Moon in 360 degrees
The 360 degree scenic view of moon is captured with the help of rugged camera technology, which is controlled by a ‘camera pointing system’ (CPS). CPS is a sophisticated tool that protects camera under extreme conditions.
A joint team led by Professor Kai-leung Yung of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the China Academy of Space Technology, for Phase 2 of China's Lunar Exploration Programme have developed the CPS.
The Chang'e 3 lander successfully landed on the Moon in December, 2013 with CPS on-board. The CPS monitored the lunar rover, called Yutu, as it inclined onto the Moon's surface to launch the study, capturing panoramic images around its host machine.
The pictures that were taken by the CPS which had equal focal length are attached and transformed to construct a high resolution image.
The CPS has given a key record of the geographic features by capturing the 360 degree views of the moon. It has also provided features surrounding the landing site along with the full view of Yutu’s motion on the lunar surface.
The high accuracy of the CPS also allowed building of detailed lunar model that is used for planning Yutu’s movement. It will be deployed again for Chang'e 4, another lunar mission similar to Chang'e 3 that is set to launch on 2017-18, researchers said.
The dimensions of CPS are 85cm x 27cm x 16cm which weighs about 2.8Kg. It has a capability to move in 120 degrees in vertical direction and can rotate about 340 degrees in horizontal direction.
The design of CPS embeds various new technologies that help to operate in extreme conditions like ultra-high vacuum, high temperatures, and gravity one sixth of Earths cosmic radiation and high level tremors.