LUCKNOW: The scientists of prestigious IIT-Kanpur share the pride of contributing to country’s most ambitious moon mission – Chandrayaan-2 – successfully launched on Monday. The premier institute has developed a motion planning and mapping generation software to help the rover on Chandrayaan -2 in movement, landing and guide its route on the lunar surface.
The mission is majorly indigenous with orbiter, lander and rover designed and made almost entirely in India.
The software for rover Pragyan has been developed by a team of IIT-K scientists Prof Ashish Datta of the Mechanical Engineering Department and Prof KS Venkatesh of Electrical Engineering wing. The rover, Pragyan, is a 6-wheeled vehicle with a mass of 27 kg that runs on 50 W of solar power and can travel up to 500 m at a speed of 1 cm per second. The rover communicates directly with the lander. It will hold cameras, alpha-proton X-ray spectrometer, and a laser-induced ablation spectroscopy experiment.
According to the team of scientists, it took them around a year to develop the software which is based on algorithm system. “For the first time, such a software is developed in the country and it has made India join the league of nations making the software for lunar rover,” says the team.
The rover fitted with the software would trace water and mineral wealth on the lunar surface and send relevant pictures to the laboratory for further research and examination. It will also save energy and time required to reach the target area, the scientists say.
"The software would be operated with a 20-watt solar battery and assist the rover in drilling the lunar surface to trace water and other chemicals inside it," they claimed.
Chandrayaan-2 is expected to reach the moon in early September 2019. It is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission which had 11 payloads — five from India, three from Europe, two from the US and one from Bulgaria.
The primary objective of Chandrayaan-2 is to demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface and operate a robotic rover on the surface. Scientific goals include studies of lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, the lunar exosphere, and signatures of hydroxyl and water ice.
Chandrayaan-1 is credited with having discovered water on the surface of the moon.