NASA's Lunar Impact Monitoring Program
Rob Suggs, Ph.D.
Space Environments Team Lead
Friday, 18 May 2007
Socialization : 10:15 a.m.
Presentation : 10:30 a.m.
NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office has implemented a program
to monitor the Moon for meteoroid impacts from the Marshall Space Flight
Center. Using off-the-shelf telescopes and video equipment, the moon
is monitored for as many as 10 nights per month, depending on weather.
Custom software automatically detects flashes which are confirmed by a
second telescope, photometrically calibrated using background stars, and
published on a website for correlation with other observations.
Hypervelocity impact tests at the Ames Vertical Gun Facility have been
performed to determine the luminous efficiency and ejecta
characteristics. The purpose of this research is to define the impact
ejecta environment for use by lunar spacecraft designers of the
Constellation Program. The observational techniques and preliminary
results will be discussed.
Rob Suggs is the Space Environments Team Lead in MSFC's Engineering
Directorate. He has a Ph.D. in astronomy from New Mexico State
University. Prior to coming to MSFC in 1998, he worked at the Johnson
Space Center as the Environments Lead and later as the Attached Payloads
Lead in the ISS Program Office. He also has worked for various defense
contractors in modeling and development of space systems.
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