Evidence of shallow basaltic lava layers in Von Kármán crater from Yutu-2 Lunar Penetrating Radar

Iraklis Giannakis*, Javier Martin-Torres, Yan Su, Jianqing Feng, Feng Zhou, Maria Paz Zorzano, Craig Warren, Antonios Giannopoulos

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Yutu-2 – the rover from the Chang'E-4 mission – is the longest operational Lunar rover, and the first rover to land on the far side of the Moon. It is the second planetary rover to be equipped with ground-penetrating radar (GPR), one of the few in-situ geophysical techniques used in planetary exploration. Since landing in 2019, Yutu-2 has travelled more than 1 kilometre in the Von Kármán (VK) crater, and has been able to investigate the dielectric properties of the shallow Lunar ejecta using its on-board high frequency GPR channels. In this paper, we use advanced signal processing and frequency attributes to infer a detailed dielectric structure of the first ≈30 metres of the subsurface, providing valuable information on the ilmenite content of the landing site. Both the dielectric properties and the ilmenite content suggest a shallow sequence of Imbrian basaltic layers overlaying a low-ilmenite ejecta blanket.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115837
Number of pages11
JournalIcarus
Volume408
Early online date14 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2024

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