Application Of Europa-Clipper Technology For Lunar Radiation Hazard Identification And Characterization

PI: H. Todd Smith, Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Lab, Abigail Rymer (Co-I), Johns Hopkins University

Researchers are adapting technology from NASA’s Europa Clipper mission to develop a low cost, reliable method of characterizing local lunar surface radiation and magnetic field environments on rovers and landers. The flight experiment will integrate the Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding (PIMS) with the JANUS suborbital integration and monitoring system, which includes accelerometers, 3D magnetic field measurement fluxgate magnetometer, and pressure/temperature sensors. As an additional benefit of this flight test, the JANUS-PIMS will be used as the first attempt to measure charged particles at suborbital altitudes from a commercial spacecraft which will verify the possibility of making routine observations essential for understanding Earth’s atmosphere at such altitudes.

This work is a continuation of previous flight testing under T0015, T0022, and T0196.

Technology Areas (?)
  • TA08 Science Instruments, Observations and Sensor Systems
Problem Statement

This innovation is being developed to serve as a low-cost means of providing the required lunar surface environmental hazard characterization and monitoring at each specific landing site. The objective of this experiment is to successfully integrate the JANUS-PIMS payload and to record and analyze charged particle distributions, magnetic field configuration, temperature, and vibration/acceleration.

Technology Maturation

The JANUS platform is at TRL 9 as a result of prior successful flights. This PIMS instrument will advance from TRL 5 to 7 for lunar operations upon successful completion of the experiment. Success will establish a low-cost, reliable method of characterizing local lunar surface radiation and magnetic field environments.

Future Customers

NASA and commercial lunar lander and rover missions/activities
Cislunar commercial and government activities
Earth atmospheric studies

Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    TechFlights19 (Oct 2019)
  • Program Status
  • Current TRL (?)
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 0 sRLV

Development Team

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