Status Report

Laboratory investigations of Lunar ice imaging in permanently shadowed regions using reflected starlight

By SpaceRef Editor
March 4, 2020
Filed under , ,

Paul J. Godin, Jacob L. Kloos, Alex Seguin, John E. Moores

(Submitted on 2 Mar 2020)

A proof of concept for a frost detection imager using reflected starlight is presented; the limitations of this technique are explored experimentally. An ice-covered lunar surface is simulated inside a vacuum chamber, which is then illuminated with a lamp containing UV and visible output to simulate the wavelengths of the background starfield. The simulated lunar surface is imaged with a camera utilizing a UV and visible filter pairing. At Lyman-alpha wavelengths, ice has low reflectivity, and on average appears darker than the regolith in the UV image. In visible wavelengths, this behaviour is reversed, with ice appearing brighter than regolith. UV/VIS image ratioing is subsequently performed in order to discern frost from the lunar regolith simulant in order to demonstrate the capability of this technology for locating the presence of ice on the lunar surface. When the two images are ratioed, the signal to noise ratio to distinguish ice from regolith improves by 36%. In cases where the presence of shadows and specular reflection make distinguishing ice from regolith in either a single UV or visible image difficult, ratioing the images makes the distinction clear.

Comments: Submitted to Acta Astronautica

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Cite as: arXiv:2003.01230 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2003.01230v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Paul Godin 

[v1] Mon, 2 Mar 2020 22:33:11 UTC (4,347 KB)

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