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Title: Measurement of properties of the lunar surface using the Diviner Lunar Radiometer experiment on the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
Author: Thomas, Ian Richard
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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Abstract:
The Diviner Lunar Radiometer is a nine-channel radiometer on board the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched in June 2009 and currently orbiting the Moon. Diviner is the first orbiting multi-spectral instrument to observe the lunar surface in the mid- and far- infrared, therefore this thesis details the first steps towards utilising observations in this new spectral region. The author, as part of the Diviner instrument team, contributed to the pre-launch testing and calibration of Diviner. Specifically, the transmission profiles of the B2 and B3 filters, which could not be measured after integration into the instrument due to their long wavelength passbands, were determined. Further investigations of the far-infrared mesh filters were also conducted, as the spectral responses of similar mesh filters were found to have broadened after integration into the Mars Climate Sounder instrument, the pre-cursor instrument to Diviner. To test if this would occur in Diviner also, a new setup was made to approximately re-create the instruments' optical layout. No such spectral broadening was measured in the B1, B2 or B3 filters. The linearities of Diviner's detectors were also confirmed through analysis of the pre-flight calibration data. Laboratory emission spectra taken under ambient conditions differ from those taken in a lunar environment, which induces a temperature gradient in soil and mineral samples. Due to a lack of spectra measured under such conditions, which are directly comparable to Diviner‟s measurements, a new chamber for performing high-resolution emission measurements in a simulated lunar environment was built and calibrated. This setup induces a temperature gradient in each sample by heating it from below while it is surrounded by a cooled radiation shield, all enclosed in a very low pressure vacuum chamber. Lunar analogue minerals have been measured, first in reflectance, and then in simulated lunar conditions, forming the basis of a new lunar spectral library. The uses of the mid- and far-infrared have been described herein, utilising calibrated Diviner observations to: [1] map the temperatures of the lunar poles; [2] investigate regions containing higher than average abundances of rocks; and [3] determine the composition of regions of the lunar surface by combining observations with the new spectral library made during this project.
Supervisor: Bowles, Neil E. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.580866  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Atmospheric,Oceanic,and Planetary physics ; lunar ; moon ; spectroscopy ; infrared ; mineralogy ; instrument calibration
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