Starting position NASA This concept can be seen in robots adjusting wire nets in a ditch far from the moon, which can be used to create a radio telescope and explore the dawn of the universe.
After many years of development, the Lunar Radio Telescope (LCRD) project received 000 500,000 to support overtime as NASA enters the second phase of the Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. Although not yet NASA’s mission, the LCRD describes a mission concept that could change mankind’s view of the universe.
The main purpose of the LCRD is to measure the long-wavelength radio waves produced by the cosmic dark ages – which lasted several hundred million years. Big BangBut before the first stars start to be. Cosmologists did not know much about this period, but they did come up with answers to some of the greatest mysteries of science, which may have been limited to long-wave radio emissions from the gas that filled the universe at the time.
Said Joseph Lazio, a radio astronomer and member of the LCRD team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “With a radio telescope large enough on Earth, we can observe the processes that led to the formation of the first stars, and even see clues about the nature of dark matter.”
Radio telescopes on Earth cannot explore this mysterious period because from that moment long wave radio waves are reflected by a layer of ions and electrons in the upper part of our atmosphere, called the ionosphere. The random radio emissions of our noiseless civilization can also interfere with radio astronomy, drowning out weak signals.
But at a distance from the moon, there is no atmosphere that reflects these signals, and the moon is an obstacle to Earth’s radio conversations. The far side of the moon may have been an important medicine for the unprecedented exploration of the early universe.
Earth radio telescopes cannot see cosmic radio waves at about 33 feet [10 meters] Robotics technologist Saptarchi Pandiyupadhyay Jet Impulse Laboratory And Principal Analyst of the LCRD Project. “But previous ideas for building a radio antenna on the moon were resource-intensive and complex, so we had to find something else.”
Setting up telescopes with robots
To be sensitive to long radio wavelengths, the LCRD must be very large. The idea is to build an antenna with a width of more than 1 km in a ditch with a width of more than 3 km. The largest single-plate radio telescopes on earth – such as the 500 meter spherical telescope (fast) and 305 meter wide spherical telescope in China – are currently out of order. The Arecibo Laboratory in Puerto Rico has been built – in natural recessions, resembling bowls on the ground.
This type of radio telescope holds thousands of reflection panels under pressure and allows the entire surface of the ship to reflect radio waves. The receiver then hangs through a system of cables at a central point above the ship, anchored by towers to the perimeter of the ship, and radio waves jumping down from the curved surface. But despite its size and complexity, even the speed is not sensitive to radio wavelengths above 4.3 meters.
Pandiopadhyay, along with his engineers, robotics scientists and a team of scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, suppressed these types of radio telescopes in simple form. Their concept eliminates the need to carry heavy objects to the moon and uses robots to automate the construction process. Instead of using thousands of reflection panels to center the received radio waves, the LCRD will be built through a thin wire mesh in the center of the hole. A spacecraft will connect to the network and a separate lander will deposit the duoxel rovers to build the antenna in a few days or weeks.
Duaxel, an automated concept developed in JBL, consists of two identical passenger cars (called axles) that are detachable but connected by a rope. Half will act as an anchor at the edge of the pit as others descend to build the building.
“Duaxel solves a number of problems related to suspending such a large antenna into the lunar abyss,” said Patrick McCarthy, a robotics technologist at JBL and a member of the LCRT and Duaxel project team. “When connected to the axle rovers wires can enter the abyss, squeeze the wires, lift the wires and suspend the antenna.”
Identify the challenges
To take the project to the next level, they will use NIAC secondary funding to improve telescopic capabilities and various work methods, while identifying challenges along the way.
One of the biggest challenges the team faces at this point is the design of the cable network. To maintain the shape of the parabola and the precise distance between the wires, the meshes must be strong and flexible, but light enough to move. The network must be able to withstand changes in wild temperature on the lunar surface – minus 280 degrees Fahrenheit (Minus 173 of the phase Celsius) Up to 260 F (127 C) – no torque or damage.
Another challenge is whether docs compounds should be fully automated or incorporate human factor in the decision-making process. Can the DuAxels framework be integrated with other construction technologies? For example, launching horns on the lunar surface may better stabilize the LCRD network and require fewer robots.
Also, when the radio is “quiet” at this time far from the moon, it may change in the future. The Chinese space agency is currently in the process of exploring the lunar distance, and further development of the lunar surface could affect potential radio astronomical projects.
Over the next two years, the LCRT team will identify other challenges and questions. If successful, they can be selected for further development, which is a functional process that promotes pandyopathy.
“The development of this concept will lead to some significant progress along the way, especially with regard to implementation technologies and the use of robots to create giant structures outside the Earth,” he said. “I am proud to work with this diverse group of experts who inspire the world to think of the best ideas that can make innovative discoveries about the universe in which we live.”
NIAC is funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is responsible for developing new technologies and comprehensive capabilities for the organization.