U.Va Creates Technology to Help NASA Moon Exploration – The Cavalier Daily

NASA has selected the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences to study technologies that could potentially be applied to future lunar missions because it Prepare Launch Artemis and send astronauts back to the moon.

With the last manned mission to the moon 50 years agoNASA and universities will work to expand what can be explored on the lunar surface.

electric and professor of computer engineering. Mool Gupta will lead the development of the technology to be created. His current project is a small rover capable of detecting not only surface features, but also subsurface features.

To be able to explore the moon, NASA needs an instrument that can detect rock composition and retrieve the signature of any traces of life on the moon. The novel instrument must also be lightweight because it will be sent millions of miles away. Gupta and his team proposed a lightweight, compact and low-power combination, small, tubular The head weighs less than an ounce.

“We proposed to NASA to develop a compact device that is versatile, meaning it can detect composition, chemical elements, information, biosignatures, surface morphology and thermal properties,” Gupta said.

exist August, NASA awarded the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences a $900,000 grant over two years to develop the project. NASA’s missions involve exploring different planets, looking for minerals in rock formations to understand how they formed, and exploring the possibility of life on the moon, Gupta said.

The instrument will be able to detect inorganic and organic compounds. Gupta and his lab experience Photonicsthe science behind light, essential for gathering data on light element signatureor the chemical composition of rocks.

Postdoctoral researcher Pawan Kanaujia has been in the lab for about a year, specializing in lasers and detection technologies.

“Light will scatter in different directions, and we’ll detect the scatter, depending on the substrate and where its spikes are,” Kanaujia said.

Unlike Earth, however, the Moon has no atmosphere and no scattering of light from its surface. Kanaujia explained that this means that the precision of the laser beam increases, and therefore the ability of the laser to retrieve the elemental composition of the material.

Using lasers can provide fluorescence and energy to power certain reactions, Gupta said. The material exposed to the laser beam evaporates and then emits light, allowing researchers to know what’s in the material.

The ability of the tiny rover to detect elements from the lunar surface will be of particular interest in less-discovered regions of the moon, such as the South Pole.because Southern Poland Region Possibly rich in resources, NASA is also interested in the ability of the mini-rovers to detect ice and analyze its composition.

Under Gupta’s tutelage, the students of the university participated in the NASA Big Ideas Challenge last year. They demonstrated that energy from solar panels placed on the moon can be converted into electricity, followed by laser energy, to power machines over long distances on the South Pole. Gupta explained how the students focused on the fact that crater tops in these shaded areas actually received sunlight, while craters several miles deep did not.

The technology could potentially be used on other planets with certain considerations and modifications. On planets with different atmospheric conditions, Gupta explained that the technique requires additional heating. The future benefits of such research could do wonders.

“There’s a lot of interest in exploring the South Pole and the Moon because it’s not only challenging for human society, but potentially rewarding in the long run,” Gupta said.

witty limited natural resources Available on Earth, scientists think the moon could be a gold mine for future generations.For example, since the Moon is rich in helium-3, scientists can harvest This energy from the moon will be used as fuel for future nuclear fusion power plants.

Thanks to the use of these advanced processes and techniques, Gupta and Kanaujia describe the research project as a multidisciplinary collaborative effort. For example, researchers with backgrounds in astrophysics, geology, optics, photonics or lasers are involved in the project.

These exploration efforts may determine whether life exists on the moon, perhaps leading us to send humans to the moon again in search of new discoveries.

Source link