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Low Radio Frequency Observations from the Moon Enabled by NASA Landed Payload Missions

Burns, Jack O. and MacDowall, Robert and Bale, Stuart and Hallinan, Gregg and Bassett, Neil and Hegedus, Alex (2021) Low Radio Frequency Observations from the Moon Enabled by NASA Landed Payload Missions. Planetary Science Journal, 2 (2). Art. No. 44. ISSN 2632-3338. doi:10.3847/psj/abdfc3.

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A new era of exploration of the low radio frequency universe from the Moon will soon be underway with landed payload missions facilitated by NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program. CLPS landers are scheduled to deliver two radio science experiments, Radio wave Observations at the Lunar Surface of the photoElectron Sheath (ROLSES) to the nearside and Lunar Surface Electromagnetics Experiment (LuSEE) to the farside, beginning in 2021. These instruments will be pathfinders for a 10 km diameter interferometric array, Farside Array for Radio Science Investigations of the Dark ages and Exoplanets (FARSIDE), composed of 128 pairs of dipole antennas proposed to be delivered to the lunar surface later in the decade. ROLSES and LuSEE, operating at frequencies from ≈100 kHz to a few tens of megahertz, will investigate the plasma environment above the lunar surface and measure the fidelity of radio spectra on the surface. Both use electrically short, spiral-tube deployable antennas and radio spectrometers based upon previous flight models. ROLSES will measure the photoelectron sheath density to better understand the charging of the lunar surface via photoionization and impacts from the solar wind, charged dust, and current anthropogenic radio frequency interference. LuSEE will measure the local magnetic field and exo-ionospheric density, interplanetary radio bursts, Jovian and terrestrial natural radio emission, and the galactic synchrotron spectrum. FARSIDE, and its precursor risk-reduction six antenna-node array PRIME, would be the first radio interferometers on the Moon. FARSIDE would break new ground by imaging radio emission from coronal mass ejections (CME) beyond 2R⊙, monitor auroral radiation from the B-fields of Uranus and Neptune (not observed since Voyager), and detect radio emission from stellar CMEs and the magnetic fields of nearby potentially habitable exoplanets.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Burns, Jack O.0000-0002-4468-2117
MacDowall, Robert0000-0003-3112-4201
Bale, Stuart0000-0002-1989-3596
Hallinan, Gregg0000-0002-7083-4049
Bassett, Neil0000-0001-7051-6385
Hegedus, Alex0000-0001-6247-6934
Additional Information:© 2021. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2020 August 9; revised 2021 January 16; accepted 2021 January 22; published 2021 March 8. This work is directly supported by the NASA Solar System Exploration Virtual Institute cooperative agreement 80ARC017M0006. Support was also provided by the Simons Foundation grant "Planetary Context of Habitability and Exobiology." We are indebted to a number of highly talented individuals who contributed to the mission and concept studies described in this paper. For ROLSES, this includes Damon Bradley, Pietro Sparacino, William Farrell, Richard Katz, Igor Kleyner, David McGlone, Michael Choi, Scott Murphy, and Rick Mills at NASA/GSFC. For LuSEE, this includes Peter Harvey, Keith Goetz, Lindsey Hayes, and Misty Willer. For FARSIDE and PRIME, this includes Larry Teitelbaum, James Lux, Andres Romero-Wolf, Issa Nesnas, Patrick McGary, and Tzu-Ching Chang at Caltech/JPL, as well as Steve Squyres and Alex Miller at Blue Origin Inc. We also thank the referees for the thoughtful comments, which improved the manuscript.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Radio astronomy; Solar radio emission; Magnetospheric radio emissions; Habitable planets; Solar system planets; Radio telescopes; Space telescopes; Lunar atmosphere; Lunar science; The Moon
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Radio astronomy (1338); Solar radio emission (1522); Magnetospheric radio emissions (998); Habitable planets (695); Solar system planets (1260); Radio telescopes (1360); Space telescopes (1547); Lunar atmosphere (947)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210309-071835073
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Official Citation:Jack O. Burns et al 2021 Planet. Sci. J. 2 44
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108353
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 Mar 2021 18:52
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 19:11

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