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NLSI Directors Seminar: Robert MacDowall
February 28, 2012 9:00 am PDT
NLSI Directors Seminar: Robert MacDowall
February 15, 2012

Click here to view Online Recording.

Date/Time: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 9:00AM PST, 17:00 UTC

Presenter: Robert MacDowall, PhD. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

The lunar surface is often identified as a prime location for acquiring radio observations at frequencies below the terrestrial ionospheric cutoff or for lunar far-side observatories that would be shielded from terrestrial radio interference. Here, we consider a candidate observatory for solar radio burst imaging below 10 MHz. The Radio Observatory on the Lunar Surface for Solar studies (ROLSS) ) consists of 3 arms of thin polyimide film, each 500 m in length, radiating from a central hub, providing ~2 deg angular resolution at 30-m wavelength (10 MHz). Each arm includes 16 dipole antennas, consisting of metal deposited on the film and transmission lines connecting them to receivers at the central hub. These arms could be unrolled using a crewed or robotic rover. The data collected by the antennas are processed at the central hub and down-linked to Earth for final radio image synthesis. This antenna system is uniquely suited to the low mass and low volume requirements for delivery to the lunar surface. In this presentation, we review the scientific goals of ROLSS and their relationships to heliophysics, the hardware components that ROLSS requires, the current status and work to be completed, and the role of a pathfinder mission to provide mission risk reduction at a modest cost.
The ROLSS concept study was funded by the NASA Lunar Sortie Science Opportunities (LSSO) program. The LUNAR consortium (Jack Burns, P.I.) is funded by the NASA Lunar Science Institute to investigate concepts for astrophysical observatories on the Moon.

SSERVI Science Teams

  • New rock type on the lunar farside found by NLSI Team at Brown/MIT


    The farside of the Moon has always been a mystery and is only accessible by spacecraft. New compositional information from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) onboard Chandrayaan‐1 has identified a suite of highly unusual rock types exposed at small areas within the farside Moscoviense Basin. M3 is a state‐of‐the art visible and near‐infrared imaging spectrometer that was a guest instrument on Chandrayaan‐1, the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) first mission to the Moon. The instrument is designed to measure accurately the diagnostic mineral absorption bands of solar radiation reflected from the lunar surface.

Inspiration Room

NLSI Inspiration Room

Did you know?

The Moon's magnetic field is 100 to 1000 times weaker than the Earth's.

Read More