How Chandrayaan 2 Vikram Lander was located on lunar surface?
New Delhi, Sep 08: In what seems to be a major breakthrough, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has found out the exact location of the Vikram lander that had lost communication with the space agency just moments before its scheduled soft landing on Saturday.
As per the space agency, it has found the thermal image of the lander but has not been able to establish communicate with it yet.
The lander was located with the help of the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, which remains safe and is revolving around the Moon. The orbiter managed to shoot a thermal image of the Vikram lander.
What is thermal imaging?
Thermal imaging is a method of improving visibility of objects in a dark environment by detecting the objects' infrared radiation and creating an image based on that information.
Thermal imaging, near-infrared illumination, low-light imaging and are the three most commonly used night vision technologies. Unlike the other two methods, thermal imaging works in environments without any ambient light. Like near-infrared illumination, thermal imaging can penetrate obscurants such as smoke, fog and haze.
Thermal images are normally grayscale in nature: black objects are cold, white objects are hot and the depth of gray indicates variations between the two. Some thermal cameras, however, add color to images to help users identify objects at different temperatures.
How Vikram Lander was spotted?
The ISRO is collecting telematic data, final emissions and signals, last sets of sensor data downloads apart from making continuous effort to raise communication with lander Vikram. The lander was located with the help of the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, which remains safe and is revolving around the Moon. The orbiter managed to shoot a thermal image of the Vikram lander. The camera which uses thermal imaging can take a clear photograph of anything up to 0.3 metres or .08 feet on the lunar surface. So, with the help of thermal imagining, ISRO could found the exact location of the Vikram Lander.
What is a Thermographic camera?
A thermographic camera (also called an infrared camera or thermal imaging camera or infrared thermography) is a device that forms a heat zone image using infrared radiation, similar to a common camera that forms an image using visible light. Instead of the 400-700 nanometre range of the visible light camera, infrared cameras operate in wavelengths as long as 14,000 nm (14 µm). Their use is called thermography.
Lander - Vikram
Weight: 1,471 kg
Electric Power Generation Capability: 650 W
The Lander of Chandrayaan 2 is named Vikram after Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, the Father of the Indian Space Programme. It is designed to function for one lunar day, which is equivalent to about 14 Earth days. Vikram has the capability to communicate with IDSN at Byalalu near Bangalore, as well as with the Orbiter and Rover. The Lander is designed to execute a soft landing on the lunar surface.