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NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Launched

07 June 2006

Following on from its successful collaboration with Oxford University on the recently launched Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), the Infrared Multilayer Laboratory has been awarded a contract to design and manufacture of mid-infrared focal plane interference filters for the Diviner experiment for the JPL Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

The Diviner experiment is a nine channel infrared filter radiometer designed for payload inclusion on the JPL Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission due to be launched in 2008. Its mission is to investigate the thermal radiation, mineralogical composition and structure of the lunar environment with a view to enabling future human exploration. The Diviner instrument will measure lunar surface temperatures, solar reflectance, and spectral emission by limb and nadir mapping to identify possible locations of ice formation. It will map mineralogical rock compositions and lunar soil (regolith) using spectral locations of infrared emission maxima in three narrow-band filter channels (7.8, 8.25 & 8.5┬Ám).

The Diviner experiment is a joint US-UK development project between the JPL, California Institute of Technology and Oxford University Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics. The University of Reading are responsible for the spectral design and fabrication of the mid-infrared focal plane interference filters.