Meteoroids detection with the LUMIO lunar CubeSat

F. Topputo, G. Merisio, A. Cervone, S. Speretta, A. Menicucci, E. Turan, E. Bertels, Johan Vennekens, R Walker, More Authors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The Lunar Meteoroid Impacts Observer (LUMIO) is a CubeSat mission to observe, quantify, and characterize the meteoroid impacts on the lunar farside by detecting their flashes. This complements the knowledge gathered by Earth-based observations of the lunar nearside, thus synthesizing global information on the lunar meteoroid environment and contributing to the lunar situational awareness. The goal of LUMIO is to advance our current knowledge of meteoroid models in the solar system. In this work, we present the methodology devised to predict the scientific contribution of LUMIO. Our approach relies on combined modeling and simulation of payload, orbit, and environment. The analyses carried out have been used to drive the design of the LUMIO mission and its payload, the LUMIO-Cam. A payload radiometric model is derived and exploited to assess the quality of the scientific measurements. A dedicated study about straylight rejection is carried out to assess how straylight noise affects LUMIO-Cam measurements. Our results indicate that a 150 mm baffle grants good performance when the Sun angle is between 20° and 90°. Furthermore, the present-day LUMIO mission has the potential to detect more than 6000 impact flashes during the activity peak of the Geminids in 2024 in the range of the equivalent impact kinetic energy at Earth of [10 −6,10 −1]kton TNT Equivalent. Compared to previous programmes, LUMIO could refine information and fill the knowledge gap about the meteoroid population in the ranges of the equivalent impact kinetic energy at Earth of [10 −6,10 −4]kton TNT Equivalent and [10 −4,10 −1]kton TNT Equivalent, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115213
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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