Article

Space Science Reviews

, Volume 150, Issue 1, pp 209-241

The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter Investigation on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission

  • David E. SmithAffiliated withSolar System Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • , Maria T. ZuberAffiliated withDepartment of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Email author 
  • , Glenn B. JacksonAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • , John F. CavanaughAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • , Gregory A. NeumannAffiliated withSolar System Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • , Haris RirisAffiliated withSolar System Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • , Xiaoli SunAffiliated withSolar System Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • , Ronald S. ZellarAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • , Craig ColtharpAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Joseph ConnellyAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Richard B. KatzAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Igor KleynerAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Peter LiivaAffiliated withSigma Space Corporation
    • , Adam MatuszeskiAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Erwan M. MazaricoAffiliated withSolar System Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Jan F. McGarryAffiliated withSolar System Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Anne-Marie Novo-GradacAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Melanie N. OttAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Carlton PetersAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Luis A. Ramos-IzquierdoAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Lawrence RamseyAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , David D. RowlandsAffiliated withSolar System Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Stephen SchmidtAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , V. Stanley ScottIIIAffiliated withSolar System Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , George B. ShawAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , James C. SmithAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Joseph-Paul SwinskiAffiliated withSolar System Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Mark H. TorrenceAffiliated withStinger Ghaffarian Technologies
    • , Glenn UngerAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Anthony W. YuAffiliated withAdvanced Engineering Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Thomas W. ZagwodzkiAffiliated withSolar System Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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Abstract

The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) is an instrument on the payload of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft (LRO) (Chin et al., in Space Sci. Rev. 129:391–419, 2007). The instrument is designed to measure the shape of the Moon by measuring precisely the range from the spacecraft to the lunar surface, and incorporating precision orbit determination of LRO, referencing surface ranges to the Moon’s center of mass. LOLA has 5 beams and operates at 28 Hz, with a nominal accuracy of 10 cm. Its primary objective is to produce a global geodetic grid for the Moon to which all other observations can be precisely referenced.

Keywords

Moon Shape Space instrumentation Topography