Vol 15, No 11

Panoramic camera on the Yutu lunar rover of the Chang’e-3 mission

Jian-Feng Yang, Chun-Lai Li, Bin Xue, Ping Ruan, Wei Gao, Wei-Dong Qiao, Di Lu, Xiao-Long Ma, Fu Li, Ying-Hong He, Ting Li, Xin Ren, Xing-Tao Yan


Abstract The Chang’e-3 panoramic camera, which is composed of two cameras with identical functions, performances and interfaces, is installed on the lunar rover mast. It can acquire 3D images of the lunar surface based on the principle of binocular stereo vision. By rotating and pitching the mast, it can take several photographs of the patrol area. After stitching these images, panoramic images of the scenes will be obtained. Thus the topography and geomorphology of the patrol area and the impact crater, as well as the geological structure of the lunar surface, will be analyzed and studied. In addition, it can take color photographs of the lander using the Bayer color coding principle. It can observe the working status of the lander by switching between static image mode and dynamic video mode with automatic exposure time. The focal length of the lens on the panoramic camera is 50 mm and the field of view is 19.7° × 14.5°. Under the best illumination and viewing conditions, the largest signal-to-noise ratio of the panoramic camera is 44 dB. Its static modulation transfer function is 0.33. A large number of ground testing experiments and on-orbit imaging results show that the functional interface of the panoramic camera works normally. The image quality of the panoramic camera is satisfactory. All the performance parameters of the panoramic camera satisfy the design requirements.


Keywords Moon — methods: observational — techniques: image processing — high angular resolution

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