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Remote compositional mapping of lunar titanium and surface maturityLunar ilmenite (FeTiO3) is a potential resource capable of providing oxygen for life support and spacecraft propellant for future lunar bases. Estimates of TiO2 content in mature mare soils can be made using an empirical relation between the 400/500 nm reflectance ratio and TiO2 wt percent. A TiO2 abundance map was constructed for the entire near-side lunar maria accurate to + or - 2 wt percent TiO2 using CCD images obtained at the Tumamoc Hill 0.5 m telescope in Tucson, employing bandpass filters centered at 400 and 560 nm. Highest TiO2 regions in the maria are located in western Mare Tranquillitatis. Greater contrast differences between regions on the lunar surface can be obtained using 400/730 nm ratio images. The relation might well be refined to accommodate this possibly more sensitive indicator of TiO2 content. Another potential lunar resource is solar wind-implanted He-3 which may be used as a fuel for fusion reactors. Relative soil maturity, as determined by agglutinate content, can be estimated from 950/560 nm ration images. Immature soils appear darker in this ratio since such soils contain abundant pyroxene grains which cause strong absorption centered near 950 nm due Fe(2+) crystal field transitions. A positive correlation exists between the amount of He-3 and TiO2 content in lunar soils, suggesting that regions high in TiO2 should also be high in He-3. Reflectance spectrophotometry in the region 320 to 870 nm was also obtained for several regions. Below about 340 nm, these spectra show variations in relative reflectance that are caused by as yet unassigned near-UV absorptions due to compositional differences.
Document ID
19910016715
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Johnson, J. R. (Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Larson, S. M. (Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Singer, Robert B. (Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1991
Publication Information
Publication: Resources of Near-Earth Space: Abstracts
Subject Category
LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAGW-1332
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAGW-247
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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