Experimental Ground Validation of Spectral Quality of the Chang'E-5 Lunar Mineralogical Spectrometer

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As the last stage of China's Chang'e (CE) lunar program, the Chang'e-5 lunar rover will land on the surface of moon, obtain lunar samples and then return back to Earth. The Lunar Mineralogical Spectrometer (LMS) is one of CE-5's onboard payloads, which is an important data source for the lunar exploration project. LMS spectral data is used to identify the composition of lunar minerals to aid in rock classification and stratigraphic analysis-all of which provide data required to support research on moon formation, geologic evolution and rock-water interactions. Compared with the CE-3 VIS/NIR imaging spectrometer (VNIS), the CE-5 LMS extends the spectral range from 450~2 400 to 480~3 200 nm. In addition to identifying the major minerals such as pyroxene and olivine, it can also detect absorption peaks around 3 000 nm characteristic of hydrous minerals. In addition, Chang'e-5 will sample thematerialbelow the surface of the moon, and LMS can detect the area before and after sampling, to analyze the spectral characteristics of lunar soil under different depths and weathering degrees, then compared with the laboratory spectra of the later return samples. In order to ensure the reliability of LMS lunar data, a pre-flight LMS ground validation experiment was carried out, using a variety of minerals and mineral mixed samples, collecting the detection data of LMS under different test environment, combining with a standard instrument to analyze the spectral quality. In this paper, spectral uncertainty parameters of all experiment samples were calculated and evaluated. Moreover, the LMS spectral data were consistent with those simultaneously obtained from standard comparison spectrometers under the same conditions, indicating that LMS could effectively identify the spectral profile and absorption peak of the targets.

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... China plans to launch Chang'e-5 lunar sample return mission in 2020 (Xinhua, 2020). As shown in Fig.1, the Chang'e-5 probe is composed of 4 modules: orbiter, returner, lander and ascender (Cai et al., 2019). The lander, carrying the ascender, will land in the northwest part of Oceanus Procellarum and take back at least 2 kilograms lunar samples (Gbtimes, 2017;Zhao et al., 2017;Xinhua, 2020). ...
... Then, the samples will be transferred to the ascender, and be brought to the orbiter after the processing of rendezvous and docking. After separating with orbiter, the returner will bring the samples back to Earth (Cai et al, 2019;Wang et al., 2019). Detailed topographic analysis of sampling areas is crucial to the effectiveness and safety of sampling operation. ...
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The topographic mapping of sampling areas, providing basic sampling environment information, is crucial in sample return mission. The fixed monitoring cameras were designed for mapping of sampling areas in fixed effective resolution. In order to perform more detailed topographic analysis of sampling areas, this paper proposed a topographic mapping method based on the sequential sample images captured with the movements of manipulator arm. The tie point matching results and the image exterior orientation parameters obtained from measurements of manipulator arm joints were employed to the weighted bundle adjustment based optimization for the accurate topographic mapping. The simulated images were adopted to validate the effectiveness and accuracy of the proposed method.
... The visible spectrometer can acquire images of the drilling and sampling sites. The measuring capabilities of LMS are listed below (Li et al., 2015;Cai et al., 2019). 1. Spectral range: 480 ∼3200 nm, covered by a VIS/NIR and an IR module. ...
Chang’e-5 mission is China’s first lunar sample return mission, 44 years after last robotic sampling by Luna-24 in 1976. Chang’e-5 aims at returning ~2 kg of lunar samples. It launched on November 24, 2020, landed on the Moon on December 1, 2020, sampled ~1731 g of lunar samples both by drilling and scooping, and returned back to the Earth on December 17, 2020. The Chang’e-5 landing site is in the Northern Oceanus Procellarum in the northwest nearside, which is covered by some of the youngest mare basalts on the Moon. The returned samples will be managed by Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center and stored in Ground Research Application System. The primary storage facility, equipped with qualified instruments, will be responsible for sample classification and curation. Both scientists from China and around the world can apply these samples upon application with outstanding research ideas.
In the early morning on December 17, 2020 Beijing time, China's chang'E-5 probe successfully returned to the Earth with 1731 grams of lunar samples after completing drilling, shoveling, packaging of lunar soil and scientific exploration on lunar surface. It is the successful completion of the third phase of China's lunar exploration project, namely “circling, landing and returning to the moon”. The scientific objectives of CE-5 mission are to carry out in situ investigation and analysis of the lunar landing region, laboratory research and analysis of lunar return samples. This paper analyzes scientific exploration tasks of CE-5 mission conducted on the lunar surface, and carries out the scientific payload system architecture design and individual scientific payload design with the scientific exploration task requirements as the target, and proposes the working mode and main technical index requirements of the scientific payloads. Based on the preliminary geological background study of the Mons Ruemker region which is the landing region of CE-5, the lunar scientific exploration and the laboratory physicochemical characterization of the return samples are of great scientific significance for our in-depth understanding of the formation and evolution of the Earth-Moon system and the chemical evolution history of the lunar surface.
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As China’s first unmanned spacecraft to collect lunar surface samples and return them to Earth, the Chang’E-5 detector is a crucial probe that will complete lunar surface sampling in China’s lunar exploration project. This lunar sampling will be the first successful lunar surface sampling return mission in China. Sampling decisions needs to be made based on topographical analysis results and characteristics of the area to be explored. Due to the unknown extraterrestrial terrain and uncertainty of sampled objects, we propose a sampling feasibility estimation for safely implementing lunar surface sampling.Our strategy took into account the influence of factors that may interfere with the sampling process, and provided quantitative assessment of the sampling feasibility for the area to be explored. We combined the three-dimensional topography of the lunar surface with five parameters of the sampling area, flatness, slope, slope aspect, accessibility of the mechanical arm distal end, and safety of sampling conditions. The first three values were calculated based on a digital elevation model (DEM) of the landing area generated using stereo images. The other values were computed based on the mechanical properties of the arm and kinematic analysis of its articulated joints. Based on the above-mentioned quantitative parameters, they were weighed to obtain an evaluation value for the sampling feasibility of each DEM pixel. Meanwhile, a multichannel sampling area analysis graph was generated that combined all the above indicators as well as the sampling feasibility values, which provides a visualization for determining detection targets in the Chang’E-5 sampling mission.
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