Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera

Recent News & Updates


Operations Journal: Uplink - Commanding the Camera

August 15, 2011

Howdy! My name is Zack Bowles and I am one of the Uplink members of the LROC Operations team. Operations are mainly divided into Uplink and Downlink, with Uplink responsible for targeting images and generating command loads and Downlink is responsible for data integrity analysis and spacecraft/instrument monitoring. Uplink is also further subdivided into 2 components: Nominal and Special Targeting, with Nominal responsible for the majority of camera commanding while Special Targeting is responsible for planning slewed observations, calibrations, and any observation that requires coordination with the other LRO instruments.

Operations Journal: LROC Down-link (DL), Team Activities.

July 21, 2011

Hello, my name is Tim Donnelly. As a member of the LROC Science Operations Center (SOC) I, along with two others, handle the Downlink duties of the SOC.  As Shane Thompson posted earlier, the SOC has two teams - Up-link (UL) and Down-link (DL). UL plans the observation time-line for image acquisition, while DL is responsible for monitoring the LROC instrument health (via real-time and stored telemetry) and data processing (management & processing of all files delivered to the SOC from the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Mission Operations Center (MOC)). Our two teams constitute the Operations Team to which Ernest Bowman-Cisneros referred in his post last week.

Operations Journal: A Look Back to the Beginning...

July 18, 2011

Greetings, I am Ernest Bowman-Cisneros, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Science Operations Center (SOC) manager. I have worn many hats during the lifetime of this project, but now that we have celebrated the second anniversary of the launch of LRO and nearly two years of operations, I can look back to the beginning of the LROC SOC.

Quickmap - Try it out!

April 30, 2011

Try out the new LROC browse interface - Quickmap. Its a lot of fun! Start at reduced WAC resolution and end up on the surface at full NAC resolution.

New York Times Editorial on LROC Apollo Images

November 17, 2009

The New York Times has published an editorial about the LROC images of the Apollo landing sites.

Operations Journal: LROC's Science Operations Center (SOC)

October 12, 2009

Hello.  My name is Shane Thompson and I am a lunatic. I am the Operations Lead for the LROC Operations Team at ASU for the Science Operations Center (SOC). I am an ASU alumni from the geology department and have been involved with lunar research for the last two years and Mars research for the last nine.

Operations Journal: Predicting Imaging Conditions

September 28, 2009

Hi, my name is Prasun Mahanti and I am involved with temperature modeling for the LRO Narrow Angle Camera [NAC]. The NAC is a digital camera and uses semiconductor devices to take a picture similar to your own digital camera. As an example, when the NAC is looking at a mountain on the Moon, the image is recorded by a charge coupled device (CCD) instead of film. Semiconductors (here a CCD) are very temperature sensitive, so the noise characteristics of the returned image varies when the temperature goes up and down. Several of us in the LROC Science Operations Center therefore are tasked with forecasting the probable temperature of the NAC CCD a few days in advance. For a given temperature appropriate image acquisition commands can be sent to LRO for different positions around the Moon to insure the best-quality images.

Operations Journal: Producing NAC and WAC Mosaics

September 24, 2009

As a student researcher at LROC, I (Steven Koeber) mosaic images from the Narrow-Angle Cameras (NACs) and the Wide-Angle Camera (WAC). Mosaics are composed of several individual images that are stitched together, permitting an investigator to explore the geophysical and compositional properties of the lunar surface on a global or regional scale. NAC and WAC mosaics are produced using a specialized image-processing package called ISIS, the Integrated System for Imagers and Spectrometers. ISIS has the unique capability for processing data from several NASA spacecraft missions, including the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

Operations Journal: The Business Side of LROC

September 14, 2009

Hi, I am Carmen Salas, the Business Manager for LROC. My job is to ensure that all the business operation functions are in place. The business functions consist of Human Resource (payroll, hiring, termination, and unresolved issues); financial functions (research, local, and state accounts; report submission for ASU/NASA, reconciliation of accounts); proposal pre/post award submissions; education and public outreach (work with the EPO team on various projects); travel requests; and ensuring that all the students and staff comply with Arizona State policy and procedures.

Operations Journal: A Look into System Administration

September 2, 2009

My name is Zach Gates and I am a Sophomore at ASU in the Computer Science program. I work on the LROC project as a student system administrator, which means I help our sys-admins create and maintain the computer systems our project needs to run. Working here at LROC is a great opportunity for me to learn more about my field through hands-on experience.

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