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The Lunar Mini-RF Radars: Hybrid Polarimetric Architecture and Initial Results

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12 Author(s)
Raney, R.K. ; Appl. Phys. Lab., Johns Hopkins Univ., Laurel, MD, USA ; Spudis, P.D. ; Bussey, B. ; Crusan, J.
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The two mini-radio-frequency (mini-RF) radars flown in near-polar lunar orbits (on Chandrayaan-1 and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) were the first of their kind, hybrid-polarimetric. This new paradigm transmits circular polarization, and receives coherently on orthogonal linear polarizations. The resulting data support calculation of the 2 × 2 covariance matrix of the backscattered field, from which follow the four Stokes parameters. These are the basis of science products from the observations, which include images that are traditional in radar astronomy, as well as polarimetric decompositions. The instruments all have mass less than 15 kg, antenna areas of about 1 m2, and modest power and spacecraft accommodation requirements. Data quality and instrument characteristics suggest that hybrid polarity is highly desirable for future exploratory radar missions in the Solar system.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:99 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

May 2011

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