CLRN Capabilities and Research Interests
As SSERVI’s first Affiliate partner, the Canadian Lunar Research Network is comprised of 14 institutions, including two industrial collaborators, and is based out of the University of Western Ontario. Their research focuses on the following main topics:
• Lunar dust and regolith and its effect on robotic and human exploration systems.
• Radiometric and isotopic systematics of lunar meteorites, dust, Apollo samples, and terrestrial analogue materials.
• Magnetic and physical properties, including phase changes, of lunar meteorites, dust, Apollo samples, and terrestrial analogue materials.
• Understanding regolith evolution and space weathering processes affecting the lunar surface.
• Impact cratering processes, including cratering mechanics, impact ejecta emplacement, shock metamorphism, and the potential for sampling deep lunar lithologies.
• Psychological adaptation and functioning of astronauts on the lunar surface.
• Lunar ore forming mechanisms.
• Solar wind interactions with the Moon, including with the lunar regolith and the impacts of interactions with regions of crustal magnetic field (mini-magnetospheres)
This team also focuses on the development of enabling technologies and techniques:
• Remote sensing, mapping and data fusion techniques.
• Development of science instruments for lunar missions (3D microscope, ground-penetrating radar, lidar).
• Investigation of different spectroscopic techniques for lunar mapping and in situ resource identification
• Mobility systems and autonomous navigation for the robotic and human exploration of the Moon.
• Lunar and analogue communication systems.
• Biological life support technology development including initial plant growth on the Moon.
• Development of curation faculties for returned samples, including the application of robotics for sample handling and analysis.
• Space plasma and space radiation impacts and mitigation for lunar operations and exploration.
Terrestrial analogue activities represent a core cross-cutting theme, taking advantage of the plethora of impact and volcanic sites in Canada. This extends to human and robotic analogue missions and field training programs for astronauts and students at Canadian impact craters.