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GRAIL — A microwave ranging instrument to map out the lunar gravity field

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3 Author(s)
Enzer, D.G. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; Wang, R.T. ; Klipstein, W.M.

Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL, is a NASA mission to map out the gravity field of the moon to an unprecedented level of detail. The instrument for this mission is based on GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment), an earth-orbiting mission currently mapping out the gravity field of the earth. This paper will describe the similarities and differences between these two instruments with a focus on the microwave ranging measurements used to determine the gravity parameters and the testbed built at Jet Propulsion Laboratory to demonstrate micron level ranging capability. The onboard ultrastable oscillator and RF instruments will be described and noise contributions discussed.

Published in:

Frequency Control Symposium (FCS), 2010 IEEE International

Date of Conference:

1-4 June 2010