Proposal Abstract

SINCE THE LAUNCH of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in 2009, the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) has directly measured the Lunar radiation environment and mapped albedo protons (~100 MeV) coming from the Moon. Particle radiation has widespread effects on the lunar regolith ranging from chemical alteration of lunar volatiles to the formation of subsurface electric fields with the potential to cause dielectric breakdown that could modify the regolith in permanently shaded craters. LRO/CRaTER’s direct measurements are transforming our understanding of the lunar radiation environment and its effects on the moon.

Similarly, the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) has been measuring the energetic particle radiation environment on the surface of Mars since the landing of the Curiosity rover in August 2012. The Martialn surface is protected by the atmosphere above; though only about 1% as thick as Earth’s, its depth is sufficient to stop solar wind ions and the large majority of Solar Energetic Particles. RAD, like CRaTER, measures radiation dose, dose equivalent (related to human health risks), and particle spectra to enable rigorous tests of environment and transport models.

Recent measurements of galactic cosmic radiation and solar energetic particle radiation at other planetary objects (e.g., the moons of Mars) raise new fundamental questions about how radiation interacts at planetary bodies and what its long term impacts are.

This ISSI team will advance the study of radiation interactions.
Read more… (proposal and abstrast, pdf)