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Sub KeV Atom Reflecting Analyser ( SARA - ESA/ISRO )

Scientific Objective

SARA will image the Moon surface using low energy

 neutral atoms as diagnostics in the energy range 10eV-2keV to address the following scientific objectives:

  • Imaging of the Moon�s surface composition including the permanently shadowed areas and volatile rich areas
  • Imaging of the solar wind surface interaction
  • Imaging the lunar surface magnetic anomalies Studies of space weathering


Studies of space weathering

The Moon does not possess a magnetosphere and atmosphere. Therefore, the solar wind ions directly impinge on the Moon surface that results of the surface layers. The sputtered particles leave the surface mostly as neutral atoms. A majority of these atoms has energy exceeding the escape energy of Moon and thus such atoms propagate along undisturbed trajectories. The SARA instrument is designed to detect such atoms with sufficient angular and mass resolution to address the above scientific objectives. SARA will be the first-ever energetic neutral atom imaging mass spectrometer used for planetary exploration.

Payload Configuration Details

Mechanically the SARA instrument consists of three boxes: SARA neutral atom sensor CENA (Chandrayan-1 Energetic Neutrals Analyzer), SARA solar wind monitor SWIM (Solar WInd Monitor), and SARA DPU (Digital Processing Unit). The total weight of SARA is 3.5 kg with CENA weighing 2kg, SWIM weighing 0.5kg and DPU weighing 1kg.

SARA is realized through ESA, in collaboration with Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Sweden and Space Physics Laboratory, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, ISRO. The Data Processing Unit of this payload/ experiment is designed and developed by ISRO, while Swedish Institute of Space Physics develops the payload.

Links for additional information

Swedish Institute Of Space Physics

University of Bern