CLPS Korea: Payloads for the Lunar Surface Sciences

We are developing four science payloads in collaboration with domestic universities to operate on the lunar surface as a part of Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) based on the KASI-NASA Exploration Working Group. The Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) of Korea supports the development, mission operation, and data analyses of the payloads.

LUSEM is a solid-state telescope to detect high-energy particles above ~50 keV inside or outside the geomagnetic tail and the interactions between the lunar surface and charged particles. Attributed to the heritages of previous space missions, experienced and passionate teams commenced developing the payloads. Their scientific measurements will provide valuable data to understand the nature of the Moon, our steadfast neighbor. KAS and NASA will develop further collaboration in scientific research and space exploration based on the strengthened mutual trust. We also hope that the domestic space industry benefits from this project. The science, technology, and experiences built up from this project will shed light on our future space exploration missions.

*Landing site: Reiner Gamma (PRISM-1a, 2024)

LVRAD is a radiation dosimeter that consists of Lunar Radiation dosimeter and Spectrometer (LRDS) and Neutron Spectrometer (NS). LRDS will measure the lunar radiation environment and analyze its biological effects using a Tissue-Equivalent Proportional Counter (TEPC). NS will measure epithermal neutrons from the surface, potential evidence of subsurface water, as well as thermal and fast neutrons.

LSMAG consists of a couple of fluxgate magnetometers and an accelerometer to measure the magnetic field and its diurnal variation on the lunar surface. Its measurements will be helpful to estimate the lunar ancient magnetic field using the magnetic field strength on the surface and the corresponding direction and depth of the source.

GrainCams consists of two light-field cameras, SurfCam and LevCam, for dust particles on and near the lunar surface. SurfCam will take 3D images of the hypothetical "fairy castle" structure of the upper regolith while moving further from the lander. LevCam will detect the motions of levitating and lofted regolith grains near the surface and measure the diurnal and time variations of the physical properties of the regolith and dust by the electric and magnetic fields. GrainCams will provide unique, intact observations of the phenomena that are irreproducible on Earth or cannot be preserved via a sample return mission.


Attributed largely to the heritages of previous space missions, experienced and passionate teams commenced developing the payloads in the management of KASI's CLPS Korea project. The scientific measurements of the payloads will provide valuable data to understand the nature of the Moon, our steadfast neighbor, when the payloads are land and operated successfully on its surface. Based on the strengthened mutual trust, KASI and NASA will further collaborate in scientific research and space exploration. All the science, technology, and experiences built up from this project will shed light on Korea's future lunar landing mission.


Contact: Dr. Chae Kyung SIM (cksim [at] kasi.re.kr)