Lunar Dust In-situ Experiment and Operational Considerations for the Potential CABLE Canadian American British Lunar Explorer
Kruzelecky, Roman V.
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The Canadian American British Lunar Explorer (CABLE) is a low-cost lunar lander/microRover mission concept based on international collaboration of niche technologies. CABLE includes collaborations with the University of Surrey/Surrey Space Centre on the soft lander, planetary surface autonomy and communications technologies and the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory on the required Earth-Moon transfer stage and mission operations based on their COSMOS mission operations and flight system software, as well as the prior experience gained in the Clementine lunar mission. CABLE also leverages relevant Canadian technologies in high-performance microRovers, robotics and optical sensors to extend the achievable planetary exploration and science per unit payload mass. The baseline science mission is to investigate the near-surface characteristics of a near-side region of the Moon, the Aristarchus Plateau, that has never been explored in-situ to address for the first time a fundamental lunar geologic process, namely large-scale explosive volcanism that can provide information on the origins of the Moon and the evolution of the Earth-Moon system. The mission drivers include minimizing the mission risks and costs while providing innovative relevant science and data on the lunar near-surface environment and operations. This mission will address key international interests, including mapping lunar surface geology to determine the extent, particle size distribution, and composition of pyroclastic deposits on the plateau. The mission will also explore the availability and distribution of near- surface volatiles from prior impacts and in-situ resources, such as ilmenite, using robotic trenching capability. The lunar surface radiation and dust environments would also be investigated through a set of in-situ experiments using the CABLE lander and rover to provide data both of scientific interest and to assist future potential manned missions. Key data are missing on the levitated lunar dust fluxes to assist validation of various mitigation efforts that could be provided by CABLE. This paper discusses the lunar dust operational considerations for CABLE, as well as the potential in- situ experiments to characterize the levitated lunar dust and its effects on optical measurements and robotic operations.