A Concept Payload for a Lunar Orbiter: Catching Lunar Impact Flash Facility (CLIFF)
Albert Kong1*, Zhong-Yi Lin2, Wing-Huen Ip2, Kwan Lok Li3, Shinsuke Abe4, Tetsuya Fukuhara5
1Institute of Astronomy, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan
2Graduate Institute of Astronomy, National Central University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
3Department of Physics, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
4Department of Aerospace Engineering, Nihon University, Japan
5Department of Physics, Rikkyo University, Japan
* Presenter:Albert Kong, email:akong@phys.nthu.edu.tw
We propose a multi-waveband camera system called Catching Lunar Impact Flash Facility (CLIFF) onboard a proposed lunar orbiter. The main scientific objective is observing lunar impact flashes (LIFs) with both visible light and thermal infrared (IR) for the first time at a low lunar orbit. Because of the proximity, CLIFF is able to detect LIFs caused by micro-meteoroids that have never been observed before. With its high-speed camera, we will follow the evolution of LIFs with different colour filters in a much higher resolution. We will also perform the first thermal IR observations of LIFs allowing us to trace the residual hotspots from the impacts. Thermal IR observations will enable the first thermal temperature global mapping of the Moon. Observations provided by CLIFF are not only unprecedented, but also crucial for our understanding of the formation and evolution of the solar system.

Keywords: Lunar impact flash, Lunar science, Space mission