Senin, 10 November 2008

Chandrayaan-1 Moon Probe

I've seen a lot of mainstream media coverage of India's Chandrayaan-1 moon probe recently. The significance for the mapping community is the mission goal of creating a 3D lunar surface model.

This page on the Indian Space Research Organization's site outlines the specifications of the various payloads:
1) Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC)
2) Hyperspectral Imager (HySI)
3)
Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument (LLRI)
4) High Energy X-ray Spectrometer (HEX)
5)
Moon Impact Probe (MIP)

Of particular interest are the TMC and the LLRI.

The TMC will have a 5 meter spatial resolution and pushbroom sensors in forward, nadir and reverse directions. This will allow for stereo data collection that can be used for topographic mapping applications. A concise summary document is here, which I would recommend for anyone interested in the topic.

The LLRI will is an excellent complementary sensor to the TMC, and as one would expect from the name, is essentially a on-board LIDAR sensor. A summary document is available here.

It is also interesting to note that the Chandrayaan-1 mission is the first in a series of five planned missions. These are all outlined on the ISRO page here.

It'll certainly be interesting to see the data products Chandrayaan-1 will produce. To my knowledge this is the first lunar mapping project since the Clementine mission in 1994, which collected much of the lunar surface at 7-20 meters GSD with it's camera (not in stereo, I believe). LIDAR data was collected during that mission as well.
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