LUMIO winner of ESA's LUCE SysNova competition
At the beginning of 2017, the European Space Agency (ESA) selected four proposals to carry out a feasibility study in response to the Lunar Cubesats for Exploration (LUCE) call of the SYSNOVA competition. The proposal of the Dept. of Aerospace Science and Technology, with PoliMi as prime contractor of a consortium with TU Delft, EPFL, Leonardo, Uni. Arizona, and S&T Norway, was selected (here the news published on ESA website). The Teams have been contracted to perform 4 parallel, competitive studies.
During 2017, the Team has worked on LUMIO: Lunar Meteoroid Impacts Observer, a futuristic mission to the Moon. LUMIO is a CubeSat mission to a halo orbit at Earth–Moon second Lagrange point that shall observe, quantify, and characterise meteoroid impacts on the lunar farside by detecting their impact flashes, complementing Earth-based observations on the Lunar nearside, to provide global information on the Lunar Meteoroid Environment and contribute to Lunar Situational Awareness. The concept the Team has designed is summarized in this video and in Figure 1.
The final reviews have been conducted at ESA ESTEC premises in Netherlands during December 6-8, 2017. These were aimed to determine the winner of the competition. LUMIO has been awarded winner of the competition, and as such it will undergo an independent assessment from ESA, i.e. a Concurrent Design Facility session. If the outcome is positive, the study will go through subsequent phases up to development and launch, and Politecnico di Milano would be Principal Investigator (PI) of a lunar mission.