February 26, 2024

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

How Hong Kong PolyU helped land a lunar probe on the moon – Part I

Image Credits: HK PolyU, Press Release

According to a recent press release, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) announced that it proudly supported the nation’s current lunar exploration, Chang’e-4 lunar probe, which successfully performed the historic landing on the far side of the Moon on 3 January 2019.

The following report will cover how the university helped map out a landing site for the probe using the universities state-of-the-art tech and shining talent.

The mission employed PolyU’s advanced technologies, namely the design and development of an advanced Camera Pointing System, and an innovative lunar topographic mapping and geomorphological analysis technique in landing site characterisation for the spacecraft.

This is the world’s first-ever landing on the far side of the Moon – marking an incredible event in the history of the human race. And PolyU had so much to do with it.

Landing site characterisation

For the first lunar mission in the world to land a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon, the selection of a safe landing site with scientific value is of paramount importance.

The Associate Professor of Poly’s Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics and his team have been conducting research, titled “Chang’e-4 Landing Site – Topographic and Geomorphological Characterisation and Analysis” since March 2016.

Funded by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), the team amassed a large amount of lunar remote sensing data from multi-sources to create high-precision and high-resolution topographic models for two potential landing regions, one of them is the current Chang’e-4 landing site, the Von Kármán crater inside the South Pole – Aitken basin on the far side of the Moon.

The doctor and his team studied two landing regions for Chang’e-4 mission, each covering an area of about 1,500 square kilometres – 1.4 times of the total area of Hong Kong. They analysed in detail the terrain slopes, terrain occlusions to sun illumination and telecommunication, crater distribution, rock abundance, and geological history of the region. These analyses helped the team to put forward a sound and evidenced-based proposal of possible landing sites.

The team gathered information of more than 400,000 craters and over 20,000 boulders in the candidate landing regions. It had also analysed the terrain surface and calculated the gradient of the slopes to identify relatively flat sites for a safe landing.

Rock abundance of the region had to be considered in detail because boulders can be as large as 35 metres in diameter and can block the way of the rover, whereas small rocks may get into the wheels, hence creating a problem in the rover’s movement.

The doctor noted that the Chang’e-4 landing site was to be on the far side of the Moon, without direct radio communication from Earth. In addition, the terrain surface of the landing region is also very rough with elevation differences up to 16km, which required a nearly perpendicular descent design.

These issues made the mission very challenging, the professor added.

The study in terrain occlusions to sun illumination and telecommunication is particularly important to ensure good illumination conditions to charge the solar panels on the lander and rover so that the onboard scientific sensors can be functional, and ensure good signal reception and data transmission between the control centre on Earth and the lander and rover.

After the successful landing of Chang’e-4 on 3 January 2019, the team worked together with the CAST team to immediately locate the precise location of the lander and analysed the terrain occlusions to sun illumination and telecommunication around the lander for better scheduling of action of the lander and rover.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

Send this to a friend