These mosaics cover from 70° to the pole for both the north and south polar regions.
The Mini-RF project launched two radar instruments to the moon to map the lunar poles, search for water ice, and to demonstrate future NASA communication technologies. The first instrument, launched on the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO’s) Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, mapped both polar regions. The second instrument, currently flying on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), has been mapping the different geologic units of the lunar surface.
Scientists using the Mini-RF radar on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter have estimated the maximum amount of ice likely to be found inside a permanently shadowed lunar crater located near the moon's South Pole. As much as five to ten percent of material, by weight, could be patchy ice, according to the team of researchers led by Bradley Thomson at Boston University's Center for Remote Sensing.
Science operations for the Mini-RF radar on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter are on hold now that the instrument is not transmitting sufficient energy to image the moon’s surface. The mission team continues to gather and analyze data in an attempt to determine the cause of the fault and whether it is recoverable.
Check out this second podcast to learn more about how Mini-RF is searching for ice on the Moon.