Exploration of lunar near surface plasma environment from Chandrayaan-2 Lunar lander platform: RAMBHA_LP Payload perspective
The Lunar ionosphere is thought to be existing with electron densities of the order of 100 cm-3 below 30 km altitude at solar zenith angles less than 60o. The density reaches a peak of ~ 400 cm-3 at around 15 km altitude and decreases gradually at higher altitudes and toward the surface. Despite the above scenario, several uncertainties and knowledge gaps exist. Moreover, nearly all the contemporary understanding of Lunar plasma environment has come through remote see using experiments where it is not always easy to delineate the variability of the Lunar atmosphere from the motion of the sensor.
Direct measurements of the Lunar plasma do not exist so far. In fact, when it comes to the measurements on Lunar plasma, different experiments agree only broadly leaving scope for making better and accurate measurements. Radio occultation experiments are able to give electron density measurements only at higher altitudes in the lunar ionosphere and hence the near surface plasma distribution is not sampled therein. The region below a few kms is not accessible through RO techniques. Although many of the Apollo missions’ experiments had instruments to measure lunar near surface below 1m altitude, none of them actually made direct measurements of the electron density.
Conventional instruments like ionosonde are not feasible in the tenuous lunar environment in view of the large dimensions of antennae for the required low frequency transmission and reception. It is in this context that the RAMBHA-Langmuir (RAMBHA-LP) probe has been proposed on board Chandrayaan lander for obtaining in-situ measurements of the lunar near surface plasma at an altitude of ~ 2m.
Please note that unfortunately we are unable to record this webinar so it will only be available for live viewing.
Continuing Professional Development
This event can contribute towards your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours as part of the IET's CPD monitoring scheme.
23 Sep 2021
1:30pm - 2:30pm
Dr G Manju
Scientist/Engineer - ’SF’ - Space Physics Laboratory, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre
Dr. G Manju currently working as Scientist - 'SF' at Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in Space Physics Laboratory located at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Trivandrum.
Dr. G Manju is the Principal Investigator for Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive Atmosphere and ionosphere-Langmuir Probe (RAMBHA-LP) payload on Chandrayaan -3, Electron Density and Neutral Wind (ENWi) rocket payload & Ionization Density and Electric-field Analyzer (IDEA) payload on PS4 platform. She is the Co-Principal Investigator for RH560MkIII Sounding Rockets Experiment (SOUREX) Experiment and Project manager for Indian Network for Space Weather Impact Monitoring (INSWIM).
She was recipient of ISRO team excellence award for Sooryagrahan Campaign (Which investigated the eclipse induced effects on the atmosphere by the longest annular solar eclipse of the millennium) in 2011. She has published more than 60 peer-reviewed papers in reputed international journals and conferences and has supervised 3 PhD's. She is an alumnus University of Kerala.
Her areas of research are,
- Investigations on Equatorial Spread F /Scintillations and their day-to-day variability to facilitate prediction of navigation and communication outages.
- In-situ probing of terrestrial and planetary ionospheres.
- Investigations on terrestrial and planetary upper atmospheric response to diverse geophysical conditions.
This event will be streamed live and is available to watch online only from any location across the world.