Editor's Note: This information comes from the NASA/JPL Moon Mineralogy Mapper Website, which was taken offline in June 2013. It is archived here to preserve the historical record.
NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) was one of six guest instruments India's Chandrayaan-1 mission to Earth's moon.
The goal of the M3 instrument was to map the mineral composition of the entire lunar surface at a high resolution. M3 complements the capabilities of the other Chandrayaan-1 instruments, and fulfilled an essential need for remote compositional analysis of the Moon.
The M3 instrument is an imaging spectrometer. It generates images of moon surfaces in long narrow strips and spreads them like a rainbow in push-broom fashion. The acquired images are formed into a multi-colored map of the lunar surface. As the spacecraft orbits the moon, M3's rectangular photodetector quickly records these narrow strip images in a 260-color spectrum. These images are stored in computer memory and transmitted back to earth by radio several times per day. The data is processed and the images are combined to form a map aggregate of the lunar surface.
Sunlight that is reflected from the lunar surface enters the M3 instrument and is imaged by a three mirror telescope (fore-optic). A slit at the entrance to the spectrometer keeps other light out, so the spectrometer can only see this part of the lunar surface. The spectrometer disperses the blue to near infrared light (wavelengths of 400 to 3000 nanometers) onto 260 rows of the detector. This forms 260 images of the ground in a gradient of colors.
M3 sees a 24 degree field-of-view and can make an image that is 40 kilometers wide on the moon's surface. This is imaged onto 600 detector pixels, with each pixel representing 67 meters on the surface. The circumference of the moon is 10,930 kilometers. With overlap, it takes more than 274 image swaths to completely map the moon.
The spectrometer optics were designed to be small and light weight. They were also designed to produce no distortion in either spatial or spectral direction. That means the color sample is the same for all pixels in a row and the ground image is the same for all pixels in a column.
The M3 photodetector array comprises the Teledyne 6604A mercury-cadmium-telluride sensor chip assembly. A set of filters is placed directly in front of the detector to eliminate unwanted light that was introduced by the grating.
Due to the large volume of data that is generated by this imaging spectrometer, and the desire to make a full mineralogical map of the lunar surface, the instrument was designed to operate in two modes. Target Mode provides full resolution for specific targets of interest and Global Mode which averages 2 pixels in the spatial direction and 2 to 4 pixels in the spectral direction and reduces the amount of data by a factor of 12. The priority for operations was to first obtain the full lunar surface in Global Mode, then obtain the most interesting regions using Target Mode.
M3 Instrument - Flight Configuration Pictures
This is the rear view of the M3instrument in Flight Configuration with Optical Bench Assembly (OBA) and Instrument Electronics Assembly (IEA) connected.
M3 Team Photo Collection
| M3 Science Team |
| Thomas Glavich || Project Manager (2005 - 2008), NASA JPL |
| Mary L. White || Project Manager (2008 - End of Mission), NASA JPL |
| Carlé Pieters || Principal Investigator, Brown University |
| Robert O. Green || Instrument Scientist, NASA JPL |
| Joseph Boardman || Geometric Calibration, Analytical Imaging and Geophysics LLC |
| Bonnie Buratti || Photometry Calibration and Validation, NASA JPL |
| Roger N. Clark || Volatiles, Thermal Calibration, USGS |
| James W. Head || Science Targets, Brown University |
| Peter Isaacson || Synthetic Data, Brown University |
| Rachel Klima || Parameter Definition, Brown University |
| Georgiana Kramer || Reflectance Calibration and Data Validation, Bear Fight Center |
| Sarah Lundeen || Instrument Ground Data System, NASA JPL |
| Erick Malaret || Level 2 Data Production, Applied Coherent Technology Corp. |
| Thomas McCord || Reflectance Calibration and Validation, Bear Fight Center |
| Stephanie McLaughlin || Level 2 Data Archive, University of Maryland |
| Daniel Moriarty || System Analyst (2011 - End of Mission), Brown University |
| John F. Mustard || Mixing, Brown University |
| Jeffrey Nettles || System Analyst (2005 - 2010), Brown University |
| Noah Petro || Target Coordinator, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center |
| Cassandra Runyon || Education Public Outreach, College of Charleston |
| Matthew Staid || Basalt Composition and Integration, Planetary Science Institute |
| Jessica Sunshine || Special Targets, Level 2 Data Lead, University of Maryland |
| Lawrence Taylor || Resource Targets, Ground Truth, Planetary Geosciences Institute |
| Stefanie Tompkins || Highlands Composition, DARPA |
| Padma Varanasi || Mission Operations, NASA JPL |
Last Updated: 28 August 2013