Mini-SAR Nears Completion of First Mapping Cycle
April 2, 2009

The Mini-SAR imaging radar aboard India's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter has been sending back some amazing images for the last couple of months. With the mission's first radar mapping season nearing an end, scientists are looking at and evaluating the data in hand.

"The new radar images are not only visually arresting, but they will be extremely useful in unraveling the complex geological history of the Moon as a whole," says Dr. Paul Spudis, principal investigator for the Mini-SAR instrument, from the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston.  "We are hard at work finishing the calibration of our instrument, which is required in order to make definite statements about the nature of the radar backscatter signature, the tell-tale sign of the presence or absence of water ice."

Spudis describes the new images, and the work it took to get them, in his Air & Space Smithsonian blog.