Moon Village Association Calls for Institutional Participation

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The Moon Village Association (MVA) aims to contribute to humanity’s journey to the Moon by developing and implementing payloads to the lunar surface, fostering global cooperation and inspiring the public. 

The first MVA payload team has decided to develop a camera mounted on a lunar lander. This camera would take images of the Earth to re-enact the famous “Overview Effect”. In addition, the camera will have a radiation sensor that would measure the radiation intensity at the surface of the landing area. The radiation readings will be interpreted into “sound signals”, which would then be used as a stimulating effect with the image to create more publicity.

The “Overview Effect” originated from Earth pictures taken by the Apollo mission. It embodies the spirit of cooperation that the Moon Village has. It will also be a powerful tool to raise awareness of the Moon Village and its relevance for Earth’s sustainable development.

The Moon Village Association would like to invite the institutes to participate in developing this project that is now contemplating: definition, development, launch and operations of a lunar surface Earth-imaging payload.

Who can contribute to this project?

  • A private company or start-up willing to demonstrate their technology in a lunar mission. You may build your part and send it to the moon with the MVA payload.
  • An emerging space company that wants to develop its capacity, what better way to achieve this than having a footprint on a lunar mission?.
  • A university team passionate about exploring the moon, you can join this mission to satisfy your enthusiasm.

System block Diagram

The camera system will be mounted on a lander so that all interfaces will be allocated to each partner.

Art view of the camera on the lander. Source: MVA

The following block diagram illustrates the detailed technical parts of the camera system and its allocation to partner(s).

Work packages:

  • Camera Electronics: EPFL (https://www.epfl.ch/en/) has been selected as a partner for this work package.
  • Radiation sensor WP: In addition to the optical camera system, a radiation sensor will be mounted at the external surface of the housing, this can measure the radiation intensity at the surface of the landing area. Moreover, the radiation readings will be interpreted into “sound signals”. MVA is looking for a partner to develop such a radiation sensing system with its external digital readout circuit connected to the command and data handling subsystem.
  • Optical-mechanical WP(s): MVA is looking for an institute that can take the role of the optical-mechanical design. The institute will fabricate and assemble an optical, mechanical system that will be able to survive the harsh lunar environment, and take a good image of the earth. The image quality will be assessed based on the Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) and Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The system is miniaturised to facilitate thermal stabilisations and dust mitigation through a shutter mechanism.

MVA is also looking for more than one partner that can provide one or more of the following:

  • Optical design and manufacturing;
  • Mechanical Design and manufacturing;
  • Thermal control design and manufacturing;
  • Lunar environment simulation (thermal, radiation, regolith); and
  • Mechanism design and manufacturing.

MVA understands that the effort is voluntary and would not expect an expensive component or module.

  • System-Level Design and Lander Interfacing: MVA is looking for an institute that can handle the system-level design and lander interface role. The requirement is to have a good understanding of the various kinds of landers for the proposed lunar missions in the next few years. This partner will also manage the interface between the camera system (electrical, mechanical and environmental) interface requirements and the potential lander system. The partner shall provide documentation that allows an integration of the camera system as a whole and with the lander system- once selected at the final phase. An advisory of lander system selection would be appreciated.
  • Additionally, the partner may provide the assembly integration and testing process to the camera subsystems.
  • Supporting partner: This work package is dedicated to new ideas and partners who are willing to participate in the project for the sake of capacity building, providing regional outreach or conducting research.
  • MVA would like to address regions where such activities are not covered yet; hence, MVA expects an educational partner who can provide training sessions and educational activities for students and researchers in potential countries.

The tentative time frame for the project is shown below

If you wish to participate in this exciting project, please provide your response by return email to: Dr Ayman Ahmed, Project Manager: ayman.ahmed@moonvillageassociation.org and send a copy to Glafki Antoniou, MVA Management Support: mva-aso@cseo.org.cy 

Please include in your email:

  • Institutional profile;
  • Brief description of relevant experiences and projects;
  • Please indicate in your response how you wish to participate and your organisation’s contact point.
  • What role your institute wish to take (please select at least one from the mentioned topics above)

Please note that this is NOT an invitation to submit project proposals.

The Moon Village Association is anticipating that applicants will be institutional members of the MVA once accepted. 

We look forward to hearing back from interested institutes, universities, companies, agencies and authorities by return email, not later than June 25, 2021.

Following the evaluation of the inputs received, the selected candidates will be contacted to initiate the project as soon as possible.

For more information about this project, kindly check here.