NASA's Lunar Impact Monitoring Program

by

Rob Suggs, Ph.D.
Space Environments Team Lead
NASA/MSFC

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.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH:

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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