PolyU Provides Multi-disciplinary Support to the Nation's Historic Landing on the Far Side of the Moon
HONG KONG, January 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) 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. Adopted by Chang'e-4 mission was 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 space craft.
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"PolyU is very honoured to be involved in and to make contributions to the nation's lunar missions, in particular in this debut landing on the far side of the Moon, the first-ever in the history of mankind," said Professor Alex WAI, Vice President (Research Development), PolyU. "PolyU attaches great importance to the mission and mobilises multi-disciplinary resources to ensure the deliverables meet the stringent requirements of a space mission."
Landing site characterisation
For the first lunar mission in the world to land a space craft on the far side of the Moon, the selection of a safe landing site with scientific value is of paramount importance. Dr Bo WU, Associate Professor of Poly's Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics, has led a team to conduct a 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.
Dr Wu and his team studied two landing regions for Chang'e-4 mission, each covering an area of about 1,500 square kilometers, which is 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.