V. G. Galushko, V. V. Vinogradov, Y. G. Shkuratov


 PACS numbers: 07.87.+V,
95.85.Bh, 96.20.–n

Purpose: Development and justification of the concept of construction of a millimeter wave satellite radar for investigation of the Moon’s surface and estimation of the radar performance characteristics for operation in the modes of active location, including aperture synthesis, and passive radiometric sounding.

Design/methodology/approach: To map the Moon’s surface with a high spatial resolution and search of anomalies in the thermal radiation field, it is suggested to use a satellite millimeter wave radar capable of operating in the side-looking/squintlooking synthetic aperture mode.

Findings: Three operation modes of a millimeter wave satellite radar are suggested and justified for investigating the Moon’s surface. The considered modes include active monostatic sounding of the Moon’s surface with a rather crude spatial resolution (approximately 1400×1000 m), construction of radio images and restoration of the relief of the Moon’s surface (or its individual areas) with a high resolution (resolution cell size  ≤ 22×25 m) using algorithms of side-looking/squint-looking aperture synthesis, and passive (radiometric) sounding of the temperature field with resolution about 1400×2000 m. Estimates of the basic parameters and power of the radar required to provide sufficiently high signal-to-power ratios in each of these modes are obtained.

Conclusions: Experiments using the suggested radar would allow estimating the electrophysical and structural parameters of the upper layer of the regolith several centimeters in thickness, determining the reflective properties of the Moon’s surface and recovering a 3D image of its relief with a high resolution (a few dozens of meters), and also investigating the spatial distribution and anomalies of the thermal radiation with the aim of searching irregularities in the structure of the Moon’s crust.

Key words: satellite radar, synthetic aperture, radiometric mode, Moon’s surface, regolith

Manuscript submitted 09.07.2018

Radio phys. radio astron. 2018, 23(3): 212-228


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satellite radar; synthetic aperture; radiometric mode; Moon’s surface; regolith

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