10], and examine regions with magnetic anomalies and no swirls.

  14. Lobate Scarp Modeling with Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Digital Terrain Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, N. R.; Watters, T. R.; Pritchard, M. E.; Banks, M. E.; Bell, J. F.; Robinson, M. S.; Tran, T.

    2011-12-01

    Lobate scarps are a type of contractional tectonic landform expressed on the Moon's surface in both highlands and maria. Typically only tens of meters in relief, these linear or curvilinear topographic rises are interpreted to be low-angle thrust fault scarps resulting from global radial contraction. Radial contraction of the Moon can be inferred from shortening across the population of lobate scarps and is estimated at ~100 m. However, the geometry and depth of the underlying faults and mechanical properties of the near-surface lunar crustal materials are not well constrained. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Narrow Angle Cameras (NACs) acquire 0.5 to 2.0 m/pixel panchromatic images and digital terrain models (DTMs) with spatial resolutions of 2 m are derived from NAC stereo pairs. Topographic data are being used to constrain models of the lobate scarp thrust faults. DTMs are analyzed for relief and morphology of the Slipher (48.3°N, 160.6°E), Racah X-1 (10°S, 178°E), and Simpelius-1 (73.5°S, 13°E) scarps. Profiles are extracted, detrended, and compared along strike. LROC Wide Angle Camera (WAC) 100 m/pixel image mosaics and topography provide regional contexts. Using elastic dislocation modeling, the fault dip angles, depths, slip, and taper are each varied until the predicted surface displacement best fits the DTM profiles for each lobate scarp. Preliminary best-fit dip angles vary from 30-40°, maximum fault depths extend to several hundred meters, and the amount of slip varies from 10 to 30 meters for the three scarps. The modeled maximum depths suggest that the thrust faults are not deeply rooted.

  15. The Use of Lunar Data in the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Education Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stockman, S. A.

    2006-12-01

    In the fall of 2008, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) will set forth on a journey to study the moon, paving the way for future human exploration. LRO comprises six research instruments and a technology demonstration that will search for water ice, map the surface of the moon, and assess the chemical composition for identification of potential resources. A key component of a majority of the instrument EPO plans is to engage the public and education audiences through the use of data collected during the mission. In preparation for the wealth of new lunar data the Education and Public Outreach (EPO) program for LRO is supporting the use of current lunar data in education settings in both formal and informal education communities. The LRO EPO program has partnered on funded proposals that reach librarians, small science museums, Girl Scouts, NASA Explorer Schools and in-service teachers. Through our involvement with these projects, we are introducing a broad audience to lunar exploration and are preparing them to utilize LRO data in education settings when it becomes available. LRO instrument EPO teams are developing an array of tools, modules and visualizations to be used with image, topography, and spectrometry data that will be available during and after the LRO mission. They have initiated partnerships with museums, planetariums, public television stations, the Mars Museum Alliance, NASA Explorer Schools, HBCUs and other minority serving institutions, and the Society of Physics students. During this presentation we will discuss the use of planetary data in current partnerships that have been funded by NASA's Office of Education and NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate as well as the LRO instrument team plans. We will also explore opportunities for future collaborative efforts in the development and dissemination of materials that utilize LRO data products.

  16. Results from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission and Plans for the Extended Science Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, J. W.; Vondrak, R. R.; Petro, N. E.; Chin, G.; Garvin, J.

    2012-12-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft (LRO), launched on June 18, 2009, began with the goal of seeking safe landing sites for future robotic missions or the return of humans to the Moon as part of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD). In addition, LRO's objectives included the search for surface resources and the measurement of the lunar radiation environment. After spacecraft commissioning, the ESMD phase of the mission began on September 15, 2009 and was completed on September 15, 2010 when operational responsibility for LRO was transferred to NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). The SMD mission was scheduled for 2 years and completed in September of 2012. Under SMD, the Science Mission focused on a new set of goals related to understanding the history of the Moon, its current state, and what it can tell us about the evolution of the Solar System. Having recently marked the completion of the two-year Science Mission, we will review here the major results from the LRO for both exploration and science and discuss plans and objectives for the Extended Science that will last until September, 2014. Some results from the LRO mission are: the development of comprehensive high resolution maps and digital terrain models of the lunar surface; discoveries on the nature of hydrogen distribution, and by extension water, at the lunar poles; measurement of the daytime and nighttime temperature of the lunar surface including temperature down below 30 K in permanently shadowed regions (PSRs); direct measurement of Hg, H2, and CO deposits in the PSRs; evidence for recent tectonic activity on the Moon; and high resolution maps of the illumination conditions at the poles.

  17. Exploring the Moon at High-Resolution: First Results From the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Mark; Hiesinger, Harald; McEwen, Alfred; Jolliff, Brad; Thomas, Peter C.; Turtle, Elizabeth; Eliason, Eric; Malin, Mike; Ravine, A.; Bowman-Cisneros, Ernest

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft was launched on an Atlas V 401 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 41 on June 18, 2009. After spending four days in Earth-Moon transit, the spacecraft entered a three month commissioning phase in an elliptical 30×200 km orbit. On September 15, 2009, LRO began its planned one-year nominal mapping mission in a quasi-circular 50 km orbit. A multi-year extended mission in a fixed 30×200 km orbit is optional. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) consists of a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and two Narrow Angle Cameras (NACs). The WAC is a 7-color push-frame camera, which images the Moon at 100 and 400 m/pixel in the visible and UV, respectively, while the two NACs are monochrome narrow-angle linescan imagers with 0.5 m/pixel spatial resolution. LROC was specifically designed to address two of the primary LRO mission requirements and six other key science objectives, including 1) assessment of meter-and smaller-scale features in order to select safe sites for potential lunar landings near polar resources and elsewhere on the Moon; 2) acquire multi-temporal synoptic 100 m/pixel images of the poles during every orbit to unambiguously identify regions of permanent shadow and permanent or near permanent illumination; 3) meter-scale mapping of regions with permanent or near-permanent illumination of polar massifs; 4) repeat observations of potential landing sites and other regions to derive high resolution topography; 5) global multispectral observations in seven wavelengths to characterize lunar resources, particularly ilmenite; 6) a global 100-m/pixel basemap with incidence angles (60° -80° ) favorable for morphological interpretations; 7) sub-meter imaging of a variety of geologic units to characterize their physical properties, the variability of the regolith, and other key science questions; 8) meter-scale coverage overlapping with Apollo-era panoramic images (1-2 m/pixel) to document

  18. Exploring the Moon at High-Resolution: First Results From the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Mark; Hiesinger, Harald; McEwen, Alfred; Jolliff, Brad; Thomas, Peter C.; Turtle, Elizabeth; Eliason, Eric; Malin, Mike; Ravine, A.; Bowman-Cisneros, Ernest

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft was launched on an Atlas V 401 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 41 on June 18, 2009. After spending four days in Earth-Moon transit, the spacecraft entered a three month commissioning phase in an elliptical 30×200 km orbit. On September 15, 2009, LRO began its planned one-year nominal mapping mission in a quasi-circular 50 km orbit. A multi-year extended mission in a fixed 30×200 km orbit is optional. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) consists of a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and two Narrow Angle Cameras (NACs). The WAC is a 7-color push-frame camera, which images the Moon at 100 and 400 m/pixel in the visible and UV, respectively, while the two NACs are monochrome narrow-angle linescan imagers with 0.5 m/pixel spatial resolution. LROC was specifically designed to address two of the primary LRO mission requirements and six other key science objectives, including 1) assessment of meter-and smaller-scale features in order to select safe sites for potential lunar landings near polar resources and elsewhere on the Moon; 2) acquire multi-temporal synoptic 100 m/pixel images of the poles during every orbit to unambiguously identify regions of permanent shadow and permanent or near permanent illumination; 3) meter-scale mapping of regions with permanent or near-permanent illumination of polar massifs; 4) repeat observations of potential landing sites and other regions to derive high resolution topography; 5) global multispectral observations in seven wavelengths to characterize lunar resources, particularly ilmenite; 6) a global 100-m/pixel basemap with incidence angles (60° -80° ) favorable for morphological interpretations; 7) sub-meter imaging of a variety of geologic units to characterize their physical properties, the variability of the regolith, and other key science questions; 8) meter-scale coverage overlapping with Apollo-era panoramic images (1-2 m/pixel) to document

  19. Optical Fiber Array Assemblies for Space Flight on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ott, Jelanie; Matuszeski, Adam

    2011-01-01

    Custom fiber optic bundle array assemblies developed by the Photonics Group at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center were an enabling technology for both the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) and the Laser Ranging (LR) Investigation on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) currently in operation. The unique assembly array designs provided considerable decrease in size and weight and met stringent system level requirements. This is the first time optical fiber array bundle assemblies were used in a high performance space flight application. This innovation was achieved using customized Diamond Switzerland AVIM optical connectors. For LOLA, a five fiber array was developed for the receiver telescope to maintain precise alignment for each of the 200/220 micron optical fibers collecting 1,064 nm wavelength light being reflected back from the moon. The array splits to five separate detectors replacing the need for multiple telescopes. An image illustration of the LOLA instrument can be found at the top of the figure. For the laser ranging, a seven-optical-fiber array of 400/440 micron fibers was developed to transmit light from behind the LR receiver telescope located on the end of the high gain antenna system (HGAS). The bundle was routed across two moving gimbals, down the HGAS boom arm, over a deployable mandrel and across the spacecraft to a detector on the LOLA instrument. The routing of the optical fiber bundle and its end locations is identified in the figure. The Laser Ranging array and bundle is currently accepting light at a wavelength of 532 nm sent to the moon from laser stations at Greenbelt MD and other stations around the world to gather precision ranging information from the Earth to the LRO spacecraft. The LR bundle assembly is capable of withstanding temperatures down to -55 C at the connectors, and 20,000 mechanical gimbal cycles at temperatures as cold as -20 C along the length of the seven-fiber bundle (that is packaged into the gimbals). The total

  20. Two Years of Digital Terrain Model Production Using the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Narrow Angle Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burns, K.; Robinson, M. S.; Speyerer, E.; LROC Science Team

    2011-12-01

    One of the primary objectives of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) is to gather stereo observations with the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC). These stereo observations are used to generate digital terrain models (DTMs). The NAC has a pixel scale of 0.5 to 2.0 meters but was not designed for stereo observations and thus requires the spacecraft to roll off-nadir to acquire these images. Slews interfere with the data collection of the other instruments, so opportunities are currently limited to four per day. Arizona State University has produced DTMs from 95 stereo pairs for 11 Constellation Project (CxP) sites (Aristarchus, Copernicus crater, Gruithuisen domes, Hortensius domes, Ina D-caldera, Lichtenberg crater, Mare Ingenii, Marius hills, Reiner Gamma, South Pole-Aitkin Rim, Sulpicius Gallus) as well as 30 other regions of scientific interest (including: Bhabha crater, highest and lowest elevation points, Highland Ponds, Kugler Anuchin, Linne Crater, Planck Crater, Slipher crater, Sears Crater, Mandel'shtam Crater, Virtanen Graben, Compton/Belkovich, Rumker Domes, King Crater, Luna 16/20/23/24 landing sites, Ranger 6 landing site, Wiener F Crater, Apollo 11/14/15/17, fresh craters, impact melt flows, Larmor Q crater, Mare Tranquillitatis pit, Hansteen Alpha, Moore F Crater, and Lassell Massif). To generate DTMs, the USGS ISIS software and SOCET SET° from BAE Systems are used. To increase the absolute accuracy of the DTMs, data obtained from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) is used to coregister the NAC images and define the geodetic reference frame. NAC DTMs have been used in examination of several sites, e.g. Compton-Belkovich, Marius Hills and Ina D-caldera [1-3]. LROC will continue to acquire high-resolution stereo images throughout the science phase of the mission and any extended mission opportunities, thus providing a vital dataset for scientific research as well as future human and robotic exploration. [1] B.L. Jolliff (2011) Nature

  1. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Ka-band (32 GHz) Demonstration: Cruise Phase Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shambayati, Shervin; Morabito, David; Border, James S.; Davarian, Faramaz; Lee, Dennis; Mendoza, Ricardo; Britcliffe, Michael; Weinreb, Sander

    2006-01-01

    The X-band (8.41 GHz) frequency currently used for deep space telecommunications is too narrow (50 MHz) to support future high rate missions. Because of this NASA has decided to transition to Ka-band (32 GHz) frequencies. As weather effects cause much larger fluctuations on Ka-band than on X-band, the traditional method of using a few dBs of margin to cover these fluctuations is wasteful of power for Ka-band; therefore, a different operations concept is needed for Ka-band links. As part of the development of the operations concept for Ka-band, NASA has implemented a fully functioning Ka-band communications suite on its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). This suite will be used during the primary science phase to develop and refine the Ka-band operations concept for deep space missions. In order to test the functional readiness of the spacecraft and the Deep Space Network's (DSN) readiness to support the demonstration activities a series of passes over DSN 34-m Beam Waveguide (BWG) antennas were scheduled during the cruise phase of the mission. MRO was launched on August 12, 2005 from Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA and went into Mars Orbit on March 10, 2006. A total of ten telemetry demonstration and one high gain antenna (HGA) calibration passes were allocated to the Ka-band demonstration. Furthermore, a number of "shadow" passes were also scheduled where, during a regular MRO track over a Ka-band capable antenna, Ka-band was identically configured as the X-band and tracked by the station. In addition, nine Ka-band delta differential one way ranging ((delta)DOR) passes were scheduled. During these passes, the spacecraft and the ground system were put through their respective paces. Among the highlights of these was setting a single day record for data return from a deep space spacecraft (133 Gbits) achieved during one 10-hour pass; achieving the highest data rate ever from a planetary mission (6 Mbps) and successfully demonstrating Ka-band DDOR

  2. Toward a Unified View of the Moon's Polar Volatiles from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayne, Paul

    2016-04-01

    Although the scientific basis for the possibility of water and other volatiles in the cold traps of the lunar polar regions was developed in the 1960's and '70's [1,2], only recently have the data become available to test the theories in detail. Furthermore, comparisons with other planetary bodies, particularly Mercury, have revealed surprising differences that may point to inconsistencies or holes in our understanding of the basic processes involving volatiles on airless bodies [3]. Addressing these gaps in understanding is critical to the future exploration of the Moon, for which water is an important scientific and engineering resource [4]. Launched in 2009, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been acquiring data from lunar orbit for more than six years. All seven of the remote sensing instruments on the payload have now contributed significantly to advancing understanding of volatiles on the Moon. Here we present results from these investigations, and discuss attempts to synthesize the disparate information to create a self-consistent model for lunar volatiles. In addition to the LRO data, we must take into account results from earlier missions [5,6], ground-based telescopes [7], and sample analyses [8]. The results from these inter-comparisons show that water is likely available in useful quantities, but key additional measurements may be required to resolve remaining uncertainties. [1] Watson, K., Murray, B. C., & Brown, H. (1961), J. Geophys. Res., 66(9), 3033-3045. [2] Arnold, J. R. (1979), J. Geophys. Res. (1978-2012), 84(B10), 5659-5668. [3] Paige, D. A., Siegler, M. A., Harmon, J. K., Neumann, G. A., Mazarico, E. M., Smith, D. E., ... & Solomon, S. C. (2013), Science, 339(6117), 300-303. [4] Hayne, P. O., et al. (2014), Keck Inst. Space Studies Report. [5] Nozette, S., Lichtenberg, C. L., Spudis, P., Bonner, R., Ort, W., Malaret, E., ... & Shoemaker, E. M. (1996), Science, 274(5292), 1495-1498. [6] Pieters, C. M., Goswami, J. N., Clark, R. N

  3. Simultaneous Laser Ranging and Communication from an Earth-Based Satellite Laser Ranging Station to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in Lunar Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Xiaoli; Skillman, David R.; Hoffman, Evan D.; Mao, Dandan; McGarry, Jan F.; Neumann, Gregory A.; McIntire, Leva; Zellar, Ronald S.; Davidson, Frederic M.; Fong, Wai H.; Krainak, Michael A.; Zuber, Maria T.; Smith, David E.

    2013-01-01

    We report a free space laser communication experiment from the satellite laser ranging (SLR) station at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in lunar orbit through the on board one-way Laser Ranging (LR) receiver. Pseudo random data and sample image files were transmitted to LRO using a 4096-ary pulse position modulation (PPM) signal format. Reed-Solomon forward error correction codes were used to achieve error free data transmission at a moderate coding overhead rate. The signal fading due to the atmosphere effect was measured and the coding gain could be estimated.

  4. Simultaneous laser ranging and communication from an Earth-based satellite laser ranging station to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in lunar orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Xiaoli; Skillman, David R.; Hoffman, Evan D.; Mao, Dandan; McGarry, Jan F.; Neumann, Gregory A.; McIntire, Leva; Zellar, Ronald S.; Davidson, Frederic M.; Fong, Wai H.; Krainak, Michael A.; Zuber, Maria T.; Smith, David E.

    2013-03-01

    We report a free space laser communication experiment from the satellite laser ranging (SLR) station at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in lunar orbit through the on board one-way Laser Ranging (LR) receiver. Pseudo random data and sample image files were transmitted to LRO using a 4096-ary pulse position modulation (PPM) signal format. Reed-Solomon forward error correction codes were used to achieve error free data transmission at a moderate coding overhead rate. The signal fading due to the atmosphere effect was measured and the coding gain could be estimated.

  5. NESC Independent Review of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Contamination Thermal/Vacuum (T/V) Anomaly Technical Consultation Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sutter, James K.; Leidecker, Henning W.; Panda, Binayak; Piascik, Robert S.; Muirhead, Brian K.; Peeler, Debra

    2009-01-01

    The NESC eras requested by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to conduct an independent review of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Thermal/Vacuum (T/V) Anomaly Assessment. Because the anomaly resulted in the surface contamination of the MRO, selected members of the Materials Super Problem Resolution Team (SPRT) and the NASA technical community having technical expertise relative to contamination issues were chosen for the independent review. The consultation consisted of a review of the MRO Project's reported response to the assessment findings, a detailed review of JPL technical assessment final report, and detailed discussions with the JPL assessment team relative to their findings.

  6. Subsurface structure of Planum Boreum from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Shallow Radar soundings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putzig, Nathaniel E.; Phillips, Roger J.; Campbell, Bruce A.; Holt, John W.; Plaut, Jeffrey J.; Carter, Lynn M.; Egan, Anthony F.; Bernardini, Fabrizio; Safaeinili, Ali; Seu, Roberto

    2009-12-01

    We map the subsurface structure of Planum Boreum using sounding data from the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) instrument onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Radar coverage throughout the 1,000,000-km 2 area reveals widespread reflections from basal and internal interfaces of the north polar layered deposits (NPLD). A dome-shaped zone of diffuse reflectivity up to 12 μs (˜1-km thick) underlies two-thirds of the NPLD, predominantly in the main lobe but also extending into the Gemina Lingula lobe across Chasma Boreale. We equate this zone with a basal unit identified in image data as Amazonian sand-rich layered deposits [Byrne, S., Murray, B.C., 2002. J. Geophys. Res. 107, 5044, 12 pp. doi:10.1029/2001JE001615; Fishbaugh, K.E., Head, J.W., 2005. Icarus 174, 444-474; Tanaka, K.L., Rodriguez, J.A.P., Skinner, J.A., Bourke, M.C., Fortezzo, C.M., Herkenhoff, K.E., Kolb, E.J., Okubo, C.H., 2008. Icarus 196, 318-358]. Elsewhere, the NPLD base is remarkably flat-lying and co-planar with the exposed surface of the surrounding Vastitas Borealis materials. Within the NPLD, we delineate and map four units based on the radar-layer packets of Phillips et al. [Phillips, R.J., and 26 colleagues, 2008. Science 320, 1182-1185] that extend throughout the deposits and a fifth unit confined to eastern Gemina Lingula. We estimate the volume of each internal unit and of the entire NPLD stack (821,000 km 3), exclusive of the basal unit. Correlation of these units to models of insolation cycles and polar deposition [Laskar, J., Levrard, B., Mustard, J.F., 2002. Nature 419, 375-377; Levrard, B., Forget, F., Montmessin, F., Laskar, J., 2007. J. Geophys. Res. 112, E06012, 18 pp. doi:10.1029/2006JE002772] is consistent with the 4.2-Ma age of the oldest preserved NPLD obtained by Levrard et al. [Levrard, B., Forget, F., Montmessin, F., Laskar, J., 2007. J. Geophys. Res. 112, E06012, 18 pp. doi:10.1029/2006JE002772]. We suggest a dominant layering mechanism of dust-content variation during

  7. The search for Ar in the lunar atmosphere using the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's LAMP instrument.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, J. C.; Stern, S. A.; Feldman, P. D.; Gladstone, R.; Retherford, K. D.; Greathouse, T. K.; Grava, C.

    2014-12-01

    The Apollo 17 mass spectrometer, LACE, first measured mass 40 particles in the lunar atmosphere, and over a nine-month period, detected variations correlated with the lunar day (Hoffman et al., 1973, LPSC, 4, 2865). LACE detected a high particle density at dusk (0.6-1.0x104 cm-3), decreasing through the lunar night to a few hundred cm-3, then increasing rapidly before dawn to levels 2-4 times greater than at dusk. No daytime measurements were made due to instrument saturation. Given the LACE measurements' periodic nature, and the Ar abundance in lunar regolith samples (Kaiser, 1972, EPSL, 13, 387), it was concluded that mass 40 was likely due to Ar. Benna et al. (2014, LPSC, 45, 1535) recently reported that the Neutral Mass Spectrometer (NMS) aboard LADEE also detected Ar (mass 40) with similar diurnal profiles. We report on UV spectra of the lunar atmosphere as obtained by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Aboard LRO is the UV-spectrograph, LAMP (Lyman Alpha Mapping Project), spanning the spectral range 575 to 1965 Å. LAMP is typically oriented toward the surface and has been mapping the Moon since September 2009. LAMP also observes the tenuous lunar atmosphere when the surface is in darkness, but the atmospheric column below LRO is illuminated. We have previously used nadir oriented twilight observations to examine the sparse lunar atmosphere (Feldman et al., 2012, Icarus, 221, 854; Cook et al., 2013, Icarus, 225, 681; Stern et al., 2013, Icarus, 226, 1210; Cook & Stern 2014, Icarus, 236, 48). In Cook et al., 2013, we reported an upper limit for Ar of 2.3x104 cm-3. Since then, we have collected additional data and refined our search method by focusing on the regions (near equator) and local times (dawn and dusk) where Ar has been reported previously. We have carefully considered effective area calibration and g-factor accuracies and find these to be unlikely explanations for the order of magnitude differences. We will report new results, which provide much

  8. Characterizing Geometric Distortion of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Wide Angle Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Speyerer, E.; Wagner, R.; Robinson, M. S.; Becker, K. J.; Anderson, J.; Thomas, P. C.

    2011-12-01

    Each month the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Wide Angle Camera (WAC) provides 100 m scale images of nearly the entire Moon, each month with different range of lighting conditions [1]. Pre-flight calibration efforts provided a baseline for correcting the geometric distortion present in the WAC. However, residual errors of 1-2 pixels existed with this original model. In-flight calibration enables the derivation of a precise correction for geometric distortion to provide sub-pixel map projection accuracy. For the in-flight calibration, we compared WAC images to high-resolution (0.5 - 2.0 meter scale) images provided by the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC). Since the NAC has very narrow field of view (2.86°) its geometric accuracy is well characterized. The additions of the WAC-derived 100 m/pixel digital terrain model (GLD100) [2] and refined ephemeris provided by LOLA [3] have improved our efforts to remove small distortion artifacts in the WAC camera model. Since the NAC field of view is always in the same cross-track location in the WAC frame, NAC and WAC images of the same regions, under similar lighting conditions, were map projected. Hundreds of NAC (truth image) and WAC images were then co-registered using an automatic registration algorithm in ISIS [4]. This output was fed into a second ISIS program (fplanemap) that converted the registration offsets to focal plane coordinates for the distorted (original) and undistorted (corrected location derived from the truth image) pixel [4]. With this dataset, offsets in the WAC distortion model were identified and accounted for with a new 2D Taylor series function that has been added to the existing radial model. This technique improves the accurate placement of each pixel across the sensor in target space. We have applied this correction to the 643 nm band and will derive the coefficients for the remaining bands. Once this study is complete, a new camera model, instrument kernel (IK), and frames kernel (FK) will be

  9. A General Closed-Form Solution for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Antenna Pointing System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Neerav; Chen, J. Roger; Hashmall, Joseph A.

    2010-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration s (NASA) Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) launched on June 18, 2009 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle into a direct insertion trajectory to the Moon LRO, designed, built, and operated by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, is gathering crucial data on the lunar environment that will help astronauts prepare for long-duration lunar expeditions. During the mission s nominal life of one year its six instruments and one technology demonstrator will find safe landing site, locate potential resources, characterize the radiation environment and test new technology. To date, LRO has been operating well within the bounds of its requirements and has been collecting excellent science data images taken from the LRO Camera Narrow Angle Camera (LROC NAC) of the Apollo landing sites have appeared on cable news networks. A significant amount of information on LRO s science instruments is provided at the LRO mission webpage. LRO s Attitude Control System (ACS), in addition to controlling the orientation of the spacecraft is also responsible for pointing the High Gain Antenna (HGA). A dual-axis (or double-gimbaled) antenna, deployed on a meter-long boom, is required to point at a selected Earth ground station. Due to signal loss over the distance from the Moon to Earth, pointing precision for the antenna system is very tight. Since the HGA has to be deployed in spaceflight, its exact geometry relative to the spacecraft body is uncertain. In addition, thermal distortions and mechanical errors/tolerances must be characterized and removed to realize the greatest gain from the antenna system. These reasons necessitate the need for an in-flight calibration. Once in orbit around the moon, a series of attitude maneuvers was conducted to provide data needed to determine optimal parameters to load onboard, which would account for the environmental and mechanical errors at any

  10. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C) Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garrick, Joseph; Simpson, James; Shah, Neerav

    2010-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration s (NASA) Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) launched on June 18, 2009 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle and into a direct insertion trajectory to the oon. LRO, which was designed, built, and operated by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, is gathering crucial data on the lunar environment that will help astronauts prepare for long-duration lunar expeditions. The mission has a nominal life of 1 year as its seven instruments find safe landing sites, locate potential resources, characterize the radiation environment, and test new technology. To date, LRO has been operating well within the bounds of its requirements and has been collecting excellent science data images taken from the LRO Camera Narrow Angle Camera of the Apollo landing sites appeared on cable news networks. A significant amount of information on LRO s science instruments is provided at the LRO mission webpage. LRO s Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C) subsystem is made up of an onboard attitude control system (ACS) and a hardware suite of sensors and actuators. The LRO onboard ACS is a collection of algorithms based on high level and derived requirements, and reflect the science and operational events throughout the mission lifetime. The primary control mode is the Observing mode, which maintains the lunar pointing orientation and any offset pointing from this baseline. It is within this mode that all science instrument calibrations, slews and science data is collected. Because of a high accuracy requirement for knowledge and pointing, the Observing mode makes use of star tracker (ST) measurement data to determine an instantaneous attitude pointing. But even the star trackers alone do not meet the tight requirements, so a six-state Kalman Filter is employed to improve the noisy measurement data. The Observing mode obtains its rate information from an inertial reference unit (IRU) and in the

  11. Investigation of small scale roughness properties of Martian terrains using Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, A. B.; Rossi, A.

    2009-04-01

    Studies of layered terrains in polar regions as well as inside craters and other areas on Mars often require knowledge of local topography at much finer resolution than global MOLA topography allows. For example, in the polar layered deposits spatial relationships are important to understand unconformities that are observed on the edges of the layered terrains [15,3]. Their formation process is not understood at this point, yet fine scale topography, joint with ground penetrating radar like SHARAD and MARSIS may shed light on their 3D structure. Landing site analysis also requires knowledge of local slopes and roughness at scales from 1 to 10 m [1,2]. Mars Orbiter Camera [13] has taken stereo images at these scales, however interpretation was difficult due to unstable behavior of the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft during image take (wobbling effect). Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is much better stabilized, since it is required for optimal operation of its high resolution camera. In this work we have utilized data from MRO sensors (CTX camera [11] and HIRISE camera [12] in order to derive digital elevation models (DEM) from images targeted as stereo pairs. We employed methods and approaches utilized for the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) stereo data [4,5]. CTX data varies in resolution and stereo pairs analyzed in this work can be derived at approximately 10m scale. HIRISE images allow DEM post spacing at around 1 meter. The latter are very big images and our computer infrastructure was only able to process either reduced resolution images, covering larger surface or working with smaller patches at the original resolution. We employed stereo matching technique described in [5,9], in conjunction with radiometric and geometric image processing in ISIS3 [16]. This technique is capable of deriving tiepoint co-registration at subpixel precision and has proven itself when used for Pathfinder and MER operations [8]. Considerable part of this work was to accommodate CTX and

  12. Color Mosaics and Multispectral Analyses of Mars Reconnaissance Orbit Mars Color Imager (MARCI) Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, J. F.; Anderson, R. B.; Kressler, K.; Wolff, M. J.; Cantor, B.; Science; Operations Teams, M.

    2008-12-01

    The Mars Color Imager (MARCI) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft is a is a wide-angle, multispectral Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) "push-frame" imaging camera designed to provide frequent, synoptic-scale imaging of Martian atmospheric and surface features and phenomena. MARCI uses a 1024x1024 pixel interline transfer CCD detector that has seven narrowband interference filters bonded directly to the CCD. Five of the filters are in the visible to short-wave near-IR wavelength range (MARCI-VIS: 437, 546, 604, 653, and 718 nm) and two are in the UV (MARCI-UV: 258 and 320 nm). During the MRO primary mission (November 2006 through November 2008), the instrument has acquired data swaths on the dayside of the planet, at an equator-crossing local solar time of about 3:00 p.m. We are analyzing the MARCI-VIS multispectral imaging data from the MRO primary mission in order to investigate (a) color variations in the surface and their potential relationship to variations in iron mineralogy; and (b) the time variability of surface albedo features at the approx. 1 km/pixel scale typical of MARCI nadir-pointed observations. Raw MARCI images were calibrated to radiance factor (I/F) using pre-flight and in-flight calibration files and a pipeline calibration process developed by the science team. We are using these calibrated MARCI files to generate map-projected mosaics of each of the 30 USGS standard quadrangles on Mars in each of the five MARCI-VIS bands. Our mosaicking software searches the MARCI data set to identify files that match a user- defined set of limits such as latitude, longitude, Ls, incidence angle, emission angle, and year. Each of the files matching the desired criteria is then map-projected and inserted in series into an output mosaic covering the desired lat/lon range. In cases of redundant coverage of the same pixels by different files, the user can set the program to use the pixel with the lowest I/F value for each individual MARCI-VIS band, thus

  13. Lighting Conditions for the Moon's Poles: Integrating Clementine, Kaguya, and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Data Sets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinn, D. P.; Cahill, J.; Bussey, B.; McGovern, A.; Spudis, P.; Noda, H.; Ishihara, Y.

    2010-12-01

    Lunar poles experience extreme variations in illumination. Areas of permanent shadow and near-permanent illumination are located in close proximity and are attractive candidates for a sustained presence, exploration, and resource exploitation. Here we use Kaguya and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) laser-altimeter (LALT and LOLA) digital topography models (DTMs) to simulate illumination conditions for both lunar poles using the software LunarShader. Previous comparisons between Clementine optical images and illumination maps derived from Kaguya LALT data suggest accurate and precise prediction of polar lighting conditions (Bussey et al. 2010). Here, maps predicting areas of illumination or shadow are generated at 12-hour intervals for the hypothetical year 2020. Average illumination maps computed from these data for time periods of one month to a year enable the identification and analysis of regions of both sustained illumination or permanent shadow and account for seasonal variations. Temporal illumination profiles are also generated for locations with more sustained illumination for more detailed analysis. Previous analyses focused on models derived from Kaguya DTM’s with high (64 pixels/degree) and low (128 pixels/degree) resolution data sets extending 5° and 10° from each pole (Bussey et al. 2010; Cahill et al. 2010). This work integrates LOLA data (~126 pixels/degree), which extends to 80° latitude. A comparison of average illumination for the three models prepared for the North pole predict similar durations of illumination during the year 2020. Kaguya low- and high-resolution models predict the region with the most sustained illumination will be lit 89% and 86% of the year, respectively. The illumination model computed from LRO’s LOLA data predicts this location will be lit 90% of year. At the South Pole, Kaguya high-resolution data simulations predict an illumination of 78%, 8-10% lower than the other data sets (86% for the Kaguya low

  14. Tectonic Mapping of Mare Frigoris Using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, N. R.; Bell, J. F.; Watters, T. R.; Banks, M. E.; Robinson, M. S.

    2012-12-01

    Conventional wisdom has been that extensional tectonism on the Moon largely ended ~3.6 billion years ago and that contractional deformation ended ~1.2 billion years ago. New NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) high resolution images are forcing a re-assessment of this view. Mapping in Mare Frigoris and the surrounding area has revealed many tectonic landforms enabling new investigations of the region's structural evolution. Sinuous wrinkle ridges with hundreds of meters of relief are interpreted as folded basalt layers overlying thrust faults. They have often been associated with lunar mascons identified by positive free-air gravity anomalies where thick basaltic lava causes flexure and subsidence to form ridges. No mascon-like gravity anomaly is associated with Mare Frigoris, yet large ridges deform the mare basalts. Lobate scarps are also found near Frigoris. These asymmetric linear hills inferred to be surface expressions of thrust faults are distributed globally and thought to originate from cooling and radial contraction of the lunar interior. Clusters of meter-scale extensional troughs or graben bounded by normal faults also occur in Frigoris. Tectonic landforms are being mapped in and around Mare Frigoris using LROC Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) images. Preliminary results show that wrinkle ridges in Frigoris occur both near and distal to the basin perimeter, trend E/W in western and central Frigoris, and form a polygonal pattern in the eastern section. Several complex wrinkle ridges are observed to transition into morphologically simpler lobate scarps at mare/highland boundaries, with the contrast in tectonic morphology likely due to the change from layered (mare) to un-layered (highlands) substrate. Lobate scarps in Frigoris occur primarily in the highlands, tend to strike E/W, and often but not always follow the boundary between mare and highlands. Small graben mapped in Frigoris occur in several clusters adjacent to or atop ridges and scarps, and

  15. A synthesis of Martian aqueous mineralogy after 1 Mars year of observations from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murchie, S.L.; Mustard, J.F.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Milliken, R.E.; Bishop, J.L.; McKeown, N.K.; Noe Dobrea, E.Z.; Seelos, F.P.; Buczkowski, D.L.; Wiseman, S.M.; Arvidson, R. E.; Wray, J.J.; Swayze, G.; Clark, R.N.; Des Marais, D.J.; McEwen, A.S.; Bibring, J.-P.

    2009-01-01

    Martian aqueous mineral deposits have been examined and characterized using data acquired during Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's (MRO) primary science phase, including Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars hyperspectral images covering the 0.4-3.9 ??m wavelength range, coordinated with higher-spatial resolution HiRISE and Context Imager images. MRO's new high-resolution measurements, combined with earlier data from Thermal Emission Spectrometer; Thermal Emission Imaging System; and Observatoire pour la Min??ralogie, L'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activiti?? on Mars Express, indicate that aqueous minerals are both diverse and widespread on the Martian surface. The aqueous minerals occur in 9-10 classes of deposits characterized by distinct mineral assemblages, morphologies, and geologic settings. Phyllosilicates occur in several settings: in compositionally layered blankets hundreds of meters thick, superposed on eroded Noachian terrains; in lower layers of intracrater depositional fans; in layers with potential chlorides in sediments on intercrater plains; and as thousands of deep exposures in craters and escarpments. Carbonate-bearing rocks form a thin unit surrounding the Isidis basin. Hydrated silica occurs with hydrated sulfates in thin stratified deposits surrounding Valles Marineris. Hydrated sulfates also occur together with crystalline ferric minerals in thick, layered deposits in Terra Meridiani and in Valles Marineris and together with kaolinite in deposits that partially infill some highland craters. In this paper we describe each of the classes of deposits, review hypotheses for their origins, identify new questions posed by existing measurements, and consider their implications for ancient habitable environments. On the basis of current data, two to five classes of Noachian-aged deposits containing phyllosilicates and carbonates may have formed in aqueous environments with pH and water activities suitable for life. Copyright 2009 by the American

  16. Morphometric analysis of small-scale lobate scarps on the Moon using data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banks, M. E.; Watters, T. R.; Robinson, M. S.; Tornabene, L. L.; Tran, T.; Ojha, L.; Williams, N. R.

    2012-03-01

    Prior to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), the morphology and dimensions of only a limited number of lobate scarps, all located near the equator (within 21°), had been characterized. Topography derived from LRO Camera stereo images and Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) ranging is used to measure the relief and analyze the morphology of previously known and newly detected low and high latitude lobate scarps. The asymmetric profiles and maximum slopes on scarp faces (˜5° to 29°) of lunar lobate scarps are similar to those of lobate scarps observed on Mars and Mercury. Scarp lengths range from ˜0.6 to 21.6 km (mean = ˜6.0 km, median = ˜4.4 km, n = 79), and measured relief ranges from ˜5 to 150 m (mean = ˜35 m, median = ˜20 m, n = 26). Assuming a range of 20° to 40° for the fault plane dip, estimated lower limits for the horizontal shortening (S) expressed by the lobate scarp thrust faults range from ˜10 to 410 m. The range in S estimated for the lunar scarps is roughly an order of magnitude lower than estimates of S for lobate scarp thrust faults on Mars and Mercury. The relatively small range of S estimated for the growing number of well-characterized lunar scarps is consistent with a small amount of global contraction.

  17. Experiment LEND of the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter for high-resolution mapping of neutron emission of the Moon.

    PubMed

    Mitrofanov, I G; Sanin, A B; Golovin, D V; Litvak, M L; Konovalov, A A; Kozyrev, A S; Malakhov, A V; Mokrousov, M I; Tretyakov, V I; Troshin, V S; Uvarov, V N; Varenikov, A B; Vostrukhin, A A; Shevchenko, V V; Shvetsov, V N; Krylov, A R; Timoshenko, G N; Bobrovnitsky, Y I; Tomilina, T M; Grebennikov, A S; Kazakov, L L; Sagdeev, R Z; Milikh, G N; Bartels, A; Chin, G; Floyd, S; Garvin, J; Keller, J; McClanahan, T; Trombka, J; Boynton, W; Harshman, K; Starr, R; Evans, L

    2008-08-01

    The scientific objectives of neutron mapping of the Moon are presented as 3 investigation tasks of NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission. Two tasks focus on mapping hydrogen content over the entire Moon and on testing the presence of water-ice deposits at the bottom of permanently shadowed craters at the lunar poles. The third task corresponds to the determination of neutron contribution to the total radiation dose at an altitude of 50 km above the Moon. We show that the Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) will be capable of carrying out all 3 investigations. The design concept of LEND is presented together with results of numerical simulations of the instrument's sensitivity for hydrogen detection. The sensitivity of LEND is shown to be characterized by a hydrogen detection limit of about 100 ppm for a polar reference area with a radius of 5 km. If the presence of ice deposits in polar "cold traps" is confirmed, a unique record of many millions of years of lunar history would be obtained, by which the history of lunar impacts could be discerned from the layers of water ice and dust. Future applications of a LEND-type instrument for Mars orbital observations are also discussed. PMID:18844457

  18. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Opportunity observations of the Burns formation: crater hopping at Meridiani Planum

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    R.E. Arvidson; Bell, J.F., III; Catalano, J.G.; Clark, B. C.; Fox, V.K.; Gellert, Ralf; Grotzinger, J.P.; Guinness, E.A.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Knoll, A.H.; Lapotre, M.G.A.; McLennan, S.M.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Murchie, S.L.; Powell, K. E.; Smith, M.D.; Squyres, S. W.; Wolff, M.J.; J.J. Wray

    2015-01-01

    Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars hyperspectral (1.0–2.65 µm) along-track oversampled observations covering Victoria, Santa Maria, Endeavour, and Ada craters were processed to 6 m/pixel and used in combination with Opportunity observations to detect and map hydrated Mg and Ca sulfate minerals in the Burns formation. The strongest spectral absorption features were found to be associated with outcrops that are relatively young and fresh (Ada) or preferentially scoured of dust, soil, and coatings by prevailing winds. At Victoria and Santa Maria, the scoured areas are on the southeastern rims and walls, opposite to the sides where wind-blown sands extend out of the craters. At Endeavour, the deepest absorptions are in Botany Bay, a subdued and buried rim segment that exhibits high thermal inertias, extensive outcrops, and is interpreted to be a region of enhanced wind scour extending up and out of the crater. Ada, Victoria, and Santa Maria outcrops expose the upper portion of the preserved Burns formation and show spectral evidence for the presence of kieserite. In contrast, gypsum is pervasive spectrally in the Botany Bay exposures. Gypsum, a relatively insoluble evaporative mineral, is interpreted to have formed close to the contact with the Noachian crust as rising groundwaters brought brines close to and onto the surface, either as a direct precipitate or during later diagenesis. The presence of kieserite at the top of the section is hypothesized to reflect precipitation from evaporatively concentrated brines or dehydration of polyhydrated sulfates

  19. Utilizing the Lunar Laser Ranging datasets alongside the radioscience data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to improve the dynamical model of the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viswanathan, Vishnu; Fienga, Agnes; Laskar, Jacques; Manche, Herve; Torre, Jean-Marie; Courde, Clément; Exertier, Pierre

    2015-08-01

    In this poster we elaborate the use of raw navigation data (range and Doppler observations) from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) available on the Planetary Data System (PDS), in order to study the orbit of this probe using the orbit determination software (GINS) developed by the French space agency (CNES). The constraints that are derived from this process on combining with the high precision Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) datasets which are spread over 40 years, facilitates an improved dynamical modeling of the Moon. In addition, the possible advantages that could be exploited by the LLR experiments when operated with lasers in the IR wavelength are analyzed.

  20. Reconnaissance of the HR 8799 Exosolar System. II. Astrometry and Orbital Motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pueyo, L.; Soummer, R.; Hoffmann, J.; Oppenheimer, R.; Graham, J. R.; Zimmerman, N.; Zhai, C.; Wallace, J. K.; Vescelus, F.; Veicht, A.; Vasisht, G.; Truong, T.; Sivaramakrishnan, A.; Shao, M.; Roberts, L. C., Jr.; Roberts, J. E.; Rice, E.; Parry, I. R.; Nilsson, R.; Lockhart, T.; Ligon, E. R.; King, D.; Hinkley, S.; Hillenbrand, L.; Hale, D.; Dekany, R.; Crepp, J. R.; Cady, E.; Burruss, R.; Brenner, D.; Beichman, C.; Baranec, C.

    2015-04-01

    We present an analysis of the orbital motion of the four substellar objects orbiting HR 8799. Our study relies on the published astrometric history of this system augmented with an epoch obtained with the Project 1640 coronagraph with an integral field spectrograph (IFS) installed at the Palomar Hale telescope. We first focus on the intricacies associated with astrometric estimation using the combination of an extreme adaptive optics system (PALM-3000), a coronagraph, and an IFS. We introduce two new algorithms. The first one retrieves the stellar focal plane position when the star is occulted by a coronagraphic stop. The second one yields precise astrometric and spectrophotometric estimates of faint point sources even when they are initially buried in the speckle noise. The second part of our paper is devoted to studying orbital motion in this system. In order to complement the orbital architectures discussed in the literature, we determine an ensemble of likely Keplerian orbits for HR 8799bcde, using a Bayesian analysis with maximally vague priors regarding the overall configuration of the system. Although the astrometric history is currently too scarce to formally rule out coplanarity, HR 8799d appears to be misaligned with respect to the most likely planes of HR 8799bce orbits. This misalignment is sufficient to question the strictly coplanar assumption made by various authors when identifying a Laplace resonance as a potential architecture. Finally, we establish a high likelihood that HR 8799de have dynamical masses below 13 MJup, using a loose dynamical survival argument based on geometric close encounters. We illustrate how future dynamical analyses will further constrain dynamical masses in the entire system.

  1. Hydrated silicate minerals on Mars observed by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CRISM instrument.

    PubMed

    Mustard, John F; Murchie, S L; Pelkey, S M; Ehlmann, B L; Milliken, R E; Grant, J A; Bibring, J-P; Poulet, F; Bishop, J; Dobrea, E Noe; Roach, L; Seelos, F; Arvidson, R E; Wiseman, S; Green, R; Hash, C; Humm, D; Malaret, E; McGovern, J A; Seelos, K; Clancy, T; Clark, R; Marais, D D; Izenberg, N; Knudson, A; Langevin, Y; Martin, T; McGuire, P; Morris, R; Robinson, M; Roush, T; Smith, M; Swayze, G; Taylor, H; Titus, T; Wolff, M

    2008-07-17

    Phyllosilicates, a class of hydrous mineral first definitively identified on Mars by the OMEGA (Observatoire pour la Mineralogie, L'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activitié) instrument, preserve a record of the interaction of water with rocks on Mars. Global mapping showed that phyllosilicates are widespread but are apparently restricted to ancient terrains and a relatively narrow range of mineralogy (Fe/Mg and Al smectite clays). This was interpreted to indicate that phyllosilicate formation occurred during the Noachian (the earliest geological era of Mars), and that the conditions necessary for phyllosilicate formation (moderate to high pH and high water activity) were specific to surface environments during the earliest era of Mars's history. Here we report results from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) of phyllosilicate-rich regions. We expand the diversity of phyllosilicate mineralogy with the identification of kaolinite, chlorite and illite or muscovite, and a new class of hydrated silicate (hydrated silica). We observe diverse Fe/Mg-OH phyllosilicates and find that smectites such as nontronite and saponite are the most common, but chlorites are also present in some locations. Stratigraphic relationships in the Nili Fossae region show olivine-rich materials overlying phyllosilicate-bearing units, indicating the cessation of aqueous alteration before emplacement of the olivine-bearing unit. Hundreds of detections of Fe/Mg phyllosilicate in rims, ejecta and central peaks of craters in the southern highland Noachian cratered terrain indicate excavation of altered crust from depth. We also find phyllosilicate in sedimentary deposits clearly laid by water. These results point to a rich diversity of Noachian environments conducive to habitability. PMID:18633411

  2. Geomorphic knobs of Candor Chasma, Mars: New Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data and comparisons to terrestrial analogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chan, M.A.; Ormo, J.; Murchie, S.; Okubo, C.H.; Komatsu, G.; Wray, J.J.; McGuire, P.; McGovern, J.A.

    2010-01-01

    High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) imagery and digital elevation models of the Candor Chasma region of Valles Marineris, Mars, reveal prominent and distinctive positive-relief knobs amidst light-toned layers. Three classifications of knobs, Types 1, 2, and 3, are distinguished from a combination of HiRISE and Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) images based on physical expressions (geometries, spatial relationships), and spectral data from Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM). Type 1 knobs are abundant, concentrated, topographically resistant features with their highest frequency in West Candor, which have consistent stratigraphic correlations of the peak altitude (height). These Type 1 knobs could be erosional remnants of a simple dissected terrain, possibly derived from a more continuous, resistant, capping layer of pre-existing material diagenetically altered through recrystallization or cementation. Types 2 and 3 knobs are not linked to a single stratigraphic layer and are generally solitary to isolated, with variable heights. Type 3 are the largest knobs at nearly an order of magnitude larger than Type 1 knobs. The variable sizes and occasional pits on the tops of Type 2 and 3 knobs suggest a different origin, possibly related to more developed erosion, preferential cementation, or textural differences from sediment/water injection or intrusion, or from a buried impact crater. Enhanced color HiRISE images show a brown coloration of the knob peak crests that is attributable to processing and photometric effects; CRISM data do not show any detectable spectral differences between the knobs and the host rock layers, other than albedo. These intriguing knobs hold important clues to deducing relative rock properties, timing of events, and weathering conditions of Mars history. ?? 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Hydrated silicate minerals on Mars observed by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CRISM instrument

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mustard, J.F.; Murchie, S.L.; Pelkey, S.M.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Milliken, R.E.; Grant, J. A.; Bibring, J.-P.; Poulet, F.; Bishop, J.; Dobrea, E.N.; Roach, L.; Seelos, F.; Arvidson, R. E.; Wiseman, S.; Green, R.; Hash, C.; Humm, D.; Malaret, E.; McGovern, J.A.; Seelos, K.; Clancy, T.; Clark, R.; des Marais, D.; Izenberg, N.; Knudson, A.; Langevin, Y.; Martin, T.; McGuire, P.; Morris, R.; Robinson, M.; Roush, T.; Smith, M.; Swayze, G.; Taylor, H.; Titus, T.; Wolff, M.

    2008-01-01

    Phyllosilicates, a class of hydrous mineral first definitively identified on Mars by the OMEGA (Observatoire pour la Mineralogie, L'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activitie??) instrument, preserve a record of the interaction of water with rocks on Mars. Global mapping showed that phyllosilicates are widespread but are apparently restricted to ancient terrains and a relatively narrow range of mineralogy (Fe/Mg and Al smectite clays). This was interpreted to indicate that phyllosilicate formation occurred during the Noachian (the earliest geological era of Mars), and that the conditions necessary for phyllosilicate formation (moderate to high pH and high water activity) were specific to surface environments during the earliest era of Mars's history. Here we report results from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) of phyllosilicate-rich regions. We expand the diversity of phyllosilicate mineralogy with the identification of kaolinite, chlorite and illite or muscovite, and a new class of hydrated silicate (hydrated silica). We observe diverse Fe/Mg-OH phyllosilicates and find that smectites such as nontronite and saponite are the most common, but chlorites are also present in some locations. Stratigraphic relationships in the Nili Fossae region show olivine-rich materials overlying phyllosilicate-bearing units, indicating the cessation of aqueous alteration before emplacement of the olivine-bearing unit. Hundreds of detections of Fe/Mg phyllosilicate in rims, ejecta and central peaks of craters in the southern highland Noachian cratered terrain indicate excavation of altered crust from depth. We also find phyllosilicate in sedimentary deposits clearly laid by water. These results point to a rich diversity of Noachian environments conducive to habitability. ??2008 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  4. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Opportunity observations of the Burns formation: Crater hopping at Meridiani Planum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J. F., III; Catalano, J. G.; Clark, B. C.; Fox, V. K.; Gellert, R.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Guinness, E. A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Knoll, A. H.; Lapotre, M. G. A.; McLennan, S. M.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Murchie, S. L.; Powell, K. E.; Smith, M. D.; Squyres, S. W.; Wolff, M. J.; Wray, J. J.

    2015-03-01

    Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars hyperspectral (1.0-2.65 μm) along-track oversampled observations covering Victoria, Santa Maria, Endeavour, and Ada craters were processed to 6 m/pixel and used in combination with Opportunity observations to detect and map hydrated Mg and Ca sulfate minerals in the Burns formation. The strongest spectral absorption features were found to be associated with outcrops that are relatively young and fresh (Ada) or preferentially scoured of dust, soil, and coatings by prevailing winds. At Victoria and Santa Maria, the scoured areas are on the southeastern rims and walls, opposite to the sides where wind-blown sands extend out of the craters. At Endeavour, the deepest absorptions are in Botany Bay, a subdued and buried rim segment that exhibits high thermal inertias, extensive outcrops, and is interpreted to be a region of enhanced wind scour extending up and out of the crater. Ada, Victoria, and Santa Maria outcrops expose the upper portion of the preserved Burns formation and show spectral evidence for the presence of kieserite. In contrast, gypsum is pervasive spectrally in the Botany Bay exposures. Gypsum, a relatively insoluble evaporative mineral, is interpreted to have formed close to the contact with the Noachian crust as rising groundwaters brought brines close to and onto the surface, either as a direct precipitate or during later diagenesis. The presence of kieserite at the top of the section is hypothesized to reflect precipitation from evaporatively concentrated brines or dehydration of polyhydrated sulfates, in both scenarios as the aqueous environment evolved to very arid conditions.

  5. Failure of Harmonic Gears During Verification of a Two-Axis Gimbal for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Michael R.; Gehling, Russ; Head, Ray

    2006-01-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft has three two-axis gimbal assemblies that support and move the High Gain Antenna and two solar array wings. The gimbal assemblies are required to move almost continuously throughout the mission's seven-year lifetime, requiring a large number of output revolutions for each actuator in the gimbal assemblies. The actuator for each of the six axes consists of a two-phase brushless dc motor with a direct drive to the wave generator of a size-32 cup-type harmonic gear. During life testing of an actuator assembly, the harmonic gear teeth failed completely, leaving the size-32 harmonic gear with a maximum output torque capability less than 10% of its design capability. The investigation that followed the failure revealed limitations of the heritage material choices that were made for the harmonic gear components that had passed similar life requirements on several previous programs. Additionally, the methods used to increase the stiffness of a standard harmonic gear component set, while accepted practice for harmonic gears, is limited in its range. The stiffness of harmonic gear assemblies can be increased up to a maximum stiffness point that, if exceeded, compromises the reliability of the gear components for long life applications.

  6. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission: Seven Years at the Moon - Accomplishments, Data, and Future Prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petro, Noah; Keller, John

    2016-07-01

    The LRO Spacecraft has been orbiting the Moon for over 7 years (~91 lunations), and in that time data from the seven instruments has contributed to a revolution in our understanding of the Moon. Since launch the mission goals and instruments science questions have evolved, from the initial characterization of the lunar surface and its environment to studying the variability of surface hydration and measuring the flux of new craters that have formed during LRO's time in lunar orbit. The growing LRO dataset in the PDS presents a unique archive that allows for an unprecedented opportunity to study how an airless body changes over time. The LRO instrument suite [1] is performing nominally, with no significant performance issues since the mission entered the current extended mission. The Mini-RF instrument team is investigating new methods for collecting bistatic data using an Earth-based X-band transmitter [2] during a possible upcoming extended mission starting in September 2016, pending NASA approval. The LRO spacecraft has been in an elliptical, polar orbit with a low perilune over the South Pole since December 2011. This orbit minimizes annual fuel consumption, enabling LRO to use fuel to maximize opportunities for obtaining unique science (e.g., lunar eclipse measurements from Diviner, measuring spacecraft impacts by GRAIL and LADEE). The LRO instrument teams deliver data to the PDS every three months, data that includes raw, calibrated, and gridded/map products [3]. As of January, over 681TB has been archived. These higher-level data products include a number of resources that are useful for mission planners, in addition to planetary scientists. A focus of the mission has been on the South Pole, therefore a number of special products (e.g., illumination maps, high resolution topography, hydration maps) are available. Beyond the poles, high-resolution (~1-2 m spatial resolution) topographic products are available for select areas, as well as maps of rock abundance

  7. Estimating Background and Lunar Contribution to Neutrons Detected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) Instrument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livengood, T. A.; Mitrofanov, I. G.; Chin, G.; Boynton, W. V.; Evans, L. G.; Litvak, M. L.; McClanahan, T. P.; Sagdeev, R.; Sanin, A. B.; Starr, R. D.; Su, J. J.

    2014-12-01

    The fraction of hydrogen-bearing species embedded in planetary regolith can be determined from the ratio between measured epithermal neutron leakage flux and the flux measured from similar dry regolith. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft is equipped with the Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) instrument to measure embedded hydrogen in the Moon's polar regions and elsewhere. We have investigated the relative contribution of lunar and non-lunar (spacecraft-sourced) neutrons by modeling maps of the measured count rate from three of the LEND detector systems using linear combinations of maps compiled from the Lunar Prospector Neutron Spectrometer (LPNS) and the LEND detectors, demonstrating that the two systems are compatible and enabling reference signal to be inferred to enable detecting hydrogen and hydrogen-bearing volatiles. The pole-to-equator contrast ratio in epithermal neutrons indicates that the average concentration of hydrogen in the Moon's polar regolith above 80° north or south latitude is ~110 ppmw, or 0.10±0.01 wt% water-equivalent hydrogen. Above 88° north or south, the concentration increases to ~140 ppmw, or 0.13±0.02 wt% water-equivalent hydrogen. Nearly identical suppression of neutron flux at both the north and south poles, despite differences in topography and distribution of permanently-shadowed regions, supports the contention that hydrogen is broadly distributed in the polar regions and increasingly concentrated approaching the poles. Similarity in the degree of neutron suppression in low-energy and high-energy epithermal neutrons suggests that the hydrogen fraction is relatively uniform with depth down to ~1 m; the neutron leakage flux is insensitive to greater depth.

  8. Insolation Effects on the Lunar Hydrogen Budget: Correlated Observations of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's LEND, LOLA and Diviner Instruments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McClanahan, T. P.; Mitrofanov, I.; Boynton, W. V.; Litvak, M.; Milikh, G. M.; Evans, L. G.; Starr, R. D.; Livengood, T. A.; Chin, G.; Harshman, K.; Droege, G.

    2012-12-01

    In this research we correlate the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's (LRO), Diviner radiometer temperature maps that characterize the Moon's thermal environment with maps derived from the Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) and Lunar Orbiting Laser Altimeter (LOLA). In previous research, we found evidence that the Moon's Hydrogen budget was broadly influenced by insolation effects. In that analysis we implemented a transformation of LOLA's topography maps, thereby isolating poleward-facing and equator-facing slopes. We then integrated the LEND epithermal neutron maps over these regions and found that the epithermal neutron count rates were significantly lower in poleward-facing slopes vs. equivalent equator-facing slopes, yielding a localized "epithermal contrast". This result suggests higher H / H2O concentrations in poleward-facing slopes vs. comparable equator-facing slopes. It is also consistent with findings in terrestrial and Martian environments indicating similar H / H2O slope contrasts. In support of that finding we determined that the epithermal neutron rates over east and west-facing slopes were as predicted equivalent. The above effects were also similar for both North and South Poles. Together, this support indicated surface insolation is an important factor governing the Moon's Hydrogen budget. Temperature effects of insolation are primarily a function of a cosine process a = i cos Θ, which predicts the effective solar irradiation a, incident to a given surface as a function of its angular orientation Θ, to the source solar irradiation, i. Θ is locally a function of several variables including combined: seasonal, diurnal, topographic, latitude and regolith compositional effects which induces locally dependent and time variable temperature conditions. The Moons low obliquity and increased latitude predictably attenuate solar irradiation, which is well correlated with decreased near-surface temperatures towards the poles. Importantly, topographic

  9. Study of phyllosilicates and carbonates from the Capri Chasma region of Valles Marineris on Mars based on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter-Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (MRO-CRISM) observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Nirmala; Chauhan, Prakash

    2015-04-01

    Spectral reflectance data from the MRO-CRISM (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter-Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars) of Capri Chasma, a large canyon within Valles Marineris on Mars, have been studied. Results of this analysis reveal the presence of minerals, such as, phyllosilicates (illite, smectite (montmorillonite)) and carbonates (ankerite and manganocalcite). These minerals hint of the aqueous history of Noachian time on Mars. Phyllosilicates are products of chemical weathering of igneous rocks, whereas carbonates could have formed from local aqueous alteration of olivine and other igneous minerals. Four different locations within the Capri Chasma region were studied for spectral reflectance based mineral detection. The study area also shows the spectral signatures of iron-bearing minerals, e.g. olivine with carbonate, indicating partial weathering of parent rocks primarily rich in ferrous mineral. The present study shows that the minerals of Capri Chasma are characterized by the presence of prominent spectral absorption features at 2.31 μm, 2.33 μm, 2.22 μm, 2.48 μm and 2.52 μm wavelength regions, indicating the existence of hydrous minerals, i.e., carbonates and phyllosilicates. The occurrence of carbonates and phyllosilicates in the study area suggests the presence of alkaline environment during the period of their formation. Results of the study are important to understand the formation processes of these mineral assemblages on Mars, which may help in understanding the evolutionary history of the planet.

  10. The rate and causes of lunar space weathering: Insights from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Wide Angle Camera ultraviolet observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denevi, B. W.; Robinson, M. S.; Sato, H.; Hapke, B. W.; McEwen, A. S.; Hawke, B. R.

    2011-12-01

    Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Wide Angle Camera global ultraviolet and visible imaging provides a unique opportunity to examine the rate and causes of space weathering on the Moon. Silicates typically have a strong decrease in reflectance toward UV wavelengths (<~450 nm) due to strong bands at 250 nm and in the far UV. Metallic iron is relatively spectrally neutral, and laboratory spectra suggest that its addition to mature soils in the form of submicroscopic iron (also known as nanophase iron) flattens silicate spectra, significantly reducing spectral slope in the ultraviolet. Reflectance at ultraviolet wavelengths may be especially sensitive to the surface coatings that form due to exposure to space weathering because scattering from the surfaces of grains contributes a larger fraction to the reflectance spectrum at short wavelengths. We find that the UV slope (as measured by the 320/415 nm ratio) is a more sensitive measure of maturity than indexes based on visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Only the youngest features (less than ~100 Ma) retain a UV slope that is distinct from mature soils of the same composition. No craters >20 km have UV slopes that approach those observed in laboratory spectra of fresh lunar materials (powdered lunar rocks). While the 320/415 nm ratio increases by ~18% from powdered rocks to mature soils in laboratory samples, Giordano Bruno, the freshest large crater, only shows a 3% difference between fresh and mature materials. At the resolution of our UV data (400 m/pixel), we observe some small (<5 km) craters that show a ~14% difference in 320/415 nm ratio from their mature surroundings. UV observations show that Reiner Gamma has had significantly lower levels of space weathering than any of the Copernican craters we examined, and was the only region we found with a UV slope that approached laboratory values for fresh powdered rock samples. This is consistent with the hypothesis that its high albedo is due to magnetic shielding from

  11. Evidence for exposed water ice in the Moon's south polar regions from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter ultraviolet albedo and temperature measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayne, Paul O.; Hendrix, Amanda; Sefton-Nash, Elliot; Siegler, Matthew A.; Lucey, Paul G.; Retherford, Kurt D.; Williams, Jean-Pierre; Greenhagen, Benjamin T.; Paige, David A.

    2015-07-01

    We utilize surface temperature measurements and ultraviolet albedo spectra from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to test the hypothesis that exposed water frost exists within the Moon's shadowed polar craters, and that temperature controls its concentration and spatial distribution. For locations with annual maximum temperatures Tmax greater than the H2O sublimation temperature of ∼110 K, we find no evidence for exposed water frost, based on the LAMP UV spectra. However, we observe a strong change in spectral behavior at locations perennially below ∼110 K, consistent with cold-trapped ice on the surface. In addition to the temperature association, spectral evidence for water frost comes from the following spectral features: (a) decreasing Lyman-α albedo, (b) decreasing "on-band" (129.57-155.57 nm) albedo, and (c) increasing "off-band" (155.57-189.57 nm) albedo. All of these features are consistent with the UV spectrum of water ice, and are expected for water ice layers >∼100 nm in thickness. High regolith porosity, which would darken the surface at all wavelengths, cannot alone explain the observed spectral changes at low temperatures. Given the observed LAMP off-band/on-band albedo ratios at a spatial scale of 250 m, the range of water ice concentrations within the cold traps with Tmax < 110 K is ∼0.1-2.0% by mass, if the ice is intimately mixed with dry regolith. If pure water ice is exposed instead, then up to ∼10% of the surface area on the 250-m scale of the measurements may be ice-covered. The observed distribution of exposed water ice is highly heterogeneous, with some cold traps <110 K having little to no apparent water frost, and others with a significant amount of water frost. As noted by Gladstone et al. (Gladstone, G.R. et al. [2012]. J. Geophys. Res.: Planets 117(E12)), this heterogeneity may be a consequence of the fact that the net supply rate of H2O molecules to the lunar poles is very similar to the net destruction rate within the cold

  12. The transition from complex craters to multi-ring basins on the Moon: Quantitative geometric properties from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, David M. H.; Head, James W.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2012-03-01

    The morphologic transition from complex impact craters, to peak-ring basins, and to multi-ring basins has been well-documented for decades. Less clear has been the morphometric characteristics of these landforms due to their large size and the lack of global high-resolution topography data. We use data from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft to derive the morphometric characteristics of impact basins on the Moon, assess the trends, and interpret the processes involved in the observed morphologic transitions. We first developed a new technique for measuring and calculating the geometric/morphometric properties of impact basins on the Moon. This new method meets a number of criteria that are important for consideration in any topographic analysis of crater landforms (e.g., multiple data points, complete range of azimuths, systematic, reproducible analysis techniques, avoiding effects of post-event processes, robustness with respect to the statistical techniques). The resulting data more completely capture the azimuthal variation in topography that is characteristic of large impact structures. These new calculations extend the well-defined geometric trends for simple and complex craters out to basin-sized structures. Several new geometric trends for peak-ring basins are observed. Basin depth: A factor of two reduction in the depth to diameter (d/Dr) ratio in the transition from complex craters to peak-ring basins may be characterized by a steeper trend than known previously. The d/Dr ratio for peak-ring basins decreases with rim-crest diameter, which may be due to a non-proportional change in excavation cavity growth or scaling, as may occur in the simple to complex transition, or increased magnitude of floor uplift associated with peak-ring formation. Wall height, width, and slope: Wall height and width increase with increasing rim-crest diameter, while wall slope decreases; decreasing ratios

  13. High resolution imaging science experiment (HiRISE) images of volcanic terrains from the first 6 months of the Mars reconnaissance orbiter primary science phase

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keszthelyi, L.; Jaeger, W.; McEwen, A.; Tornabene, L.; Beyer, R.A.; Dundas, C.; Milazzo, M.

    2008-01-01

    In the first 6 months of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Primary Science Phase, the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera has returned images sampling the diversity of volcanic terrains on Mars. While many of these features were noted in earlier imaging, they are now seen with unprecedented clarity. We find that some volcanic vents produced predominantly effusive products while others generated mostly pyroclastics. Flood lavas were emplaced in both turbulent and gentle eruptions, producing roofed channels and inflation features. However, many areas on Mars are too heavily mantled to allow meter-scale volcanic features to be discerned. In particular, the major volcanic edifices are extensively mantled, though it is possible that some of the mantle is pyroclastic material rather than atmospheric dust. Support imaging by the Context Imager (CTX) and topographic information derived from stereo imaging are both invaluable in interpreting the HiRISE data. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

  14. A system for generating multi-resolution Digital Terrain Models of Mars based on the ESA Mars Express and NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yershov, V.

    2015-10-01

    We describe a processing system for generating multiresolution digital terrain models (DTM) of Mars within the the iMars project of the European Seventh Framework Programme. This system is based on a non-rigorous sensor model for processing highresolution stereoscopic images obtained fromthe High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera and Context Camera (CTX) onboard the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft. The system includes geodetic control based on the polynomial fit of the input CTX images with respect to to a reference image obtained from the ESA Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC). The input image processing is based on the Integrated Software for Images and Spectrometers (ISIS) and the NASA Ames stereo pipeline. The accuracy of the produced CTX DTM is improved by aligning it with the reference HRSC DTMand the altimetry data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) onboard the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft. The higher-resolution HiRISE imagery data are processed in the the same way, except that the reference images and DTMs are taken from the CTX results obtained during the first processing stage. A quality assessment of image photogrammetric registration is demonstrated by using data generated by the NASA Ames stereo pipeline and the BAE Socet system. Such DTMs will be produced for all available stereo-pairs and be displayed asWMS layers within the iMarsWeb GIS.

  15. Time-transfer experiments between satellite laser ranging ground stations via one-way laser ranging to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, D.; Sun, X.; Skillman, D. R.; Mcgarry, J.; Hoffman, E.; Neumann, G. A.; Torrence, M. H.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2014-12-01

    Satellite laser ranging (SLR) has long been used to measure the distance from a ground station to an Earth-orbiting satellite in order to determine the spacecraft position in orbit, and to conduct other geodetic measurements such as plate motions. This technique can also be used to transfer time between the station and satellite, and between remote SLR sites, as recently demonstrated by the Time Transfer by Laser Link (T2L2) project by the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiaes (CNES) and Observatorire de la Cote d'Azur (OCA) as well as the Laser Time Transfer (LTT) project by the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, where two-way and one-way measurements were obtained at the same time. Here we report a new technique to transfer time between distant SLR stations via simultaneous one-way laser ranging (LR) to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft at lunar distance. The major objectives are to establish accurate ground station times and to improve LRO orbit determination via these measurements. The results of these simultaneous LR measurements are used to compare the SLR station times or transfer time from one to the other using times-of-flight estimated from conventional radio frequency tracking of LRO. The accuracy of the time transfer depends only on the difference of the times-of-flight from each ground station to the spacecraft, and is expected to be at sub-nano second level. The technique has been validated by both a ground-based experiment and an experiment that utilized LRO. Here we present the results to show that sub-nanosecond precision and accuracy are achievable. Both experiments were carried out between the primary LRO-LR station, The Next Generation Satellite Laser Ranging (NGSLR) station, and its nearby station, Mobile Laser System (MOBLAS-7), both at Greenbelt, Maryland. The laser transmit time from both stations were recorded by the same event timer referenced to a Hydrogen maser. The results have been compared to data from a common All

  16. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Observations with the Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND): Neutron Suppression Regions (NSR) and Polar Hydrogen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chin, G.; Mitrofanov, I. G.; Boynton, W. V.; Golovin, D. V.; Evans, L. G.; Harshman, K.; Kozyrev, A. S.; Litvak, M. L.; McClanahan, T.; Milikh, G. M.; Sagdeev, R.; Sanin, A. B.; Shevchenko, V.; Shvetsov, V.; Smith, D.; Starr, R.; Trombka, J.; Zuber, M.

    2011-01-01

    Orbital detection of neutrons has become the dominant remote sensing technique for detecting and inferring H concentrations and its spatial distribution beneath planetary surfaces [Lawrence et al, (2010) Icarus, 205, pp. 195-209, Mitrofanov et al (2007) Science 297(5578), 78-81]. Indications for the presence of localized and relatively high water content was provided by LRO and LCROSS. LEND identified Cabeus, as the most promising LCROSS impact site [Mitrofanov I. et al. (2010) Science, 330, 483], and instruments onboard LRO and LCROSS have measured signatures of water, H2 and other volatiles in the impact plume [Colaprete A. et al. (2010) Science, 339,463, Gladstone R. et al. (2010) Science, 330, 472].

  17. Requirements validation testing on the 7 optical fiber array connector/cable assemblies for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ott, Melanie N.; Jin, Xiaodan Linda; LaRocca, Frank V.; Matuszeski, Adam; Chuska, Richard F.; MacMurphy, Shawn L.

    2007-09-01

    In the past year, a unique capability has been created by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in support of Lunar Exploration. The photonics group along with support from the Mechanical Systems Division, developed a seven fiber array assembly using a custom Diamond AVIM PM connector for space flight applications. This technology enabled the Laser Ranging Application for the LRO to be possible. Laser pulses at 532 nm will be transmitted from the earth to the LRO stationed at the moon and used to make distance assessments. The pulses will be collected with the Laser Ranging telescope and focused into the array assemblies. The array assemblies span down a boom, through gimbals and across the space craft to the instrument the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA). Through use of a LOLA detector the distance between the LRO and the Earth will be calculated simultaneously while LOLA is mapping the surface of the moon. The seven fiber array assemblies were designed in partnership with W.L. Gore, Diamond Switzerland, and GSFC, manufactured by the Photonics Group at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and tested for environmental effects there as well. Presented here are the requirements validation testing and results used to insure that these unique assemblies would function adequately during the Laser Ranging 14-month mission. The data and results include in-situ monitoring of the optical assemblies during cold gimbal motion life-testing, radiation, vibration and thermal testing.

  18. Calibration and Validation of Images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mars Color Imager (MARCI) and Context Camera (CTX) Instruments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaeffer, Derek; Bell, J. F., III; Malin, M.; Caplinger, M.; Calvin, W. M.; Cantor, B.; Clancy, R. T.; Haberle, R. M.; James, P. B.; Lee, S.; Thomas, P.; Wolff, M. J.

    2006-09-01

    The MRO CTX instrument is a monochrome (611±189; nm), linear array CCD pushbroom camera with a nominal surface resolution of 6 m/pixel. The MARCI instrument is a 2-D CCD framing camera with 5 visible (420, 550, 600, 650, and 720 nm) and 2 UV (260 and 320 nm) filters, a 180° field of view, and a nominal resolution of about 1 km/pixel at nadir. Following Mars Orbital Insertion (MOI) in March 2006, CTX and MARCI images were acquired for initial instrument checkouts and validation of the pre-flight and in-flight calibration pipeline. CTX in-flight bias and dark current levels are derived from masked pixels at the edges of the array. A dark current model derived during pre-flight calibration is applied if the masked pixels exhibit a gradient across the field or noise above an acceptable threshold. The CTX flatfield removes residual pixel non-uniformities and a subtle ''jail bar'' effect caused by the CCD's alternating register readout. Radiances are derived from bias, dark, and flat-corrected images using pre-flight scaling factors. Dividing the average radiances by the solar spectral radiance convolved over the CTX filter transmission and applying a Minnaert phase angle correction yields an average I/F level in the CTX post-MOI Mars images near an expected value of 0.2. Bias and dark current subtraction of the MARCI images uses either a pre-flight model or dark sky data from the far left or far right parts of the field (nominally off the Mars limb). The preflight flatfield data were modified based on in-flight performance to remove residual non-pixel uniformities. Some residual pixel-dependent bias nonuniformities were also corrected using in-flight data. Bias, dark, and flat-corrected images were converted to radiance using pre-flight scaling factors. Phase-corrected 7-filter I/F values for the region of Mars imaged during the post-MOI campaign are consistent with previous data.

  19. Initial results from radio occultation measurements with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter: A nocturnal mixed layer in the tropics and comparisons with polar profiles from the Mars Climate Sounder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinson, David P.; Asmar, Sami W.; Kahan, Daniel S.; Akopian, Varoujan; Haberle, Robert M.; Spiga, Aymeric; Schofield, John T.; Kleinböhl, Armin; Abdou, Wedad A.; Lewis, Stephen R.; Paik, Meegyeong; Maalouf, Sami G.

    2014-11-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) performs radio occultation (RO) measurements on selected orbits, generally once per day. We have retrieved atmospheric profiles from two subsets of data, yielding a variety of new results that illustrate the scientific value of the observations. One set of measurements sounded the tropics in northern summer at a local time ∼1 h before sunrise. Some of these profiles contain an unexpected layer of neutral stability with a depth of ∼4 km and a pressure at its upper boundary of ∼160 Pa. The mixed layer is bounded above by a temperature inversion and below by another strong inversion adjacent to the surface. This type of structure is observed near Gale Crater, in the Tharsis region, and at a few other locations, whereas profiles in Amazonis Planitia and Elysium Planitia show no sign of a detached mixed layer with an overlying inversion. We supplemented the measurements with numerical simulations by the NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model, which demonstrate that water ice clouds can generate this distinctive type of temperature structure through their influence on radiative transfer at infrared wavelengths. In particular, the simulations predict the presence of a nocturnal cloud layer in the Tharsis region at a pressure of ∼150 Pa (∼10 km above the surface), and the nighttime radiative cooling at cloud level is sufficient to produce a temperature inversion above the cloud as well as convective instability below the cloud, consistent with the observations. The second set of measurements sounded mid-to-high northern latitudes in spring, when carefully coordinated observations by the MRO Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) are also available. The differences between the RO and MCS temperature profiles are generally consistent with the expected performance of the two instruments. Within this set of 21 comparisons the average temperature difference is less than 1 K where the aerosol opacities are smaller than 10-3km-1 , at

  20. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) at the Dynamic Moon: Five Years of Operations in Lunar Orbit - An Overview of the Mission, Key Science Results, Data Products, and Future Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petro, N. E.; Keller, J. W.

    2014-12-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been orbiting the Moon for over five years. In that time, data from the seven instruments onboard the spacecraft have made significant advances in our understanding of the Moon and its environment. In September 2014 LRO completed its first Extended Science Mission (ESM) and began a second ESM (pending NASA approval). During the ESM and the second ESM, LRO has been in a quasi-stable, eccentric orbit of ~30 x 180 km with a periapse near the South Pole. This orbit enabled high-resolution measurements around the South Pole. LRO's seven instruments are operating nominally, and have experienced no significant degradation since beginning the ESM. The spacecraft has performed exceptionally well, with 98.4% uptime during the mission. LRO retains sufficient fuel so that its current orbit can be maintained for at least 8 years. LRO's science teams have been extremely productive, focusing on the distribution of volatiles, evidence for early differentiation, measuring the lunar impact record, and the Moon's interactions with its external environment. Three of the most exciting findings by LRO have been the identification of LRO-era impacts, global tectonic features, and the transient nature of some volatiles at the surface. These findings are areas of study for future LRO measurements. LRO's data is released to the PDS every 3 months, as of Aug. 2014 528.75 TB of data have been delivered by LRO. Many of the teams have delivered higher-level data products as part of their routine PDS deliveries (e.g., mosaics, maps, derived products). These products are intended to act as useful resources for the science community. Some higher-level LRO data products are of interest for future lunar landers. These products include illumination maps, meter-scale digital elevation models, roughness maps, and 50cm per pixel images of a range of possible landing sites. All of these products are available either from the PDS [1] or individual teams websites

  1. Emission Measurements of Lunar Analogues Measured in a Simulated Lunar Environment for Interpretation of Data Returned from the Diviner Lunar Radiometer on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, I. R.; Bowles, N. E.; Greenhagen, B. T.; Paige, D. A.

    2009-12-01

    A lunar thermal environment simulator has been constructed, in order to measure emission spectra of lunar analogue minerals in the same thermal environment as is present on the surface of the Moon. This data is directly comparable to measurements made by the Diviner instrument, currently in orbit around the Moon onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), allowing the composition of the Moon’s surface to be further determined, as part of the Diviner Compositional Investigation[1]. Diviner is a nine-channel infrared mapping radiometer, currently making high resolution (~160m per pixel) observations of the lunar surface from a ~50km lunar orbit[2]. The instrument’s filters are designed to map the temperature, mineralogy, albedo, rock abundance and bulk thermal properties of the surface regolith (soil)[2]. Three channels, located around 8µm, are capable of determining the spectral location of the Christiansen Feature (CF)[3], the primary spectral feature observed in mid-infrared measurements of the Moon[4,5]. Four other channels, from 13 to 400µm, are capable of mapping variations in emissivity of the lunar surface. The CF of a feldspathic mineral is located at a shorter wavelength than a mafic mineral, hence this emissivity maximum can be used as a compositional indicator[6,7]. It is observed as an emissivity maximum, and is enhanced by the lunar environment. In the top few hundreds of microns, at low to mid-latitudes during the daytime, large thermal gradients are induced due to very low heat transport within the lunar regolith[8,9,10,11]. The surface is cooled as it radiates to cold space, but soil transparency in the spectra around the CF region causes radiation to be emitted from the deeper, hotter layers, producing an emission maximum. Regolith grain size, mixing ratios, and the lack of atmosphere on the Moon also affect the shape and location of the CF[6,7,9,12]. The lunar thermal environment simulator creates an equivalent thermal gradient in lunar

  2. Miniature detector measures deep space radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Colin

    2011-08-01

    The 1972 journey of Apollo 17 marked not only the last time a human walked on the Moon but also the most recent manned venture beyond the outer reaches of the Earth's atmosphere. With preparations being made for humans to once again explore deep space, important steps are under way to quantify the hazards of leaving low-Earth orbit. One significant risk for long-distance missions is the increased exposure to ionizing radiation—energetic particles that can strip electrons off of otherwise neutral materials, affecting human health and the functioning of spacecraft equipment. The deep space probes that are being sent to measure the risks from ionizing radiation and other hazards can be costly, so maximizing the scientific value of each launch is important. With this goal in mind, Mazur et al. designed and developed a miniature dosimeter that was sent into lunar orbit aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in 2009. Weighing only 20 grams, the detector is able to measure fluctuations in ionizing radiation as low as 1 microrad (equivalent to 1.0 × 10-8 joules of energy deposited into 1 kilogram) while requiring minimal power and computer processing. The postage stamp-sized detector tracked radiation dosages for the first year of LRO's mission, with the results being confirmed by other onboard and near-Earth detectors. (Space Weather, doi:10.1029/2010SW000641, 2011)

  3. The future of space reconnaissance

    SciTech Connect

    Richelson, J.T.

    1991-01-01

    Despite the warming of US - Soviet relations, the US will still need to conduct extensive satellite reconnaissance, as will the Soviets. Besides monitoring advances in military technology and compliance with arms-control treaties, satellites have additional targets to examine. As demonstrated by recent events in the Persian Gulf, regional hot spots present constant threats. Targeting weaponry or listening in on an enemy's military communications from space is feasible form any nation operating a spy satellite. But, at the same time, satellites will also enable nations to gauge threats accurately and thus possibly circumvent potential hostilities. In any event, a multitude of orbiting eyes and ears from various countries - hostile, friendly and neutral - will affect international affairs for some time to come. Much of the surveillance technology other countries will use, however, will not match that of the US. Unclassified documents, military experts and former intelligence officials reveal that US satellite reconnaissance, having been an established and accepted component of intelligence operations for more than 30 years, has now reached a pinnacle of high technology. Indeed, analysts think the US may budget as much as $5 billion on space reconnaissance each year; the Department of Defense has already spent an estimated $100 billion since 1960, when the US began launching its photoreconnaissance satellites.

  4. Performance Demonstration of Miniature Phase Transition Cells in Microgravity as a Validation for their use in the Absolute Calibration of Temperature Sensors On-Orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pettersen, C.; Best, F. A.; Adler, D. P.; Aguilar, D. M.; Perepezko, J. H.

    2012-12-01

    The next generation of infrared remote sensing missions, including the climate benchmark missions, will require better absolute measurement accuracy than now available, and will most certainly rely on the emerging capability to fly SI traceable standards that provide irrefutable absolute measurement accuracy. As an example, instrumentation designed to measure spectrally resolved infrared radiances with an absolute brightness temperature error of better than 0.1 K will require high-emissivity (>0.999) calibration blackbodies requiring absolute temperature uncertainties of better than 0.045K (k=3). Key elements of an On-Orbit Absolute Radiance Standard (OARS) meeting these stringent requirements have been demonstrated in the laboratory at the University of Wisconsin and were further refined under the NASA Instrument Incubator Program (IIP). In particular, the OARS has imbedded thermistors that can be periodically calibrated on-orbit using the melt signatures of small quantities (<0.5g) of three reference materials - mercury, water, and gallium, providing calibration from 233K to 303K. One of the many tests to determine the readiness of this technology for on-orbit application is a demonstration of performance in microgravity to be conducted on the International Space Station (ISS). This demonstration will make use of an Experiment Support Package developed by Utah State Space Dynamics Laboratory to continuously run melt cycles on miniature phase change cells containing gallium, a gallium-tin eutectic, and water. The phase change cells will be mounted in a small aluminum block along with a thermistor temperature sensor. A thermoelectric cooler will be used to change the temperature of the block. The demonstration will use the configuration of the phase transition cells developed under our NASA IIP that has been tested extensively in the laboratory under simulated mission life cycle scenarios - these included vibration, thermal soaks, and deep cycling. Melt signatures

  5. Liquid Water on the Surface of Mars Today: Present Gully Activity Observed by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Direction for Future Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, T. N.; Malin, M. C.; Edgett, K. S.

    2009-12-01

    Eight new flows in martian mid-latitude gullies have been found using the MRO Context Camera and MGS Mars Orbiter Camera. Each formed during 1999-2009. Using MRO HiRISE images, we find that the morphology and inferred emplacement behavior of these features is consistent with those of debris flows fluidized by a liquid medium and not by dry, granular flows. Evidence comes from the patterns of flow around obstacles, ponding in and subsequent overtopping of topographic depressions, and super-elevation of deposits on channel banks where the channels change direction, attributes consistent with a liquid but not with fluid-like granular flow. Additional evidence includes anastomoses in distal reaches and lobate terminations. Of the 8 flows, 3 have formation dates constrained to within a single Mars year (although not the same year); these 3 formed during autumn to early spring, demonstrating that summer warming is not participating in creating the liquid (i.e., that would melt snow or ice). The new gully deposits indicate that some gullies are currently active, suggesting that Mars has liquid water today and it occasionally appears on the planet’s surface. NASA’s Mars Exploration Program has focused on the “follow the water” theme and is now shifting toward “habitability” and life detection. Places where liquid water comes to the Martian surface today warrant detailed investigation. Martian astrobiology involves the search for evidence of extinct and extant life. Discovery of ancient sedimentary rocks shifted emphasis from the Viking-era pursuit of present-day microbial life to MSL’s focus on habitable environments. Recent descriptions of contemporary methane production have renewed interest in searching for extant life. Missions to locations of potential present day life, whether indicated by methane or liquid water, must deal with the associated planetary protection issues (they are “special regions”). More information about such locations is critical

  6. Miniature synthetic-aperture radar system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stockton, Wayne; Stromfors, Richard D.

    1990-11-01

    Loral Defense Systems-Arizona has developed a high-performance synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) for small aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) reconnaissance applications. This miniature radar, called Miniature Synthetic-Aperture Radar (MSAR), is packaged in a small volume and has low weight. It retains key features of large SAR systems, including high-resolution imaging and all-weather operation. The operating frequency of MSAR can optionally be selected to provide foliage penetration capability. Many imaging radar configurations can be derived using this baseline system. MSAR with a data link provides an attractive UAV sensor. MSAR with a real-time image formation processor is well suited to installations where onboard processing and immediate image analysis are required. The MSAR system provides high-resolution imaging for short-to-medium range reconnaissance applications.

  7. Orbiter's Skeleton

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    The structure of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft is constructed from composite panels of carbon layers over aluminum honeycomb, lightweight yet strong. This forms a basic structure or skeleton on which the instruments, electronics, propulsion and power systems can be mounted. The propellant tank is contained in the center of the orbiter's structure. This photo was taken at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, during construction of the spacecraft.

  8. SHAred Reconnaissance Pod (SHARP) program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kent, Dennis C.

    2001-12-01

    The SHAred Reconnaissance Pod (SHARP) Program is a United States Navy tactical reconnaissance program that culminates in the supply of visible and infrared imagery products to the fleet. The intent of the program is to provide the warfighter the most robust tactical reconnaissance capability possible in a timely manner. The SHARP concept is a multi-function reconnaissance pod, adaptable to several airborne platforms for tactical manned airborne reconnaissance. The genesis platform is the Navy F/A-18. With regard to multi-platform application, a smart pod approach has been pursued with most of the required functionality being incorporated into the pod. SHARP will replace the Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance Pod System (TARPS) flying on the Navy F-14. This paper outlines the SHARP Program requirements and acquisition approach, along with the SHARP system capabilities and operation.

  9. Night reconnaissance for F-16 multirole reconnaissance pod

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brownie, Ralph S.; Larroque, Clement

    2004-08-01

    The Belgian Air Force successfully carried out flight trials of the latest Low Light CCD focal plane technology during December of 2003. Simultaneous imaging of the ground was performed by conventional CCD, Infra Red Linescan and Low Light CCD reconnaissance sensors; provided and integrated by Thales within the Modular Reconnaissance Pod (MRP). This paper reports on the results and compares capability of the technologies.

  10. Miniature Earthmover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    International Machinery Corporation (IMC) developed a miniature earthmover, the 1/8 scale Caterpillar D11N Track-type Tractor, with trademark product approval and manufacturing/marketing license from Caterpillar, Inc. Through Marshall Space Flight Center assistance, the company has acquired infrared remote control technology, originally developed for space exploration. The technology is necessary for exports because of varying restrictions on radio frequency in foreign countries. The Cat D11N weighs only 340 pounds and has the world's first miniature industrial internal combustion engine. The earthmover's uses include mining, construction and demolition work, and hazardous environment work. IMC also has designs of various products for military use and other Caterpillar replicas.

  11. Hypersonic reconnaissance aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bulk, Tim; Chiarini, David; Hill, Kevin; Kunszt, Bob; Odgen, Chris; Truong, Bon

    1992-01-01

    A conceptual design of a hypersonic reconnaissance aircraft for the U.S. Navy is discussed. After eighteen weeks of work, a waverider design powered by two augmented turbofans was chosen. The aircraft was designed to be based on an aircraft carrier and to cruise 6,000 nautical miles at Mach 4;80,000 feet and above. As a result the size of the aircraft was only allowed to have a length of eighty feet, fifty-two feet in wingspan, and roughly 2,300 square feet in planform area. Since this is a mainly cruise aircraft, sixty percent of its 100,000 pound take-off weight is JP fuel. At cruise, the highest temperature that it will encounter is roughly 1,100 F, which can be handled through the use of a passive cooling system.

  12. The reconnaissance and siting of field hospitals.

    PubMed

    Boreham, A; Bricknell, M C M

    2002-03-01

    This paper describes the reconnaissance function for the siting of deployable field hospitals. It reports two levels of reconnaissance, theatre/operational and tactical. The paper describes the factors to be considered when conducting the reconnaissance and the format of the reconnaissance report. PMID:12024890

  13. High altitude reconnaissance aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yazdo, Renee Anna; Moller, David

    1990-01-01

    At the equator the ozone layer ranges from 65,000 to 130,000 plus feet, which is beyond the capabilities of the ER-2, NASA's current high altitude reconnaissance aircraft. The Universities Space Research Association, in cooperation with NASA, is sponsoring an undergraduate program which is geared to designing an aircraft that can study the ozone layer at the equator. This aircraft must be able to cruise at 130,000 feet for six hours at Mach 0.7, while carrying 3,000 lbs. of payload. In addition, the aircraft must have a minimum range of 6,000 miles. In consideration of the novel nature of this project, the pilot must be able to take control in the event of unforeseen difficulties. Three aircraft configurations were determined to be the most suitable - a joined-wing, a biplane, and a twin-boom conventional airplane. The performance of each configuration was analyzed to investigate the feasibility of the project.

  14. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission: Systems Engineering Challenges on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Havens, Glen G.

    2007-01-01

    MRO project is a system of systems requiring system engineering team to architect, design, integrate, test, and operate these systems at each level of the project. The challenge of system engineering mission objectives into a single mission architecture that can be integrated tested, launched, and operated. Systems engineering must translate high-level requirements into integrated mission design. Systems engineering challenges were overcome utilizing a combination by creative designs built into MRO's flight and ground systems: a) Design of sophisticated spacecraft targeting and data management capabilities b) Establishment of a strong operations team organization; c) Implementation of robust operational processes; and d) Development of strategic ground tools. The MRO system has met the challenge of its driving requirements: a) MRO began its two-year primary science phase on November 7, 2006, and by July 2007, met it minimum requirement to collect 15 Tbits of data after only eight months of operations. Currently we have collected 22 Tbits. b) Based on current performance, mission data return could return 70 Tbits of data by the end of the primary science phase in 2008.

  15. Performance Demonstration of Miniature Phase Transition Cells in Microgravity as a Validation for their use in the Absolute Calibration of Temperature Sensors On-Orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pettersen, C.; Adler, D. P.; Best, F. A.; Aguilar, D. M.; Perepezko, J. H.

    2011-12-01

    The next generation of infrared remote sensing missions, including the climate benchmark missions, will require better absolute measurement accuracy than now available, and will most certainly rely on the emerging capability to fly SI traceable standards that provide irrefutable absolute measurement accuracy. As an example, instrumentation designed to measure spectrally resolved infrared radiances with an absolute brightness temperature error of better than 0.1 K will require high-emissivity (>0.999) calibration blackbodies requiring absolute temperature uncertainties of better than 0.045K (k=3). Key elements of an On-Orbit Absolute Radiance Standard (OARS) meeting these stringent requirements have been demonstrated in the laboratory at the University of Wisconsin and are undergoing further refinement under the NASA Instrument Incubator Program (IIP). In particular, the OARS has embedded thermistors that can be periodically calibrated on-orbit using the melt signatures of small quantities (<0.5g) of three reference materials - mercury, water, and gallium (providing calibration from 233K to 303K). One of the many tests to determine the readiness of this technology for on-orbit application is a demonstration of performance in microgravity. We present the details of a demonstration experiment to be conducted on the International Space Station later this year. The demonstration will use the configuration of the phase transition cells developed under our NASA IIP that has been tested extensively in the laboratory under simulated mission life cycle scenarios - these included vibration, thermal soaks, and deep cycling. The planned microgravity demonstration will compare melt signatures obtained pre-flight on the ground with those obtained on the ISS for three phase change materials (water, gallium-tin, and gallium). With a successful demonstration experiment the phase transition cells in a microgravity environment will have cleared the last hurdle before being ready for

  16. LRO Enters Lunar Orbit (Highlights) - Duration: 2 minutes, 33 seconds.

    NASA Video Gallery

    After a four and a half day journey from the Earth, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, successfully entered orbit around the moon. Engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbel...

  17. Mars reconnaissance lander: Vehicle and mission design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, H. R.; Bridges, J. C.; Ambrosi, R. M.; Perkinson, M.-C.; Reed, J.; Peacocke, L.; Bannister, N. P.; Howe, S. D.; O'Brien, R. C.; Klein, A. C.

    2011-10-01

    There is enormous potential for more mobile planetary surface science. This is especially true in the case of Mars because the ability to cross challenge terrain, access areas of higher elevation, visit diverse geological features and perform long traverses of up to 200 km supports the search for past water and life. Vehicles capable of a ballistic ‘hop’ have been proposed on several occasions, but those proposals using in-situ acquired propellants are the most promising for significant planetary exploration. This paper considers a mission concept termed Mars Reconnaissance Lander using such a vehicle. We describe an approach where planetary science requirements that cannot be met by a conventional rover are used to derive vehicle and mission requirements. The performance of the hopper vehicle was assessed by adding estimates of gravity losses and mission mass constraints to recently developed methods. A baseline vehicle with a scientific payload of 16.5 kg and conservatively estimated sub-system masses is predicted to achieve a flight range of 0.97 km. Using a simple consideration of system reliability, the required cumulative range of 200 km could be achieved with a probability of around 80%. Such a range is sufficient to explore geologically diverse terrains. We therefore plot an illustrative traverse in Hypanis Valles/Xanthe Terra, which encounters crater wall sections, periglacial terrain, aqueous sedimentary deposits and a traverse up an ancient fluvial channel. Such a diversity of sites could not be considered with a conventional rover. The Mars Reconnaissance Lander mission and vehicle presents some very significant engineering challenges, but would represent a valuable complement to rovers, static landers and orbital observations.

  18. Interannual Comparison of Temporal and Spatial Structure in the Martian Thermosphere from Atmospheric Accelerometer Measurements of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) during Aerobraking and Stellar Occultation Measurements from the SPICAM Ultraviolet Infrared Atmospheric Spectrometer of Mars Express (MEX)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theriot, Michael; Keating, G.; Blanchard, R.; Bougher, S.; Zurek, R.; Tolson, R.; Murphy, J.; Forget, F.; Bertaux, J.

    2006-09-01

    Before MRO's arrival at Mars, during Mars Express orbits 17 to 2888, SPICAM obtained 617 stellar occultation measurements of density and temperature structure from 40km to 140km. SPICAM measurements give global atmospheric structure over an entire Martian year. Where SPICAM derived atmospheric profiles overlap MRO aerobraking altitudes from 100km to 140km, we have made interannual comparisons with in situ MRO accelerometer derived atmospheric profiles for matching season, local solar time, latitude, longitude and altitude. Designed for aerobraking, MRO launched August 12, 2005, and achieved Mars Orbital Insertion (MOI) March 10, 2006. Atmospheric density decreases exponentially with increasing height. Using small propulsive changes to apoapsis orbital velocity, periapsis altitude was adjusted to the necessary density surfaces for safe aerobraking. MRO periapsis precessed from the South Pole at 6pm LST to near the equator at 3am LST. Meanwhile, apoapsis dramatically shrank from 40,000km at MOI to 460 km at aerobraking completion (ABX) mid-September 2006. Then, a few small propulsive maneuvers established the Primary Science Orbit (PSO), which without aerobraking would have required an additional 400 kg of fuel. Honeywell's substantially improved electronics package for its IMU (QA-2000 accelerometer, gyro, electronics) maximized accelerometer sensitivities as requested by The George Washington University, JPL, and Lockheed Martin, enabling good signal-to-noise-ratios up to at least 170km, critical for upper atmospheric science. Each of the 500+ MRO aerobraking orbits provides a distribution of density, scale-height, and temperature along the orbital path, providing key in situ insight into various upper atmosphere (> 100 km) processes. Characterization of key temporal and spatial cycles including: polar vortices, winter polar warming, dust storms, planetary scale waves, gravity waves, and gravitational tides associated with topography, validates and constrains both

  19. Stability-Augmentation Devices for Miniature Aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, RIchard M.

    2005-01-01

    Non-aerodynamic mechanical devices are under consideration as means to augment the stability of miniature autonomous and remotely controlled aircraft. Such aircraft can be used for diverse purposes, including military reconnaissance, radio communications, and safety-related monitoring of wide areas. The need for stability-augmentation devices arises because adverse meteorological conditions generally affect smaller aircraft more strongly than they affect larger aircraft: Miniature aircraft often become uncontrollable under conditions that would not be considered severe enough to warrant grounding of larger aircraft. The need for the stability-augmentation devices to be non-aerodynamic arises because there is no known way to create controlled aerodynamic forces sufficient to counteract the uncontrollable meteorological forces on miniature aircraft. A stability-augmentation device of the type under consideration includes a mass pod (a counterweight) at the outer end of a telescoping shaft, plus associated equipment to support the operation of the aircraft. The telescoping shaft and mass pod are stowed in the rear of the aircraft. When deployed, they extend below the aircraft. Optionally, an antenna for radio communication can be integrated into the shaft. At the time of writing this article, the deployment of the telescoping shaft and mass pod was characterized as passive and automatic, but information about the deployment mechanism(s) was not available. The feasibility of this stability-augmentation concept was demonstrated in flights of hand-launched prototype aircraft.

  20. Micro-Miniature Split Stirling Linear Crycooler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veprik, A.; Zehtzer, S.; Vilenchik, H.; Pundak, N.

    2010-04-01

    Novel tactics for rescue, surveillance, reconnaissance, force protection, perimeter security, navigation and targeting often involve the use of miniature infrared imagers, where the cooled imaging systems are known to be superior to their uncooled rivals in terms of working range, resolution and ability to distinguish/track fast moving objects in dynamic infrared scenes. The latest technological advances in industrial applications of high-temperature infrared detectors have spurred the development of linearly driven, long life, dynamically quiet and aurally undetectable micro-miniature split Stirling linear cryogenic coolers. Recent progress in designing highly efficient "moving magnet" resonant linear actuators and dedicated smart electronics have enabled further improvements to the cooler's size, weight, power consumption, cooldown time and ownership costs. The authors report on the development of a novel micro-miniature split Stirling linear cryogenic cooler, where, by means of increasing the driving frequency up to 90 Hz, it appeared possible to shorten the cold finger to 19 mm. The cooler was specifically designed to cool a new generation of 130 K infrared detectors for portable infrared imagers, where compactness, low steady-state power consumption, fast cool-down time, vibration export and aural stealth are of primary concern.

  1. Family of Orbiters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This image shows the paths of three spacecraft currently in orbit around Mars, as well as the path by which NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander will approach and land on the planet. The t-shaped crosses show where the orbiters will be when Phoenix enters the atmosphere, while the x-shaped crosses show their location at landing time.

    All three orbiters, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA's Mars Odyssey and the European Space Agency's Mars Express, will be monitoring Phoenix during the final steps of its journey to the Red Planet.

    Phoenix will land just south of Mars's north polar ice cap.

  2. Multiple Miniature Avionic Displays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rye, Jeffrey M. (Inventor); Dorneich, Michael C. (Inventor); Gannon, Aaron J. (Inventor)

    2008-01-01

    A display screen for displaying multiple sets of information is provided. In one embodiment, an aviation display screen includes a main window and a plurality of miniature windows. The main window is adapted to illustrate one set of information. Each miniature window is adapted to display a set of avionic information. The avionic display is further adapted to toggle a select set of avionic information in one of the miniature windows into the main window.

  3. Miniature propulsion systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, John G.

    1992-07-01

    Miniature solenoid valves, check valves and a hydrazine gas generator typify the miniaturization used in the liquid propulsion system for the Army Light Weight Exo-Atmospheric Projectile (LEAP). The pressure control subsystem uses a solenoid valve weighing 24 grams to control flow of helium to pressurize the propellant tanks. The attitude control subsystem uses a gas generator weighing 71 grams to produce decomposed hydrazine as the gaseous propellant for miniature 1 lbf ACS thrusters weighing 5.4 grams. The successful use of these miniature components in development tests and a hover test of the LEAP is described.

  4. Miniature Scroll Pumps Fabricated by LIGA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiberg, Dean; Shcheglov, Kirill; White, Victor; Bae, Sam

    2009-01-01

    Miniature scroll pumps have been proposed as roughing pumps (low - vacuum pumps) for miniature scientific instruments (e.g., portable mass spectrometers and gas analyzers) that depend on vacuum. The larger scroll pumps used as roughing pumps in some older vacuum systems are fabricated by conventional machining. Typically, such an older scroll pump includes (1) an electric motor with an eccentric shaft to generate orbital motion of a scroll and (2) conventional bearings to restrict the orbital motion to a circle. The proposed miniature scroll pumps would differ from the prior, larger ones in both design and fabrication. A miniature scroll pump would include two scrolls: one mounted on a stationary baseplate and one on a flexure stage (see figure). An electromagnetic actuator in the form of two pairs of voice coils in a push-pull configuration would make the flexure stage move in the desired circular orbit. The capacitance between the scrolls would be monitored to provide position (gap) feedback to a control system that would adjust the drive signals applied to the voice coils to maintain the circular orbit as needed for precise sealing of the scrolls. To minimize power consumption and maximize precision of control, the flexure stage would be driven at the frequency of its mechanical resonance. The miniaturization of these pumps would entail both operational and manufacturing tolerances of <1 m. Such tight tolerances cannot be achieved easily by conventional machining of high-aspect-ratio structures like those of scroll-pump components. In addition, the vibrations of conventional motors and ball bearings exceed these tight tolerances by an order of magnitude. Therefore, the proposed pumps would be fabricated by the microfabrication method known by the German acronym LIGA ( lithographie, galvanoformung, abformung, which means lithography, electroforming, molding) because LIGA has been shown to be capable of providing the required tolerances at large aspect ratios.

  5. Science and Reconnaissance from the Europa Clipper Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prockter, L. M.; Pappalardo, R. T.; Senske, D.; Vance, S.; Patterson, G.; Paczkowski, B.; Goldstein, B.; Magner, T. J.; Cooke, B.

    2013-12-01

    The Europa Clipper mission concept is the subject of a NASA-funded study by a joint JPL/APL science and technical team. The Clipper spacecraft would launch in the 2021 timeframe and would be placed in orbit around Jupiter to perform a detailed investigation of Europa, a world that shows strong evidence for a liquid water ocean beneath its icy crust, and which could host conditions favorable for life. As envisioned, a highly capable, radiation-tolerant spacecraft with a diverse instrument suite would make repeated close flybys of Europa. The Europa Clipper science objectives are: (1) Ocean and Ice Shell - Characterize the ice shell and any subsurface water, including their heterogeneity, ocean properties, and the nature of surface-ice-ocean exchange; (2) Composition - Understand the habitability of Europa's ocean through composition and chemistry; (3) Geology - Understand the formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity, and characterize high science interest localities. To maximize success of potential future landed missions, the Europa Clipper would include a reconnaissance capability. Reconnaissance objectives are: (1) Landing Safety - Assess the distribution of surface hazards, the load-bearing capacity of the surface, the structure of the subsurface, and the regolith thickness for specific surface sites; (2) Scientific Value - Assess the composition of surface materials, the geologic context of the surface, the potential for geologic activity, the proximity of near surface water, and the potential for active upwelling of ocean material for the reconnaissance sites. We here present updates on the mission concept, the current encounter trajectory, and science and reconnaissance objectives.

  6. Simulation of parafoil reconnaissance imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kogler, Kent J.; Sutkus, Linas; Troast, Douglas; Kisatsky, Paul; Charles, Alain M.

    1995-08-01

    Reconnaissance from unmanned platforms is currently of interest to DoD and civil sectors concerned with drug trafficking and illegal immigration. Platforms employed vary from motorized aircraft to tethered balloons. One appraoch currently under evaluation deploys a TV camera suspended from a parafoil delivered to the area of interest by a cannon launched projectile. Imagery is then transmitted to a remote monitor for processing and interpretation. This paper presents results of imagery obtained from simulated parafoil flights in which software techniques were developed to process-in image degradation caused by atmospheric obscurants and perturbations in the normal parafoil flight trajectory induced by wind gusts. The approach to capturing continuous motion imagery from captive flight test recordings, the introduction of simulated effects, and the transfer of the processed imagery back to video tape is described.

  7. Light armored vehicle reconnaissance and surveillance system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barbeau, Nicolas R.

    1994-10-01

    The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) has established a requirement for a fleet of reconnaissance vehicles equipped with a modern surveillance system to be used in a wide variety of scenarios. This includes conventional operations within NATO, contingency operations in troubled areas as well as UN peacekeeping missions. As such, the Light Armored Vehicles Reconnaissance and Surveillance System will be the first 24 hour all- weather reconnaissance system integrated into a combat vehicle. This paper intends to describe how the operational requirements defined by DND were translated into sensor and system requirements. After a summary of the current configuration, it focuses on product pre-planned improvements and future needs.

  8. Miniature oxygen resuscitator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, G.; Teegen, J. T.; Waddell, H.

    1969-01-01

    Miniature, portable resuscitation system is used during evacuation of patients to medical facilities. A carrying case contains a modified resuscitator head, cylinder of oxygen, two-stage oxygen regulator, low pressure tube, and a mask for mouth and nose.

  9. Reflections on Miniature Golf.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powell, Nancy Norem; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Describes a transformational geometry project in which groups of students explore symmetry, reflections, translations, rotations, and dilations to design and create one hole of miniature golf large enough to play on. Includes unit plan for transformational geometry. (MKR)

  10. Miniature TV Camera

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Originally devised to observe Saturn stage separation during Apollo flights, Marshall Space Flight Center's Miniature Television Camera, measuring only 4 x 3 x 1 1/2 inches, quickly made its way to the commercial telecommunications market.

  11. Mars-Moons Exploration, Reconnaissance and Landed Investigation (MERLIN)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murchie, S. L.; Chabot, N. L.; Buczkowski, D.; Arvidson, R. E.; Castillo, J. C.; Peplowski, P. N.; Ernst, C. M.; Rivkin, A.; Eng, D.; Chmielewski, A. B.; Maki, J.; trebi-Ollenu, A.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Spence, H. E.; Horanyi, M.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Christian, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    The Mars-Moons Exploration, Reconnaissance and Landed Investigation (MERLIN) is a NASA Discovery mission proposal to explore the moons of Mars. Previous Mars-focused spacecraft have raised fundamental questions about Mars' moons: What are their origins and compositions? Why do the moons resemble primitive outer solar system D-type objects? How do geologic processes modify their surfaces? MERLIN answers these questions through a combination of orbital and landed measurements, beginning with reconnaissance of Deimos and investigation of the hypothesized Martian dust belts. Orbital reconnaissance of Phobos occurs, followed by low flyovers to characterize a landing site. MERLIN lands on Phobos, conducting a 90-day investigation. Radiation measurements are acquired throughout all mission phases. Phobos' size and mass provide a low-risk landing environment: controlled descent is so slow that the landing is rehearsed, but gravity is high enough that surface operations do not require anchoring. Existing imaging of Phobos reveals low regional slope regions suitable for landing, and provides knowledge for planning orbital and landed investigations. The payload leverages past NASA investments. Orbital imaging is accomplished by a dual multispectral/high-resolution imager rebuilt from MESSENGER/MDIS. Mars' dust environment is measured by the refurbished engineering model of LADEE/LDEX, and the radiation environment by the flight spare of LRO/CRaTER. The landed workspace is characterized by a color stereo imager updated from MER/HazCam. MERLIN's arm deploys landed instrumentation using proven designs from MER, Phoenix, and MSL. Elemental measurements are acquired by a modified version of Rosetta/APXS, and an uncooled gamma-ray spectrometer. Mineralogical measurements are acquired by a microscopic imaging spectrometer developed under MatISSE. MERLIN delivers seminal science traceable to NASA's Strategic Goals and Objectives, Science Plan, and the Decadal Survey. MERLIN's science

  12. High-altitude reconnaissance aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yazdi, Renee Anna

    1991-01-01

    At the equator the ozone layer ranges from 65,000 to 130,000+ ft, which is beyond the capabilities of the ER-2, NASA's current high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft. This project is geared to designing an aircraft that can study the ozone layer. The aircraft must be able to satisfy four mission profiles. The first is a polar mission that ranges from Chile to the South Pole and back to Chile, a total range of 6000 n.m. at 100,000 ft with a 2500-lb payload. The second mission is also a polar mission with a decreased altitude and an increased payload. For the third mission, the aircraft will take off at NASA Ames, cruise at 100,000 ft, and land in Chile. The final mission requires the aircraft to make an excursion to 120,000 ft. All four missions require that a subsonic Mach number be maintained because of constraints imposed by the air sampling equipment. Three aircraft configurations were determined to be the most suitable for meeting the requirements. The performance of each is analyzed to investigate the feasibility of the mission requirements.

  13. Miniaturized handheld hyperspectral imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Huawen; Haibach, Frederick G.; Bergles, Eric; Qian, Jack; Zhang, Charlie; Yang, William

    2014-05-01

    A miniaturized hyperspectral imager is enabled with image sensor integrated with dispersing elements in a very compact form factor, removing the need for expensive, moving, bulky and complex optics that have been used in conventional hyperspectral imagers for decades. The result is a handheld spectral imager that can be installed on miniature UAV drones or conveyor belts in production lines. Eventually, small handhelds can be adapted for use in outpatient medical clinics for point-of-care diagnostics and other in-field applications.

  14. Copernican craters: Early results from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McEwen, A. S.; Hiesinger, H.; Thomas, P. C.; Robinson, M. S.; van der Bogert, C.; Ostrach, L.; Plescia, J. B.; Bray, V. J.; Tornabene, L. L.

    2009-12-01

    The youngest (Copernican) craters on the Moon provide the best examples of original crater morphology and a record of the impact flux over the last ~1 Ga in the Earth-Moon system. The LRO Narrow Angle Cameras (NAC) provide 50 cm pixels from an altitude of 50 km. With changing incidence angle, global access, and very high data rates, these cameras provide unprecedented data on lunar craters. Stereo image pairs are being acquired for detailed topographic mapping. These data allow comparisons of relative ages of the larger young craters, some of which are tied to absolute radiometric ages from Apollo-returned samples. These relative ages, the crater populations at small diameters, and details of crater morphology including ejecta and melt morphologies, allow better delineation of recent lunar history and the formation and modification of impact craters. Crater counts may also reveal differences in the formation and preservation of small diameter craters as a function of target material (e.g., unconsolidated regolith versus solid impact melt). One key question: Is the current cratering rate constant or does it fluctuate. We will constrain the very recent cratering rate (at 10-100 m diameter) by comparing LROC images with those taken by Apollo nearly 40 years ago to determine the number of new impact craters. The current cratering rate and an assumption of constant cratering rate over time may or may not correctly predict the number of craters superimposed over radiometrically-dated surfaces such as South Ray, Cone, and North Ray craters, which range from 2-50 Ma and are not saturated by 10-100 m craters. If the prediction fails with realistic consideration of errors, then the present-day cratering rate must be atypical. Secondary craters complicate this analysis, but the resolution and coverage of LROC enables improved recognition of secondary craters. Of particular interest for the youngest Copernican craters is the possibility of self-cratering. LROC is providing the the image quality needed to classify small craters by state of degradation (i.e., relative age); concentrations of craters with uniform size and age indicate secondary formation. Portion of LROC image M103703826LE showing a sparsely-cratered pond of impact melt on the floor of farside Copernican crater Necho (4.95 S, 123.6 E).

  15. HORUS — Herschel Orbital Reconnaissance of the Uranian System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, R. M.; Yozwiak, A. W.; Lederer, A. P.; Turtle, E. P.

    2010-03-01

    A mission concept study of the uranian system is explored under the constraints of the NASA New Frontiers program. The study was designed and led by student interns at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

  16. Miniature Centrifugal Compressor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sixsmith, Herbert

    1989-01-01

    Miniature turbocompressor designed for reliability and long life. Cryogenic system includes compressor, turboexpander, and heat exchanger provides 5 W of refrigeration at 70 K from 150 W input power. Design speed of machine 510,000 rpm. Compressor has gas-lubricated journal bearings and magnetic thrust bearing. When compressor runs no bearing contact and no wear.

  17. Throw a Miniature Vase

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sapiro, Maurice

    1977-01-01

    A direct correlation exists between the acquisition of skills on the potter's wheel and the vertical dimension of the finished pot. Ability equals height. Overlooked somewhere in the search for acquiring technical facility and a means of demonstrating it, is the fascinating world of miniature pottery. Describes the mechanics peculiar to small…

  18. Chukar III-R Reconnaissance System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toops, Laurence C.

    1990-02-01

    This paper describes Northrop's developmental Chukar 111-R reconnaissance system, which is based on the Chukar III target drone. Some military needs for reconnaissance and the advantages of employing an unmanned air vehicle to satisfy these needs are noted. Next, features incorporated into the new Chukar III-R reconnaissance system are described. These features include a high performance unmanned air vehicle (UAV), an infrared line scanner for imaOng targets, radio position-fix enhanced navigation, and a new mission planning and control station. Sensor slight test results, a pay-load mockup, and mission planning and image exploitation capabilities are discussed. The advantages of high speed and low observability are cited. Launch and retrieval techniques are described.

  19. Robotic reconnaissance platform. I. Spectroscopic instruments with rangefinders

    SciTech Connect

    Matharoo, Inderdeep; Peshko, Igor; Goldenberg, Andrew

    2011-11-15

    In this paper, basic principles of the design and implementation of a portable, multi-functional scientific instrument, operating from a robotic reconnaissance mobile platform are discussed. The current version of the instrument includes a multi-gas laser sensor, multi-functional spectrometer, isotopes identifier, cameras, and rangefinder. An additional set of sensors monitors temperature, pressure, humidity, and background radiation. All components are installed on a mini-robotic platform, which provides data acquisition, processing, and transmittance. The design focuses on the development of calibration-free, reliable, low power-consumption devices. To create a highly survivable, accurate, and reliable instrument, a concept of an inhomogeneous sensory network has been developed. Such a network combines non-identical sensors and provides cross-use of information received from different sensors to describe environmental conditions, to choose appropriate algorithms of data processing, and to achieve high accuracy gas-concentration measurements. The system uses the same lasers to operate different optical devices such as sensors, rangefinders, spectrometers, and isotopes identifiers. Among the innovative elements described in this paper, are a calibration-free, laser multi-gas sensor with range-finding option; a high signal/noise ratio transmittance spectrometer; a single-frequency laser with nano-selector; and low repetition-rate femtosecond fiber lasers operating in near- and middle- infrared spectral ranges. New detailed analyses of absorption spectroscopy theoretical approximations made it possible to achieve high-accuracy gas-concentration measurements with miniature optical sensors.

  20. Robotic reconnaissance platform. I. Spectroscopic instruments with rangefinders.

    PubMed

    Matharoo, Inderdeep; Peshko, Igor; Goldenberg, Andrew

    2011-11-01

    In this paper, basic principles of the design and implementation of a portable, multi-functional scientific instrument, operating from a robotic reconnaissance mobile platform are discussed. The current version of the instrument includes a multi-gas laser sensor, multi-functional spectrometer, isotopes identifier, cameras, and rangefinder. An additional set of sensors monitors temperature, pressure, humidity, and background radiation. All components are installed on a mini-robotic platform, which provides data acquisition, processing, and transmittance. The design focuses on the development of calibration-free, reliable, low power-consumption devices. To create a highly survivable, accurate, and reliable instrument, a concept of an inhomogeneous sensory network has been developed. Such a network combines non-identical sensors and provides cross-use of information received from different sensors to describe environmental conditions, to choose appropriate algorithms of data processing, and to achieve high accuracy gas-concentration measurements. The system uses the same lasers to operate different optical devices such as sensors, rangefinders, spectrometers, and isotopes identifiers. Among the innovative elements described in this paper, are a calibration-free, laser multi-gas sensor with range-finding option; a high signal/noise ratio transmittance spectrometer; a single-frequency laser with nano-selector; and low repetition-rate femtosecond fiber lasers operating in near- and middle- infrared spectral ranges. New detailed analyses of absorption spectroscopy theoretical approximations made it possible to achieve high-accuracy gas-concentration measurements with miniature optical sensors. PMID:22128966

  1. Tier-scalable reconnaissance: the challenge of sensor optimization, sensor deployment, sensor fusion, and sensor interoperability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fink, Wolfgang; George, Thomas; Tarbell, Mark A.

    2007-04-01

    Robotic reconnaissance operations are called for in extreme environments, not only those such as space, including planetary atmospheres, surfaces, and subsurfaces, but also in potentially hazardous or inaccessible operational areas on Earth, such as mine fields, battlefield environments, enemy occupied territories, terrorist infiltrated environments, or areas that have been exposed to biochemical agents or radiation. Real time reconnaissance enables the identification and characterization of transient events. A fundamentally new mission concept for tier-scalable reconnaissance of operational areas, originated by Fink et al., is aimed at replacing the engineering and safety constrained mission designs of the past. The tier-scalable paradigm integrates multi-tier (orbit atmosphere surface/subsurface) and multi-agent (satellite UAV/blimp surface/subsurface sensing platforms) hierarchical mission architectures, introducing not only mission redundancy and safety, but also enabling and optimizing intelligent, less constrained, and distributed reconnaissance in real time. Given the mass, size, and power constraints faced by such a multi-platform approach, this is an ideal application scenario for a diverse set of MEMS sensors. To support such mission architectures, a high degree of operational autonomy is required. Essential elements of such operational autonomy are: (1) automatic mapping of an operational area from different vantage points (including vehicle health monitoring); (2) automatic feature extraction and target/region-of-interest identification within the mapped operational area; and (3) automatic target prioritization for close-up examination. These requirements imply the optimal deployment of MEMS sensors and sensor platforms, sensor fusion, and sensor interoperability.

  2. Mission Planning and Scheduling System for NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garcia, Gonzalo; Barnoy, Assaf; Beech, Theresa; Saylor, Rick; Cosgrove, Sager; Ritter, Sheila

    2009-01-01

    In the framework of NASA's return to the Moon efforts, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is the first step. It is an unmanned mission to create a comprehensive atlas of the Moon's features and resources necessary to design and build a lunar outpost. LRO is scheduled for launch in April, 2009. LRO carries a payload comprised of six instruments and one technology demonstration. In addition to its scientific mission LRO will use new technologies, systems and flight operations concepts to reduce risk and increase productivity of future missions. As part of the effort to achieve robust and efficient operations, the LRO Mission Operations Team (MOT) will use its Mission Planning System (MPS) to manage the operational activities of the mission during the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) and operational phases of the mission. The MPS, based on GMV's flexplan tool and developed for NASA with Honeywell Technology Solutions (prime contractor), will receive activity and slew maneuver requests from multiple science operations centers (SOC), as well as from the spacecraft engineers. flexplan will apply scheduling rules to all the requests received and will generate conflict free command schedules in the form of daily stored command loads for the orbiter and a set of daily pass scripts that help automate nominal real-time operations.

  3. Miniaturization in Biocatalysis

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes, Pedro

    2010-01-01

    The use of biocatalysts for the production of both consumer goods and building blocks for chemical synthesis is consistently gaining relevance. A significant contribution for recent advances towards further implementation of enzymes and whole cells is related to the developments in miniature reactor technology and insights into flow behavior. Due to the high level of parallelization and reduced requirements of chemicals, intensive screening of biocatalysts and process variables has become more feasible and reproducibility of the bioconversion processes has been substantially improved. The present work aims to provide an overview of the applications of miniaturized reactors in bioconversion processes, considering multi-well plates and microfluidic devices, update information on the engineering characterization of the hardware used, and present perspective developments in this area of research. PMID:20479988

  4. Miniaturized Environmental Monitoring Instrumentation

    SciTech Connect

    C. B. Freidhoff

    1997-09-01

    The objective of the Mass Spectrograph on a Chip (MSOC) program is the development of a miniature, multi-species gas sensor fabricated using silicon micromachining technology which will be orders of magnitude smaller and lower power consumption than a conventional mass spectrometer. The sensing and discrimination of this gas sensor are based on an ionic mass spectrograph, using magnetic and/or electrostatic fields. The fields cause a spatial separation of the ions according to their respective mass-to-charge ratio. The fabrication of this device involves the combination of microelectronics with micromechanically built sensors and, ultimately, vacuum pumps. The prototype of a chemical sensor would revolutionize the method of performing environmental monitoring for both commercial and government applications. The portable unit decided upon was the miniaturized gas chromatograph with a mass spectrometer detector, referred to as a GC/MS in the analytical marketplace.

  5. A miniaturized applanation tonometer.

    PubMed

    Ma, J G; Xu, D Z

    1999-08-01

    A miniaturized hand-held applanation tonometer is introduced, in which a special cone prism is employed to be an applanation probe to flatten the eye vertically. The self-weight of the probe is just the applanation force, and the applanation area of the ocular cornea is monitored by the optoelectronic signal. The preliminary test demonstrates its good clinical acceptance and its accuracy meeting clinical needs. PMID:10431459

  6. Miniature ceramic fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Lessing, Paul A.; Zuppero, Anthony C.

    1997-06-24

    A miniature power source assembly capable of providing portable electricity is provided. A preferred embodiment of the power source assembly employing a fuel tank, fuel pump and control, air pump, heat management system, power chamber, power conditioning and power storage. The power chamber utilizes a ceramic fuel cell to produce the electricity. Incoming hydro carbon fuel is automatically reformed within the power chamber. Electrochemical combustion of hydrogen then produces electricity.

  7. Miniature implantable ultrasonic echosonometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kojima, G. K. (Inventor)

    1978-01-01

    A miniature echosonometer adapted for implantation in the interior of an animal for imaging the internal structure of a organ, tissue or vessel is presented. The echosonometer includes a receiver/transmitter circuit which is coupled to an ultrasonic transducer. Power is coupled to the echosonometer by electromagnetic induction through the animal's skin. Imaging signals from the echosonometer are electromagnetically transmitted through the animal's skin to an external readout apparatus.

  8. Miniature multichannel biotelemeter system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carraway, J. B.; Sumida, J. T. (Inventor)

    1974-01-01

    A miniature multichannel biotelemeter system is described. The system includes a transmitter where signals from different sources are sampled to produce a wavetrain of pulses. The transmitter also separates signals by sync pulses. The pulses amplitude modulate a radio frequency carrier which is received at a receiver unit. There the sync pulses are detected by a demultiplexer which routes the pulses from each different source to a separate output channel where the pulses are used to reconstruct the signals from the particular source.

  9. 15 CFR 270.101 - Preliminary reconnaissance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Preliminary reconnaissance. 270.101 Section 270.101 Commerce and Foreign Trade Regulations Relating to Commerce and Foreign Trade NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION SAFETY TEAMS NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION SAFETY TEAMS Establishment...

  10. Miniature interferometer terminals for earth surveying

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Counselman, C. C., III; Shapiro, I. I.

    1978-01-01

    A system of miniature radio interferometer terminals was proposed for the measurement of vector baselines with uncertainties ranging from the millimeter to the centimeter level for baseline lengths ranging, respectively, from a few to a few hundred kilometers. Each terminal would have no moving parts, could be packaged in a volume of less than 0.1 cu m, and would operate unattended. These units would receive radio signals from low-power (10 w) transmitters on earth-orbiting satellites. The baselines between units could be determined virtually instantaneously and monitored continuously as long as at least four satellites were visible simultaneously.

  11. Miniaturizing RFID for magnamosis.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Hao; Chen, Shijie; Kish, Shad; Loh, Lokkee; Zhang, Junmin; Zhang, Xiaorong; Kwiat, Dillon; Harrison, Michael; Roy, Shuvo

    2014-01-01

    Anastomosis is a common surgical procedure using staples or sutures in an open or laparoscopic surgery. A more effective and much less invasive alternative is to apply the mechanical pressure on the tissue over a few days [1]. Since the pressure is produced by the attractive force between two permanent magnets, the procedure is called magnamosis[1]. To ensure the two magnets are perfectly aligned during the surgery, a miniaturized batteryless Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) tag is developed to wirelessly telemeter the status of a pressure sensitive mechanical switch. Using the multi-layer circular spiral coil design, the diameter of the RFID tag is shrunk to 10, 15, 19 and 27 mm to support the magnamosis for children as well as adults. With the impedance matching network, the operating distance of these four RFID tags are longer than 10 cm in a 20 × 22 cm(2) area, even when the tag's normal direction is 45° off the antenna's normal direction. Measurement results also indicate that there is no noticeable degradation on the operating distance when the tag is immersed in saline or placed next to the rare-earth magnet. The miniaturized RFID tag presented in this paper is able to support the magnamosis and other medical applications that require the miniaturized RFID tag. PMID:25570040

  12. The Miniature Radio Frequency Instruments (Mini-RF) Global Observations of Earth's Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cahill, Joshua T. S.; Thomson, B. J.; Patterson, G. Wesley; Bussey, D. Benjamin J.; Neish, Catherine D.; Lopez, Norberto R.; Turner, F. Scott; Aldridge, T.; McAdam, M.; Meyer, H. M.; Raney, R. K.; Carter, L. M.; Spudis, P. D.; Hiesinger, H.; Pasckert, J. H.

    2014-01-01

    Radar provides a unique means to analyze the surface and subsurface physical properties of geologic deposits, including their wavelength-scale roughness, the relative depth of the deposits, and some limited compositional information. The NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's (LRO) Miniature Radio Frequency (Mini-RF) instrument has enabled these analyses on the Moon at a global scale. Mini-RF has accumulated 67% coverage of the lunar surface in S-band (12.6 cm) radar with a resolution of 30 m/pixel. Here we present new Mini-RF global orthorectified uncontrolled S-band maps of the Moon and use them for analysis of lunar surface physical properties. Reported here are readily apparent global- and regional-scale differences in lunar surface physical properties that suggest three distinct terranes, namely: a (1) Nearside Radar Dark Region; (2) Orientale basin and continuous ejecta; and the (3) Highlands Radar Bright Region. Integrating these observations with new data from LRO's Diviner Radiometer rock abundance maps, as well Clementine and Lunar Prospector derived compositional values show multiple distinct lunar surface terranes and sub-terranes based upon both physical and compositional surface properties. Previous geochemical investigations of the Moon suggested its crust is best divided into three to four basic crustal provinces or terranes (Feldspathic Highlands Terrane (-An and -Outer), Procellarum KREEP Terrane, and South Pole Aitken Terrane) that are distinct from one another. However, integration of these geochemical data sets with new geophysical data sets allows us to refine these terranes. The result shows a more complex view of these same crustal provinces and provides valuable scientific and hazard perspectives for future targeted human and robotic exploration.

  13. Miniature Robotic Spacecraft for Inspecting Other Spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fredrickson, Steven; Abbott, Larry; Duran, Steve; Goode, Robert; Howard, Nathan; Jochim, David; Rickman, Steve; Straube, Tim; Studak, Bill; Wagenknecht, Jennifer; Lemke, Matthew; Wade, Randall; Wheeler, Scott; Baggerman, Clinton

    2004-01-01

    A report discusses the Miniature Autonomous Extravehicular Robotic Camera (Mini AERCam)-- a compact robotic spacecraft intended to be released from a larger spacecraft for exterior visual inspection of the larger spacecraft. The Mini AERCam is a successor to the AERCam Sprint -- a prior miniature robotic inspection spacecraft that was demonstrated in a space-shuttle flight experiment in 1997. The prototype of the Mini AERCam is a demonstration unit having approximately the form and function of a flight system. The Mini AERCam is approximately spherical with a diameter of about 7.5 in. (.19 cm) and a weight of about 10 lb (.4.5 kg), yet it has significant additional capabilities, relative to the 14-in. (36-cm), 35-lb (16-kg) AERCam Sprint. The Mini AERCam includes miniaturized avionics, instrumentation, communications, navigation, imaging, power, and propulsion subsystems, including two digital video cameras and a high-resolution still camera. The Mini AERCam is designed for either remote piloting or supervised autonomous operations, including station keeping and point-to-point maneuvering. The prototype has been tested on an air-bearing table and in a hardware-in-the-loop orbital simulation of the dynamics of maneuvering in proximity to the International Space Station.

  14. Miniature Heat Transport System for Nanosatellite Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Douglas, Donya M,

    1999-01-01

    The scientific understanding of key physical processes between the Sun and the Earth require simultaneous measurements from many vantage points in space. Nano-satellite technologies will enable a class of constellation missions for the NASA Space Science Sun-Earth Connections. This recent emphasis on the implementation of smaller satellites leads to a requirement for development of smaller subsystems in several areas. Key technologies under development include: advanced miniaturized chemical propulsion; miniaturized sensors; highly integrated, compact electronics; autonomous onboard and ground operations; miniatures low power tracking techniques for orbit determination; onboard RF communications capable of transmitting data to the ground from far distances; lightweight efficient solar array panels; lightweight, high output battery cells; lightweight yet strong composite materials for the nano-spacecraft and deployer-ship structures. These newer smaller systems may have higher power densities and higher thermal transport requirements than seen on previous small satellites. Furthermore, the small satellites may also have a requirement to maintain thermal control through extended earth shadows, possibly up to 8 hours long. Older thermal control technology, such as heaters, thermostats, and heat pipes, may not be sufficient to meet the requirements of these new systems. Conversely, a miniature two-phase heat transport system (Mini-HTS) such as a Capillary Pumped Loop (CPL) or Loop Heat Pipe (LBP) is a viable alternative. A Mini-HTS can provide fine temperature control, thermal diode action, and a highly efficient means of heat transfer. The Mini-HTS would have power capabilities in the range of tens of watts or less and provide thermal control over typical spacecraft ranges. The Mini-HTS would allow the internal portion of the spacecraft to be thermally isolated from the external radiator, thus protecting the internal components from extreme cold temperatures during an

  15. Mars Miniature Science Instruments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Soon Sam; Hayati, Samad; Lavery, David; McBrid, Karen

    2006-01-01

    For robotic Mars missions, all the science information is gathered through on-board miniature instruments that have been developed through many years of R&D. Compared to laboratory counterparts, the rover instruments require miniaturization, such as low mass (1-2 kg), low power (> 10 W) and compact (1-2 liter), yet with comparable sensitivity. Since early 1990's, NASA recognized the need for the miniature instruments and launched several instrument R&D programs, e.g., PIDDP (Planetary Instrument Definition and Development). However, until 1998, most of the instrument R&D programs supported only up to a breadboard level (TRL 3, 4) and there is a need to carry such instruments to flight qualifiable status (TU 5, 6) to respond to flight AOs (Announcement of Opportunity). Most of flight AOs have only limited time and financial resources, and can not afford such instrument development processes. To bridge the gap between instrument R&D programs and the flight instrument needs, NASA's Mars Technology Program (MTP) created advanced instrumentation program, Mars Instrument Development Project (MIDP). MIDP candidate instruments are selected through NASA Research Announcement (NRA) process [l]. For example, MIDP 161998-2000) selected and developed 10 instruments, MIDP II (2003-2005) 16 instruments, and MIDP III (2004-2006) II instruments.Working with PIs, JPL has been managing the MIDP tasks since September 1998. All the instruments being developed under MIDP have been selected through a highly competitive NRA process, and employ state-of-the-art technology. So far, four MIDP funded instruments have been selected by two Mars missions (these instruments have further been discussed in this paper).

  16. Miniature Laser Magnetometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slocum, Robert; Brown, Andy

    2011-01-01

    A conceptual design has been developed for a miniature laser magnetometer (MLM) that will measure the scalar magnitude and vector components of near-Earth magnetic fields. The MLM incorporates a number of technical innovations to achieve high-accuracy and high-resolution performance while significantly reducing the size of the laser-pumped helium magnetometer for use on small satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). and electronics sections that has the capability of measuring both the scalar magnetic field magnitude and the vector magnetic field components. Further more, the high-accuracy scalar measurements are used to calibrate and correct the vector component measurements in order to achieve superior vector accuracy and stability. The correction algorithm applied to the vector components for calibration and the same cell for vector and scalar measurements are major innovations. The separate sensor and electronics section of the MLM instrument allow the sensor to be installed on a boom or otherwise located away from electronics and other noisy magnetic components. The MLM s miniaturization will be accomplished through the use of advanced miniaturized components and packaging methods for the MLM sensor and electronics. The MLM conceptual design includes three key innovations. The first is a new non-magnetic laser package that will allow the placement of the laser pump source near the helium cell sensing elements. The second innovation is the design of compact, nested, triaxial Braunbek coils used in the vector measurements that reduce the coil size by a factor of two compared to existing Helmholtz coils with similar field-generation performance. The third innovation is a compact sensor design that reduces the sensor volume by a factor of eight compared to MLM s predecessor.

  17. Miniature electrical connector

    DOEpatents

    Casper, Robert F.

    1976-01-01

    A miniature coaxial cable electrical connector includes an annular compressible gasket in a receptacle member, the gasket having a generally triangular cross section resiliently engaging and encircling a conically tapered outer surface of a plug member to create an elongated current leakage path at their interface; means for preventing rotation of the plug relative to the receptacle; a metal sleeve forming a portion of the receptacle and encircling the plug member when interconnected; and a split ring in the plug having outwardly and rearwardly projecting fingers spaced from and encircling a portion of a coaxial cable and engageable with the metal sleeve to interlock the receptacle and plug.

  18. Miniature biaxial strain transducer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, I. S. (Inventor)

    1976-01-01

    A reusable miniature strain transducer for use in the measurement of static or quasi-static, high level, biaxial strain on the surface of test specimens or structures was studied. Two cantilever arms, constructed by machining the material to appropriate flexibility, are self-aligning and constitute the transducing elements of the device. Used in conjunction with strain gages, the device enables testing beyond normal gage limits for high strains and number of load cycles. The device does not require conversion computations since the electrical output of the strain gages is directly proportional to the strain measured.

  19. Miniaturized radiation chirper

    DOEpatents

    Umbarger, C. John; Wolf, Michael A.

    1980-01-01

    The disclosure relates to a miniaturized radiation chirper for use with a small battery supplying on the order of 5 volts. A poor quality CdTe crystal which is not necessarily suitable for high resolution gamma ray spectroscopy is incorporated with appropriate electronics so that the chirper emits an audible noise at a rate that is proportional to radiation exposure level. The chirper is intended to serve as a personnel radiation warning device that utilizes new and novel electronics with a novel detector, a CdTe crystal. The resultant device is much smaller and has much longer battery life than existing chirpers.

  20. Orbital Manoeuvres of Chinas Zi Yuan Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, P. S.

    China has launched two satellites in the Zi Yuan programme through to October 2001. The first was the CBERS satellite, developed jointly with Brazil and the second was a domestic satellite which is reportedly being used for reconnaissance work. The orbital behaviour of the two satellites has been completely different and is reviewed in this paper.

  1. The design of four hypersonic reconnaissance aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gregorek, G. M.; Detwiler, D. T.

    1992-01-01

    Four different hypersonic reconnaissance aircraft were designed by separate student teams. These aircraft were designed to provide the U.S. with a system to acquire aerial tactical reconnaissance when satellite reconnaissance proved unobtainable or ineffective. The design requirements given for this project stated that these aircraft must carry a 7500 lb, 250 cu ft payload of electronic and photographic intelligence gathering equipment over a target area at speeds between Mach 4-7 and at altitudes above 80,000 ft. Two of the aircraft were required to be manned by a crew of two and have a range of 12,000 nmi. One of these was to use airborne refueling to complete its mission while the other was not to use any refueling. The other two aircraft were required to be unmanned with a range of 6,000 nmi. One of these was to take off from another aircraft. The final details of all four aircraft designs along with an overview of the design process is provided.

  2. Perspectives on Simulation and Miniaturization.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCluskey, Michael R.

    Training applications of simulation and miniaturization are examined, as are areas where research is needed to develop cost-effectiveness simulation methodologies for training. In order for simulation and miniaturization techniques to reach maximum levels of effectiveness, systems analysis is needed to define physical and psychological dimensions,…

  3. Miniature spectrally selective dosimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adams, R. R.; Macconochie, I. O.; Poole, B. D., Jr. (Inventor)

    1980-01-01

    A miniature spectrally selective dosimeter capable of measuring selected bandwidths of radiation exposure on small mobile areas is described. This is achieved by the combination of photovoltaic detectors, electrochemical integrators (E-cells) and filters in a small compact case which can be easily attached in close proximity to and substantially parallel to the surface being measured. In one embodiment two photovoltaic detectors, two E-cells, and three filters are packaged in a small case with attaching means consisting of a safety pin. In another embodiment, two detectors, one E-cell, three filters are packaged in a small case with attaching means consisting of a clip to clip over a side piece of an eye glass frame.

  4. Miniature drag force anemometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krause, L. N.; Fralick, G. C.

    1977-01-01

    A miniature drag force anemometer is described which is capable of measuring dynamic velocity head and flow direction. The anemometer consists of a silicon cantilevered beam 2.5 mm long, 1.5 mm wide, and 0.25 mm thick with an integrated diffused strain gage bridge, located at the base of the beam, as the force measuring element. The dynamics of the beam are like that of a second order system with a natural frequency of about 42 kHz and a damping coefficient of 0.007. The anemometer can be used in both forward and reversed flow. Measured flow characteristics up to Mach 0.6 are presented along with application examples including turbulence measurements.

  5. Miniature Heat Pipes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Small Business Innovation Research contracts from Goddard Space Flight Center to Thermacore Inc. have fostered the company work on devices tagged "heat pipes" for space application. To control the extreme temperature ranges in space, heat pipes are important to spacecraft. The problem was to maintain an 8-watt central processing unit (CPU) at less than 90 C in a notebook computer using no power, with very little space available and without using forced convection. Thermacore's answer was in the design of a powder metal wick that transfers CPU heat from a tightly confined spot to an area near available air flow. The heat pipe technology permits a notebook computer to be operated in any position without loss of performance. Miniature heat pipe technology has successfully been applied, such as in Pentium Processor notebook computers. The company expects its heat pipes to accommodate desktop computers as well. Cellular phones, camcorders, and other hand-held electronics are forsible applications for heat pipes.

  6. Miniature, ruggedized data collector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Scott; Calcutt, Wade; Knobler, Ron; Jones, Barry; Klug, Robert

    2009-05-01

    McQ has developed a miniaturized, programmable, ruggedized data collector intended for use in weapon testing or data collection exercises that impose severe stresses on devices under test. The recorder is designed to survive these stresses which include acceleration and shock levels up to 100,000 G. The collector acquires and stores up to four channels of signal data to nonvolatile memory for later retrieval by a user. It is small (< 7 in3), light weight (< 1 lb), and can operate from various battery chemistries. A built-in menuing system, accessible via a USB interface, allows the user to configure parameters of the recorder operation, such as channel gain, filtering, and signal offsets, and also to retrieve recorded data for analysis. An overview of the collector, its features, performance, and potential uses, is presented.

  7. Camouflage target reconnaissance based on hyperspectral imaging technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hua, Wenshen; Guo, Tong; Liu, Xun

    2015-08-01

    Efficient camouflaged target reconnaissance technology makes great influence on modern warfare. Hyperspectral images can provide large spectral range and high spectral resolution, which are invaluable in discriminating between camouflaged targets and backgrounds. Hyperspectral target detection and classification technology are utilized to achieve single class and multi-class camouflaged targets reconnaissance respectively. Constrained energy minimization (CEM), a widely used algorithm in hyperspectral target detection, is employed to achieve one class camouflage target reconnaissance. Then, support vector machine (SVM), a classification method, is proposed to achieve multi-class camouflage target reconnaissance. Experiments have been conducted to demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed method.

  8. Miniature Latching Valve

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, A. David; Benson, Glendon M.

    2008-01-01

    A miniature latching valve has been invented to satisfy a need for an electrically controllable on/off pneumatic valve that is lightweight and compact and remains in the most recently commanded open or closed state when power is not supplied. The valve includes a poppet that is moved into or out of contact with a seat to effect closure or opening, respectively, of the flow path. Motion of the poppet is initiated by electrical heating of one of two opposing pairs of nickel/titanium shape-memory alloy (SMA) wires above their transition temperature: heated wires contract to their remembered length, applying tension to pull the poppet toward or away from the seat. A latch consisting mainly of a bistable Belleville washer (a conical spring) made of a hardened stainless steel operates between two stable positions corresponding to the fully closed or fully open state, holding the poppet in one of these positions when power is not applied to either pair of SMA wires. To obtain maximum actuation force and displacement, the SMA wires must be kept in tension. The mounting fixtures at the ends of the wires must support large tensile stresses without creating stress concentrations that would limit the fatigue lives of the wires. An earlier design provided for each wire to be crimped in a conical opening with a conical steel ferrule that was swaged into the opening to produce a large, uniformly distributed holding force. In a subsequent design, the conical ferrule was replaced with a larger crimped cylindrical ferrule depicted in the figure. A major problem in designing the valve was to protect the SMA wires from a bake-out temperature of 300 C. The problem was solved by incorporating the SMA wires into an actuator module that is inserted into a barrel of the valve body and is held in place by miniature clip rings.

  9. Producing miniature threads. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Gillespie, L.K.; Robb, J.M.

    1981-11-01

    Miniature precision actuators, timers, and switches typically utilize miniature threads to provide convenient assembly, disassembly and adjustment. Thread rolling provides high-quality external threads with greater strength and lower cost than other thread-producing techniques. Tap breakage is a significant problem when 0.5 and 0.6 Unified National Miniature (UNM) threads must be produced in hard materials such as SAE K95100 high-permeability magnetic steel. Aluminum parts can be tapped with no difficulty in these sizes. Stainless steel 0.5 UNM screws break at loads of 21 lb (53 N). Thread failure occurs at thread heights of 62% full thread or lower.

  10. Testing of an experimental photographic reconnaissance system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keil, H.; Schulz, P.

    1991-07-01

    A scientific flight experiment system for image processing and disturbance safe image transmission was tested, with a view to a Remotely Piloted Vehicle application. The special features of the system are IR image representation and storage, evaluation in the ground station, systems and image sensor control from the ground station, and disturbance safe duplex radio transmission between test aircraft and ground station. This experimental system was demonstrated to be an excellent tool for studies in the field of disturbance safe photographic reconnaissance. Parameters such as the reduction factor of the information flow and the influence of perturbations can be determined.

  11. Miniature electron microscopes for lithography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feinerman, Alan D.; Crewe, David A.; Perng, Dung-Ching; Spindt, Capp A.; Schwoebel, Paul R.; Crewe, Albert V.

    1994-05-01

    Two inexpensive and extremely accurate methods for fabricating miniature 10 - 50 kV and 0.5 - 10 kV electron beam columns have been developed: `slicing,' and `stacking.' Two or three miniature columns could be used to perform a 20 nm or better alignment of an x-ray mask to a substrate. An array of miniature columns could be used for rapid wafer inspection and high throughput electron beam lithography. The column fabrication methods combine the precision of semiconductor processing and fiber optic technologies to create macroscopic structures consisting of charged particle sources, deflecting and focusing electrodes, and detectors. The overall performance of the miniature column also depends on the emission characteristics of the micromachined electron source which is currently being investigated.

  12. Summary of Miniature NMR Development

    SciTech Connect

    Friedman, Gennady; Feinerman, Alan

    2000-12-31

    The effort in this project has been in 3 distinct directions: (1) First, they focused on development of miniature microfabricated micro-coil NMR detectors with maximum Signal-to-Noise (SNR) ratio. (2) Secondly, they focused on design of miniature micro-coil NMR detectors that have minimal effect on the NMR spectrum distortions. (3) Lastly they focused on the development of a permanent magnet capable of generating fields on the order of 1 Tesla with better than 10 ppm uniformity.

  13. Agile manufacturing in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DiPadua, Mark; Dalton, George

    2016-05-01

    The objective of the Agile Manufacturing for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (AMISR) effort is to research, develop, design and build a prototype multi-intelligence (multi-INT), reconfigurable pod demonstrating benefits of agile manufacturing and a modular open systems approach (MOSA) to make podded intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability more affordable and operationally flexible.

  14. Miniature Chemical Sensor

    SciTech Connect

    Andrew C. R. Pipino

    2004-12-13

    A new chemical detection technology has been realized that addresses DOE environmental management needs. The new technology is based on a variant of the sensitive optical absorption technique, cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS). Termed evanescent-wave cavity ring-down spectroscopy (EW-CRDS), the technology employs a miniature solid-state optical resonator having an extremely high Q-factor as the sensing element, where the high-Q is achieved by using ultra-low-attenuation optical materials, ultra-smooth surfaces, and ultra-high reflectivity coatings, as well as low-diffraction-loss designs. At least one total-internal reflection (TIR) mirror is integral to the resonator permitting the concomitant evanescent wave to probe the ambient environment. Several prototypes have been designed, fabricated, characterized, and applied to chemical detection. Moreover, extensions of the sensing concept have been explored to enhance selectivity, sensitivity, and range of application. Operating primarily in the visible and near IR regions, the technology inherently enables remote detection by optical fiber. Producing 11 archival publications, 5 patents, 19 invited talks, 4 conference proceedings, a CRADA, and a patent-license agreement, the project has realized a new chemical detection technology providing >100 times more sensitivity than comparable technologies, while also providing practical advantages.

  15. The Whole new world of miniature technology

    SciTech Connect

    Gillespie, L.K.

    1980-07-01

    In the past ten years, miniaturization of both electrical and mechanical parts has significantly increased. Documentation of the design and production capabilities of miniaturization in the electronics industry is well-defined. Literature on the subject of miniaturization of metal piece parts, however, is hard to find. Some of the current capabilities in the manufacture of miniature metal piece parts or miniature features in larger piece parts are discussed.

  16. Laser diode arrays for naval reconnaissance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holloway, John H., Jr.; Crosby, Frank J.; Petee, Danny A.; Suiter, Harold R.; Witherspoon, Ned H.

    2003-09-01

    The Airborne Littoral Reconnaissance Technologies (ALRT) Project has demonstrated a nighttime operational minefield detection capability using commercial off-the-shelf high-power Laser Diode Arrays (LDAs). Historically, optical aerial detection of minefields has primarily been limited to daytime operations but LDAs promise compact and efficient lighting to allow for enhanced reconnaissance operations for future mine detection systems. When combined with high-resolution intensified imaging systems, LDAs can illuminate otherwise unseen areas. Future wavelength options will open the way for active multispectral imaging with LDAs. The Coastal Systems Station working for the Office of Naval Research on the ALRT project has designed, developed, integrated, and tested both prototype and commercial arrays from a Cessna airborne platform. Detailed test results show the ability to detect several targets of interest in a variety of background conditions. Initial testing of the prototype arrays, reported on last year, was completed and further investigations of the commercial versions were performed. Polarization-state detection studies were performed, and advantageous properties of the source-target-sensor geometry noted. Current project plans are to expand the field-of-view coverage for Naval exercises in the summer of 2003. This paper describes the test collection, data library products, array information, on-going test analysis results, and future planned testing of the LDAs.

  17. Solid state recorders for airborne reconnaissance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klang, Mark R.

    2003-08-01

    Solid state recorders have become the recorder of choice for meeting airborne ruggedized requirements for reconnaissance and flight test. The cost of solid state recorders have decreased over the past few years that they are now less expense than the traditional high speed tape recorders. CALCULEX, Inc manufactures solid state recorders called MONSSTR (Modular Non-volatile Solid State Recorder). MONSSTR is being used on many different platforms such as F/A-22, Global Hawk, F-14, F-15, F-16, U-2, RF-4, and Tornado. This paper will discuss the advantages of using solid state recorders to meet the airborne reconnaissance requirement and the ability to record instrumentation data. The CALCULEX recorder has the ability to record sensor data and flight test data in the same chassis. This is an important feature because it eliminates additional boxes on the aircraft. The major advantages to using a solid state recorder include; reliability, small size, light weight, and power. Solid state recorders also have a larger storage capacity and higher bandwidth capability than other recording devices.

  18. Unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, Predator B in flight.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Predator B unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, shown here, under NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project. ALTAIR/PREDATOR B -- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., is developing the Altair version of its Predator B unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, shown here, under NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project. NASA plans to use the Altair as a technology demonstrator testbed aircraft to validate a variety of command and control technologies for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), as well as demonstrate the capability to perform a variety of Earth science missions. The Altair is designed to carry an 700-lb. payload of scientific instruments and imaging equipment for as long as 32 hours at up to 52,000 feet altitude. Ten-foot extensions have been added to each wing, giving the Altair an overall wingspan of 84 feet with an aspect ratio of 23. It is powered by a 700-hp. rear-mounted TPE-331-10 turboprop engine, driving a three-blade propeller. Altair is scheduled to begin flight tests in the fourth quarter of 2002, and be acquired by NASA following successful completion of those basic airworthiness tests in early 2003 for evaluation of over-the-horizon control, detect, see and avoid and other technologies required to allow UAVs to operate safely with other aircraft in the national airspace.

  19. Airborne system for testing multispectral reconnaissance technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitt, Dirk-Roger; Doergeloh, Heinrich; Keil, Heiko; Wetjen, Wilfried

    1999-07-01

    There is an increasing demand for future airborne reconnaissance systems to obtain aerial images for tactical or peacekeeping operations. Especially Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) equipped with multispectral sensor system and with real time jam resistant data transmission capabilities are of high interest. An airborne experimental platform has been developed as testbed to investigate different concepts of reconnaissance systems before their application in UAVs. It is based on a Dornier DO 228 aircraft, which is used as flying platform. Great care has been taken to achieve the possibility to test different kinds of multispectral sensors. Hence basically it is capable to be equipped with an IR sensor head, high resolution aerial cameras of the whole optical spectrum and radar systems. The onboard equipment further includes system for digital image processing, compression, coding, and storage. The data are RF transmitted to the ground station using technologies with high jam resistance. The images, after merging with enhanced vision components, are delivered to the observer who has an uplink data channel available to control flight and imaging parameters.

  20. Infrared microsensor payload for miniature unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostrzewa, Joseph; Meyer, William H.; Laband, Stan; Terre, William A.; Petrovich, Peter; Swanson, Kyle; Sundra, Carrie; Sener, Ward; Wilmott, Jay

    2003-09-01

    Miniature unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are a category of aircraft small enough to be transported, launched, operated, and retrieved by a crew of one or two. The concept is not new, having been in limited use by the U.S. military over the past fifteen years, but interest in potential applications is growing as size and cost of the vehicles come down. An application that is particularly significant to the military and law-enforcement agencies is remote reconnaissance, with one or more onboard sensors transmitting data back to the operator(s) in real time. Typically, a miniature UAV is capable of flying a pre-programmed route autonomously, with manual override as an option. At the conclusion of the mission, the vehicle returns for landing, after which it can be quickly disassembled and stowed until its next use. Thermal imaging extends the utility of miniature UAVs to operations in complete darkness and limited visibility, but historically thermal imagers have been too large and heavy for this application. That changed in 1999 with the introduction of Indigo System's AlphaTM camera, which established a new class of thermal imaging product termed the infrared "microsensor". Substantially smaller and lighter than any other infrared imaging product available at the time, AlphaTMwas the first camera that could be readily packaged into the nose of a miniature UAV. Its low power consumption was also a key enabling feature. Building upon the success of AlphaTM, Indigo then took the microsensor class a step further with its OmegaTM camera, which broke all the records established by AlphaTM for small size, weight, and power. OmegaTM has been successfully integrated into several miniature UAVs, including AeroVironment's Pointer and Raven, as well as the Snake Eye UAV manufactured by BAI Aerosystems. Aspects of the OmegaTM design that have led to its utility on these and other platforms are described, and future prospects for even smaller microsensors are discussed.

  1. Miniaturized Autonomous Extravehicular Robotic Camera (Mini AERCam)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fredrickson, Steven E.

    2001-01-01

    The NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) Engineering Directorate is developing the Autonomous Extravehicular Robotic Camera (AERCam), a low-volume, low-mass free-flying camera system . AERCam project team personnel recently initiated development of a miniaturized version of AERCam known as Mini AERCam. The Mini AERCam target design is a spherical "nanosatellite" free-flyer 7.5 inches in diameter and weighing 1 0 pounds. Mini AERCam is building on the success of the AERCam Sprint STS-87 flight experiment by adding new on-board sensing and processing capabilities while simultaneously reducing volume by 80%. Achieving enhanced capability in a smaller package depends on applying miniaturization technology across virtually all subsystems. Technology innovations being incorporated include micro electromechanical system (MEMS) gyros, "camera-on-a-chip" CMOS imagers, rechargeable xenon gas propulsion system , rechargeable lithium ion battery, custom avionics based on the PowerPC 740 microprocessor, GPS relative navigation, digital radio frequency communications and tracking, micropatch antennas, digital instrumentation, and dense mechanical packaging. The Mini AERCam free-flyer will initially be integrated into an approximate flight-like configuration for demonstration on an airbearing table. A pilot-in-the-loop and hardware-in-the-loop simulation to simulate on-orbit navigation and dynamics will complement the airbearing table demonstration. The Mini AERCam lab demonstration is intended to form the basis for future development of an AERCam flight system that provides beneficial on-orbit views unobtainable from fixed cameras, cameras on robotic manipulators, or cameras carried by EVA crewmembers.

  2. Miniature Intelligent Sensor Module

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beech, Russell S.

    2007-01-01

    An electronic unit denoted the Miniature Intelligent Sensor Module performs sensor-signal-conditioning functions and local processing of sensor data. The unit includes four channels of analog input/output circuitry, a processor, volatile and nonvolatile memory, and two Ethernet communication ports, all housed in a weathertight enclosure. The unit accepts AC or DC power. The analog inputs provide programmable gain, offset, and filtering as well as shunt calibration and auto-zeroing. Analog outputs include sine, square, and triangular waves having programmable frequencies and amplitudes, as well as programmable amplitude DC. One innovative aspect of the design of this unit is the integration of a relatively powerful processor and large amount of memory along with the sensor-signalconditioning circuitry so that sophisticated computer programs can be used to acquire and analyze sensor data and estimate and track the health of the overall sensor-data-acquisition system of which the unit is a part. The unit includes calibration, zeroing, and signalfeedback circuitry to facilitate health monitoring. The processor is also integrated with programmable logic circuitry in such a manner as to simplify and enhance acquisition of data and generation of analog outputs. A notable unique feature of the unit is a cold-junction compensation circuit in the back shell of a sensor connector. This circuit makes it possible to use Ktype thermocouples without compromising a housing seal. Replicas of this unit may prove useful in industrial and manufacturing settings - especially in such large outdoor facilities as refineries. Two features can be expected to simplify installation: the weathertight housings should make it possible to mount the units near sensors, and the Ethernet communication capability of the units should facilitate establishment of communication connections for the units.

  3. An opposition class piloted mission to Mars using telerobotics for landing site reconnaissance and exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burley, Philip J.; Fredrickson, Steven E.; Magruder, Darby F.; Rask, John D.

    2001-02-01

    The authors propose a new architecture for a first piloted mission to Mars. A crew travels to and from Mars in the same type of vehicle as will be used for the first piloted landing mission. Two or three surface rovers travel to Mars separately. The rovers land at widely separated potential human landing sites within a single hemisphere. The piloted vehicle (orbiter) achieves an orbit around Mars with a period equal to one Martian day (sol), so that continuous line-of-sight communications exists between the orbiter and the rovers. The crew operates the rovers from orbit using telerobotics and telepresence technology. The rovers, which have traverse ranges measured in kilometers per day, perform extensive landing site reconnaissance, weather observations, and geological sample collection and analysis, including water detection experiments. The mission lasts approximately 40 days in Mars orbit. Major objectives include rigorous flight test of the piloted vehicle, precision landing site characterization and selection at a level of detail unattainable from orbit, and predeployment of the teleoperated rovers for later use as robotic assistants during human surface missions. All of these objectives can reduce the risk to the first crew to land on Mars. Such a mission could be launched at least one synodic period ahead of the earliest planned piloted landing. .

  4. Remote reconnaissance vehicle program. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Giefer, D.; Hine, R.; Pavelek, M.

    1985-09-01

    This report documents the development and initial use of remote reconnaissance vehicle No. 1 (RRV-1) in the Three Mile Island Unit 2 (TMI-2) cleanup. The RRV-1 is a rugged, remotely operated, highly maneuverable six-wheeled vehicle which is tethered to transmit power and control signals. It has a system for controlled reel-in and pay-out of the tether, TV cameras with remotely controlled lighting, pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities and radiation detectors for floor, wall, and general area measurements. The design, development, and modifications of the vehicle and the operator training program are described, as are the TMI-2 reactor building modifications, the initial entries into the highly contaminated reactor building basement, the data gathered during the initial entries and recommendations for future improvements. The potential for future missions at TMI-2 and the general applicability of such remote devices to other nuclear power plants is also discussed.

  5. Airborne reconnaissance XV; Proceedings of the Meeting, San Diego, CA, July 23, 24, 1991

    SciTech Connect

    Augustyn, T.W.; Henkel, P.A.

    1991-01-01

    Recent advances in airborne reconnaissance are reported focusing on reconnaissance requiremnts; image processing and exploitation, image acquisition and recording; and advanced development. Particular attention is given to low-intensity conflict aircraft systems; low-cost, low-risk approach to tactical reconnaissance; mission verification systems for FMS applications; tactical reconnaissance mission survivability requirements; high-bandwidth recording in a hostile environment; direct-drive film magazines; a CCD performance model for airborne reconnaissance, and an Ericsson digital recce management system.

  6. PERSONNEL PROTECTION THROUGH RECONNAISSANCE ROBOTICS AT SUPERFUND REMEDIAL SITES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Investigation, mitigation, and clean-up of hazardous materials at Superfund sites normally require on-site workers to perform hazardous and sometimes potentially dangerous functions. uch functions include site surveys and the reconnaissance for airborne and buried toxic environme...

  7. Visual thread quality for precision miniature mechanisms

    SciTech Connect

    Gillespie, L.K.

    1981-04-01

    Threaded features have eight visual appearance factors which can affect their function in precision miniature mechanisms. The Bendix practice in deburring, finishing, and accepting these conditions on miniature threads is described as is their impact in assemblies of precision miniature electromechanical assemblies.

  8. Deployable reconnaissance from a VTOL UAS in urban environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnett, Shane; Bird, John; Culhane, Andrew; Sharkasi, Adam; Reinholtz, Charles

    2007-04-01

    Reconnaissance collection in unknown or hostile environments can be a dangerous and life threatening task. To reduce this risk, the Unmanned Systems Group at Virginia Tech has produced a fully autonomous reconnaissance system able to provide live video reconnaissance from outside and inside unknown structures. This system consists of an autonomous helicopter which launches a small reconnaissance pod inside a building and an operator control unit (OCU) on a ground station. The helicopter is a modified Bergen Industrial Twin using a Rotomotion flight controller and can fly missions of up to one half hour. The mission planning OCU can control the helicopter remotely through teleoperation or fully autonomously by GPS waypoints. A forward facing camera and template matching aid in navigation by identifying the target building. Once the target structure is identified, vision algorithms will center the UAS adjacent to open windows or doorways. Tunable parameters in the vision algorithm account for varying launch distances and opening sizes. Launch of the reconnaissance pod may be initiated remotely through a human in the loop or autonomously. Compressed air propels the half pound stationary pod or the larger mobile pod into the open portals. Once inside the building, the reconnaissance pod will then transmit live video back to the helicopter. The helicopter acts as a repeater node for increased video range and simplification of communication back to the ground station.

  9. The Challenge To Tactical Reconnaissance: Timeliness Through Technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stromfors, Richard D.

    1984-12-01

    As you have no doubt gathered from Mr. Henkel's introduction, I have spent over 20 years of my Air Force career involved in the reconnaissance mission either as a tactical reconnaissance pilot, as a tactical reconnaissance inspector, as a writer and speaker on that subject while attending the Air Force Professional Military Education Schools, and currently as the Air Force's operational manager for reconnaissance aircraft. In all of those positions, I've been challenged many times over with what appeared, at first, to be insurmountable problems that upon closer examination weren't irresolvable after all. All of these problems pale, however, when viewed side-by-side with the one challenge that has faced me since I began my military career and, in fact, faces all of us as I talk with you today. That one challenge is the problem of timeliness. Better put: "Getting information to our customers firstest with the mostest." Together we must develop better platforms and sensors to cure this age-old "Achilles heel" in the reconnaissance cycle. Despite all of our best intentions, despite all of the emerging technologies that will be available, and despite all of the dollars that we've thrown at research and development, we in the reconnaissance business still haven't done a good job in this area. We must do better.

  10. Optical system design and integration of the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Izquierdo, Luis; Scott, V Stanley; Connelly, Joseph; Schmidt, Stephen; Mamakos, William; Guzek, Jeffrey; Peters, Carlton; Liiva, Peter; Rodriguez, Michael; Cavanaugh, John; Riris, Haris

    2009-06-01

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA), developed for the 2009 Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission, is designed to measure the Moon's topography via laser ranging. A description of the LOLA optical system and its measured optical performance during instrument-level and spacecraft-level integration and testing are presented. PMID:19488116