GLEE (The Great Lunar Expedition for Everyone) is a mission to the surface of the Moon, to conduct scientific experiments and test technology using hundreds of LunaSats (ChipSats of size 5cm x 5cm). These LunaSats are being built by students from all around the world. Yes, these are devices that can literally fit in the palm of your hand, capable of carrying out complex payloads on the surface of the moon. The project is headed by a team from CU Boulder with various other universities all over the world part of it. Our team at IITBSSP is one of the many student teams actively involved in the mission. The work that we do includes study for possible payloads, component interfacing for the LunaSat and designing the PCB for the same.
Some of the payloads that our team has worked on include dust detection on the lunar surface, radio astronomy using multiple LunaSats as an antenna array and micrometeoroid impact detection on the moon. Such a small size, along with the challenging Lunar environment, presents its own constraints on system design. The LunaSat will be powered by a solar panel occupying almost half of its area. Due to constraints on size, we have to use a lesser number of components to carry out our payload studies and also take care of the data processing and data storage onboard the LunaSat. All the data will be relayed back to the Earth via a common lander, which will also initially deploy LunaSats on the lunar surface. This data will then be analysed on the ground for further studies. The LunaSats would be functional for approximately 5 earth days. An ambitious mission for sure, we hope to reach the moon by 2023. Do check out our page on team members to know more about the people who gleefully work on this system.
(*Click on the respective image for the reference)