LRO Diviner Nonlinear Response and Opposition Effect Corrections


Aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment measures thermal radiation to determine the brightness temperature of the lunar surface. As with the Mars Climate Sounder (upon which Diviner is based), we use pre-flight calibration data to correct for the nonlinear response in Diviner’s detectors, which in-turn accounts for much of the detector non-uniformity within channels. Furthermore, channels 8 and 9 exhibit unexpectedly high brightness temperatures close to the equator around midday, with even higher brightness temperatures when observing lunar highlands as opposed to maria. Unexpectedly high brightness temperatures around midday at the equator is reminiscent of the opposition effect known to exist on the Moon at low phase angles in Visual to Near Infra-Red (VNIR) wavelengths. Diviner channel 2 data (which detects solar radiation reflected by the Moon) shows this opposition effect, which is more pronounced in the highlands than the maria. We interpret a correlation we observe between channel 2 detected radiance and channel 8 and 9 brightness temperature as due to incomplete blocking of reflected solar radiation. This leads us to an opposition effect correction for Diviner channels 8 and 9 dependent on Diviner’s solar channel data. Whether this is a direct leak of VNIR light upon the detectors, or solar heating of blocking filters, which then radiate infrared radiation upon the detectors, is yet to be determined. We can use the nonlinearity and opposition effect corrections to recharacterize the spectral emissivity of the lunar regolith, which we can then compare to laboratory spectra.