New Delhi: The India’s dream mission- Chandrayaan-3 will be controlled by the computers and the AI guide during the last 15 minutes which the scientists call “15 minutes of terror” before the lunar touchdown, according to scientists.
ISRO scientists informed, “On September 7, 2019, during the crucial 15-minute touchdown maneuver, the Chandrayaan 2 lander Vikram crashed on the moon’s surface, marking a pivotal failure. The lander failed to switch from a horizontal to vertical position as needed, resulting in a crash during the “fine braking phase,” now referred to as the “15 minutes of terror”.
However, there’s a significant difference this time around. While the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru and the mission scientists will closely monitor the landing process, they won’t have control over the craft’s actions.
Computers Logic to Guide Chandrayaan-3
The complete landing sequence of Chandrayaan-3 during the crucial 15-minute descent phase will be directed by pre-programmed computer logic integrated into the lander’s computers, guidance, and control navigation systems, according to a report in The Indian Express.
During this process, the ISTRAC center in Bengaluru will gather signal data transmitted by the Chandrayaan 3 lander. This data will then be transmitted to multiple locations, including the Deep Space Network in Bengaluru, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the US, and a European Space Agency station in Spain.
During the critical descent maneuver on Wednesday, starting at 17:47, the mission control center will be unable to send any commands to the lander. The touchdown is scheduled for 6:04 pm.
“For the Chandrayaan-3 mission, the lander will rely on its programmed artificial intelligence (AI) to execute a secure and gentle landing,” News18 quoted report as stating.
Sensors and Camera to Guide Chandrayaan-3 Precise Touchdown
In the intricate task of remotely operating a spacecraft, sensors and cameras take center stage. These vital components determine crucial factors like location, speed, and orientation, shaping the craft’s trajectory.
The lander of Chandrayaan-3 will be equipped with sensors that perform intricate calculations during its descent from 30 km above the moon’s surface to 7.42 km, encompassing the initial 10 minutes of the 15-minute landing process.
ISRO Chairman S Somnath emphasized the pivotal role of sensors, highlighting their ability to gauge the lander’s position, speed, and orientation—a foundation for precise operations. Among these sensors are velocimeters and altimeters, which provide critical speed and altitude references.
As Chandrayaan-3 sets its sights on a successful landing, these sensors and camera technology serve as the craft’s navigational senses, ensuring a controlled and safe descent onto the lunar surface.
The craft is also equipped with various cameras, including a hazard avoidance camera and inertia-based cameras. By combining data from these cameras with the sensor inputs through an algorithm, a clear indication of the lander’s precise positioning is achieved.
Furthermore, ISRO scientists have incorporated an AI system into the navigation, guidance, and control system of the lander. This advanced system aids in accurately positioning the lander for a secure and gentle touchdown, enhancing the mission’s overall success.