The RObotic Lunar Observatory (ROLO) project has developed radiometric models of the Moon for disk-integrated irradiance and spatially resolved radiance. Although the brightness of the Moon varies spatially and with complex dependencies upon illumination and viewing geometry, the surface photometric properties are extremely stable, and therefore potentially knowable to high accuracy. The ROLO project has acquired 5+ years of spatially resolved lunar images in 23 VNIR and 9 SWIR filter bands at phase angles up to 90??. These images are calibrated to exoatmospheric radiance using nightly stellar observations in a band-coupled extinction algorithm and a radiometric scale based upon observations of the star Vega. An effort is currently underway to establish an absolute scale with direct traceability to NIST radiometric standards. The ROLO radiance model performs linear fitting of the spatially resolved lunar image data on an individual pixel basis. The results are radiance images directly comparable to spacecraft observations of the Moon. Model-generated radiance images have been produced for the ASTER lunar view conducted on 14 April 2003. The radiance model is still experimental - simplified photometric functions have been used, and initial results show evidence of computational instabilities, particularly at the lunar poles. The ROLO lunar image dataset is unique and extensive and presents opportunities for development of novel approaches to lunar photometric modeling.
Additional Publication Details
Modeling the Radiance of the Moon for On-orbit Calibration