, Volume 150, Issue 1-4, pp 183-207
Date: 19 Dec 2009

Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector for the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

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Abstract

The design of the Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) experiment is presented, which was optimized to address several of the primary measurement requirements of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO): high spatial resolution hydrogen mapping of the Moon’s upper-most surface, identification of putative deposits of appreciable near-surface water ice in the Moon’s polar cold traps, and characterization of the human-relevant space radiation environment in lunar orbit. A comprehensive program of LEND instrument physical calibrations is discussed and the baseline scenario of LEND observations from the primary LRO lunar orbit is presented. LEND data products will be useful for determining the next stages of the emerging global lunar exploration program, and they will facilitate the study of the physics of hydrogen implantation and diffusion in the regolith, test the presence of water ice deposits in lunar cold polar traps, and investigate the role of neutrons within the radiation environment of the shallow lunar surface.