Friday, June 13, 2008

GLXP Spacecraft Subsystem Design Tour

The latest from the Google Lunar X PRIZE Teams site includes a burst of posts from Micro-Space:

Communications - The GLXP requires significant amounts of data to be returned from the Moon. This post discusses engineering tradeoffs balancing communication signal and noise based on different Earth-based antenna types and lunar transmitter power. Now just imagine how hard the problem gets at Mars and beyond ...

Thermal Lander Challenges - Micro-Space moves on to another necessary spacecraft subsystem.

Google Lunar Communications Summary - This continues (and repeats a bit of) the previous discussions, but using the SETI antennas (from that Preferred GLXP Partner) as a case study. I'll leave it to the Electrical Engineers to check the math and engineering ...

Rovers and Lunar Regolith: A Quick Note - This note on the properties of lunar regolith and how rover wheels would work in it may be directed at some rover test posts by one of the other teams.

Testing Four Wheels - Speaking of which, Astrobotic posts a rover wheel picture with some short comments about testing. In the past they've posted several other rover test videos and pictures.

Joseph Gangestad post: "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Pixels"; a primer in understanding lunar digital imagery - LunaTrex posts on the CCD subsystem needed to take those images/videos the GLXP requires.