Current Status of LUMIO Mission: Characterizing Lunar Meteoroid Impacts with a CubeSat

Francesco Topputo, G. Merisio, G. Giordano, V Franzese, A. Cervone, S. Speretta, A. Menicucci, E. Bertels, a. Thorvaldsen, More Authors

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The Lunar Meteoroid Impact Observer (LUMIO) is a mission designed to observe, quantify, and characterize the impacts of meteoroids on the lunar far side and, therefore, complement in both space and time the observations currently taken from Earth. While Earth-based lunar observations are restricted by weather, geometric and illumination conditions, a Moon-based observation campaign can improve the detection rate of impact flashes and the general quality and reliability of the final scientific product. The mission has successfully completed the Phase A design, after successfully passing Phase 0 and an independent study in the ESA Concurrent Design Facility that has fully confirmed its feasibility. The LUMIO spacecraft is a 12U XL CubeSat with a mass of around 28 kg, released into Lunar orbit by a carrier spacecraft and capable of autonomously transferring from this initial parking orbit to its final destination, a halo orbit about the Earth–Moon L2 point from which permanent fulldisk observation of the Lunar far side can be performed. The mission objectives will be achieved thanks to the LUMIO-Cam, a custom-designed optical instrument capable of detecting light flashes in the visible spectrum, and an innovative on-board data processing system, capable of drastically reducing the amount of information that needs to be transmitted back to Earth. The camera is capable of generating 5TBd−1 of data, out of which only approximately 1MBd−1 will need to be transmitted to Earth, since impact identification will be performed autonomously onboard and only relevant information will be actually transmitted. This paper will present the current status of the mission, summarising the main results of the Phase A design and the way forward to the following steps in mission implementation (Phases B-C). The paper will include a summary of the spacecraft system design and mission analysis. Particular focus will be given to the mission operations aspects.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event72nd International Astronautical Conference: IAC 2021 - Online event, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 25 Oct 202129 Oct 2021
Conference number: 72


Conference72nd International Astronautical Conference
Abbreviated titleIAC 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates

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  • Interplanetary CubeSat missions
  • Lunar
  • Radiation environment
  • Radiation effects


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