The lunar orbiter laser altimeter investigation on the lunar reconnaissance orbiter mission

David E. Smith, Maria T. Zuber, Glenn B. Jackson, John F. Cavanaugh, Gregory A. Neumann, Haris Riris, Xiaoli Sun, Ronald S. Zellar, Craig Coltharp, Joseph Connelly, Richard B. Katz, Igor Kleyner, Peter Liiva, Adam Matuszeski, Erwan M. Mazarico, Jan F. McGarry, Anne Marie Novo-Gradac, Melanie N. Ott, Carlton Peters, Luis A. Ramos-IzquierdoLawrence Ramsey, David D. Rowlands, Stephen Schmidt, V. Stanley Scott, George B. Shaw, James C. Smith, Joseph Paul Swinski, Mark H. Torrence, Glenn Unger, Anthony W. Yu, Thomas W. Zagwodzki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

432 Scopus citations


The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) is an instrument on the payload of NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft (LRO) (Chin et al., in Space Sci. Rev. 129:391-419, 2007). The instrument is designed to measure the shape of the Moon by measuring precisely the range from the spacecraft to the lunar surface, and incorporating precision orbit determination of LRO, referencing surface ranges to the Moon's center of mass. LOLA has 5 beams and operates at 28 Hz, with a nominal accuracy of 10 cm. Its primary objective is to produce a global geodetic grid for the Moon to which all other observations can be precisely referenced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-241
Number of pages33
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Jan 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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