With the Pragyaan rover poised to navigate the moon, its eyes to traverse the crater-filled lunar surface will be powered by a software developed by a Noida-based tech start-up.
Omnipresent Robot Technologies, which has been working closely with ISRO for the Chandrayaan series of lunar missions, has developed Perception Navigation Software for the Pragyaan rover that is housed in the Vikram landing module that touched down on the moon Wednesday evening.
“We are very excited and look forward to seeing the Pragyaan rover navigating the lunar surface using our software,” Aakash Sinha, Chief Executive Officer of Omnipresent Robot Technologies, told PTI here.
Sinha, who is also a professor at Shiv Nadar University, said the software developed by his start-up will capture images of the moon using the two cameras of the lunar rover and stitch them together to generate a 3-D map of the lunar landscape.
This software has been in-built in the rover and the image processing will be done onboard the spacecraft. The final 3D model will be transmitted back to the mission control, he said.
The scientists in the mission control can then take the rover for a tour of the photographed area on the basis of the 3D model of the lunar surface generated by the software.
“This software was originally developed for Chandrayaan-2, but the rover could not be deployed back then. This is now being used for Chandrayaan-3,” Sinha said.
Unlike foreign space agencies which use very expensive cameras, the Pragyaan rover uses just two cameras which act as its eyes, while the software generates the 3D maps of the lunar surface.
“The Pragyaan rover will find its way around the moon with these two eyes,” Sinha said.