Simulation of LCROSS hydroxyl band strength data

Tovar, Sergio Andre
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In 2009, NASA launched the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission to confirm and characterize the presence of water ice in the Moon. This work aims to characterize the Moon's regolith by analysing LCROSS data not studied in detail before, the hydroxyl (OH) band strength observations. A simulated OH band strength was obtained by an improved numerical model based on previous work by Heldmann et al. (2015). Using a fitting method, we fitted three hypothesized OH-producing processes to the OH band strength data. Multiple solutions arose from the fitting method, and the models were only moderately constrained. The results indicate that a prompt release of OH is necessary to explain early data, and that most of the OH band signal after ~ 15 seconds was produced by the photodissociation of water from ice-containing grains in the LCROSS impact-plume