Skip to main content
Log in

Research on the lunar ionosphere using dual-frequency radio occultation with a small VLBI antenna

  • Original Article
  • Published:
Astrophysics and Space Science Aims and scope Submit manuscript


The Vstar in the Japanese lunar SELENE Radio Science experiment was occulted by virtue of the lunar ionosphere. Using the single sub-satellite and the S/X band coherent radio waves, dual-frequency measurements were acquired at a ground receiving station. In order to investigate the variation of ionospheric total electron content (TEC) surrounding the moon, the TEC, including the terrestrial ionosphere, the interplanetary plasma and lunar ionosphere, can be derived from the phase information of the observational data. We update the observation equation and algorithms, calculate the linear fitting trend of the lunar ionosphere from 60 to 30 km above the surface of the moon. The fitting trend is extended from 30 to 0 km above the surface of the moon. The lunar ionosphere is obtained by using the short time trend extrapolation method.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Ando, H., Imamura, T., Nabatov, A., et al.: Dual-spacecraft radio occultation measurement of the electron density near the lunar surface in SELENE. J. Geophys. Res. 117, A08313 (2012). doi:10.1029/2011JA017141

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Andrew, B., Branson, N., Wills, D., et al.: Radio observations of the Crab nebula during a lunar occultation. Nature 203, 171–173 (1964)

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Hanada, H., Iwata, T., Liu, Q., et al.: Overview of differential VLBI observations of lunar orbiters in SELENE (Kaguya) for precise orbit determination and lunar gravity field study. Space Sci. Rev. 154, 123–144 (2010). doi:10.1007/s11214-010-9656-9

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Imamura, T., Nobatov, A., Mochizuki, N., et al.: Radio occultation measurement of the electron density near the lunar surface using a subsatellite on the SELENE mission. J. Geophys. Res. 117, A06303 (2012). doi:10.1029/2011JA017293

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Iwata, T., Takahashi, M., Namik, N., et al.: Mission instruments for lunar gravity measurements using SELENE sub-satellites. J. Geod. Soc. Jpn. 47, 558–563 (2001)

    Google Scholar 

  • Jin, S.G., Luo, O., Park, P.: GPS observations of the ionospheric F2-layer behavior during the 20th November 2003 geomagnetic storm over South Korea. J. Geod. 82(12), 883–892 (2008). doi:10.1007/s00190-008-0217-x

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Liu, Q., Kikuchi, F., Matsumoto, K., et al.: Error analysis of same-beam different VLBI technique using two SELENE satellites. Adv. Space Res. 40, 51–57 (2007)

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Ping, J., Kono, Y., Tsuchiya, A., et al.: Effect on Doppler frequency measurement due to the spin and a phase delay pattern of an antenna onboard a spacecraft. J. Geod. Soc. Jpn. 46, 187–202 (2000)

    Google Scholar 

  • Schlueter, W., Himwich, E., Nothnagel, A., et al.: IVS and its important role in the maintenance of the global reference system. Adv. Space Res. 30(2), 145–150 (2002)

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Stern, S.A.: The lunar atmosphere: history, status, current problems, and context. Rev. Geophys. 37(4), 453–492 (1999)

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Stubbs, T.J., Glenar, D.A., Farrell, W.M., et al.: On the role of dust in the lunar ionosphere. Planet. Space Sci. 59, 1659–1664 (2011)

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Vasilyev, M.B., Vinogradov, V.A., Vyshlov, A.S., et al.: Radio transparency of circumlunar space using the luna-19 station. Cosm. Res. 12, 102–107 (1974)

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Vyshlov, A.S.: Preliminary results of circumlunar plasma research by the lunar 22 spacecraft. Space Res. 16, 945–949 (1976)

    Google Scholar 

  • Walbridge, E.: Lunar photoelectron layer. J. Geophys. Res. 78, 3668–3687 (1973)

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors thank the SELENE Project for conducting these experiments and making the data available to the community. The VLBI data used in this paper are under a cooperation frame between NAOJ/NINS and XAO/CAS. This work is supported by the national key basic research and development plan (Grant No. 2015CB857101).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Zhen Wang.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Wang, Z., Wang, N. & Ping, J. Research on the lunar ionosphere using dual-frequency radio occultation with a small VLBI antenna. Astrophys Space Sci 356, 225–230 (2015).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: