Estimation of Apollo lunar dust transport using optical extinction measurements

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2015


John E. Lane, Philip T. Metzger

(Submitted on 28 Feb 2015)

A technique to estimate mass erosion rate of surface soil during landing of the Apollo Lunar Module (LM) and total mass ejected due to the rocket plume interaction is proposed and tested. The erosion rate is proportional to the product of the second moment of the lofted particle size distribution N(D), and third moment of the normalized soil size distribution S(D), divided by the integral of S(D)D^2/v(D), where D is particle diameter and v(D) is the vertical component of particle velocity. The second moment of N(D) is estimated by optical extinction analysis of the Apollo cockpit video. Because of the similarity between mass erosion rate of soil as measured by optical extinction and rainfall rate as measured by radar reflectivity, traditional NWS radar/rainfall correlation methodology can be applied to the lunar soil case where various S(D) models are assumed corresponding to specific lunar sites.

Comments:Acta Geophysica 2015

Subjects:Geophysics (physics.geo-ph); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as:arXiv:1503.00154 [physics.geo-ph] (or arXiv:1503.00154v1 [physics.geo-ph] for this version)

Submission history

From: John Lane 

[v1] Sat, 28 Feb 2015 16:44:47 GMT (1634kb)


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