What is LROC?
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) is designed to address two of the prime LRO measurement requirements: 1) Assess meter scale features to facilitate selection of future landing sites on the Moon. 2) Acquire images of the poles every orbit to characterize the polar illumination environment (100 meter scale), identifying regions of permanent shadow and permanent or near-permanent illumination over a full lunar year. In addition to these two main objectives, the LROC team is conducting meter-scale mapping of polar regions, stereo images that provide meter-scale topographic measurements, global multi-spectral imaging, and has produced a global landform map. We have imaged over 20% of the Moon at high resolution using the Narrow Angle Cameras; if the LRO mission continues for several more years, we will eventually image the whole moon at 1/2 m/pixel. LROC images will also be used to map and determine current impact hazards by imaging areas photographed by Apollo astronauts. Comparing the new and old images reveals impact craters that formed over the past 40 years.
LROC consists of two Narrow Angle Cameras (NACs) to provide 0.5 meter-scale panchromatic images over a 5 km swath, a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) to provide images at a scale of 100 meters/pixel in seven color bands over a 60 km swath, and a Sequence and Compressor System (SCS) supporting data acquisition for both cameras. LROC is a modified version of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiters ConTeXt Camera (CTX) and MARs Color Imager (MARCI) provided by Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) in San Diego, CA.