High-flying Moon Sensor Will Help Improve Earth Observations

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 10:50 in Astronomy & Space

PROJECT Airborne Lunar Spectral Irradiance Instrument (air-LUSI) SNAPSHOT A new instrument flew aboard a high-altitude NASA plane to measure the Moon’s brightness and help Earth observing sensors make more accurate measurements. The air-LUSI deployment team in front of the ER-2 with the air-LUSI instrument distributed on two carts in front. Credit: NASA A new instrument flew aboard NASA’s ER-2 airplane to measure the Moon’s brightness. Data from this instrument will eventually help other space-based sensors improve the Earth observations they collect. The airborne Lunar Spectral Irradiance Instrument (air-LUSI) flew approximately 70,000 feet (about 21.3 km) above ground during multiple flights beginning Nov. 13 and wrapping up on Nov. 17, 2019 on the ER-2 from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California. Air-LUSI measured “how much sunlight is reflected by the Moon at various phases in order to accurately characterize it and expand how the Moon is used to calibrate Earth observing sensors,” said Kevin Turpie, a...

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