Monday, September 28, 2009

India's Chandrayaan II under development

Kautilya Singh
Indian Express

Though the Chandrayan-I mission ended prematurely this August, work is already underway for India's second mission, and mission planners at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) working in the project have enlisted professors at the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) to help develop India’s first lunar rover.

Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, has already partnered with ISRO to aid development of the Chandrayaan II robotic lunar lander.

Meanwhile, ISRO asked IIT-K to develop and test three components of the lunar rover, now scheduled to be launched to the Moon in 2012.

Of "eight major components" of the rover, according to ISRO, three components assigned to IIT-K include "development and testing of computer vision-based autonomous 3D map generation system, kinematic traction control, and control and motor dynamics of the six wheels of the vehicle."

K. S. Vnkatesh, associate professor of IIT-K's electrical engineering department, is working on the visual navigation project, and Ashish Dutta, associate professor of mechanical engineering, has been assigned responsibility for development and validation of the "kinematic traction control" component.

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