Scientists from the Physical Research Laboratory, a unit of the Department of Space, have built a comprehensive 3D thermophysical model for the Moon to derive its surface and sub-surface temperatures.
- This model will help understanding the local thermal environment of any location on the Moon which is an essential aspect for future human exploration and lunar habitat.
- A unique feature of this model is its ability to account for lateral heat transport in three dimensions by utilising the actual topography of any location on the Moon to compute its realistic surface and subsurface temperatures at any scale (from few cms to several kms.).
- The model considers all plausible conditions and parameters to derive the temperatures and thermophysical parameters of the lunar surface and subsurface to represent the most realistic scenario.
- The model results compare well with laboratory experiments and are validated using Apollo in-situ measurements.
- The capability of the model is demonstrated by deriving the thermophysical behaviour of a small area of NASA’s Apollo 17 landing site at both regional and local scales.
- ISRO added that this work has several applications both for lunar science and exploration aspects.
- To list a few, it can be used to constrain the nature of the outermost porous/dust layer.
- The model will help to interpret data returned from future in-situ experiments, such as the Chandra’s Surface Thermo physical Experiment (ChaSTE) experiment on Chandrayaan-3 Lander.
- The objective of the ChaSTE is to carry out the measurements of thermal properties of the lunar surface near the polar region.
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