Lunar and Planetary Institute






Apollo 17 Mission


Science Experiments - Surface Electrical Properties

The Surface Electrical Properties transmitting antenna.The Surface Electrical Properties transmitting antenna.

The Surface Electrical Properties Experiment was performed on Apollo 17. It consisted of a transmitting antenna deployed near the lunar module and a receiving antenna on the Lunar Rover. At several different traverse stops, electrical signals were transmitted through the regolith and recorded on the Lunar Rover. Comparison of the transmitted and received signals allowed the electrical properties of the regolith to be determined. This information was intended to provide "ground truth" for the analysis of orbital observations by the Bistatic Radar and Lunar Sounder Experiments. In addition, the results of this experiment showed that the upper 2 kilometers of the lunar surface are extremely dry, which is consistent with measurements of lunar rock composition.