Researchers from Jadavpur University work on simulation for ISRO to ensure soft landing for the lander on the moon, other planets

The project is part of ''Respond programme'' by ISRO with premier academic institutions related to space science, space technologies.


Two Jadavpur University researchers are working for an ISRO project on soft landing on the moon and other planets, an official said.

Sayan Chatterjee, Associate Professor of Electronics and Telecommunications and Co-Investigator of the project, told PTI the simulation-based model takes into account the gradual spiral descent during touchdown of lander onto the surface to ensure it does not crashland and touches ground like a feather.

The spiralling is planned when the lander touches down during the terminal phase after getting an angular view if there is a rock or boulder at its landing site, he said.

An illustration of Chandrayaan 2's lander Vikram. Image: ISRO

An illustration of Chandrayaan 2's lander Vikram. Image: ISRO

"We are doing the designing and simulation part based on our data. We can give an example of a kite which catches prey while flying after getting an angular view of the target. Once the designing part is done with, ISRO will do the fabrication," Chatterjee said.

Professor, Department of Power Engineering, Dr Amitava Gupta said the research takes into account proper landing of the lander - how it moves, how it rotates, that it does not suddenly gain speed while landing due to gravitational pull and pulled back and forth by opposing forces helping it to slow down the descent.

"It is not merely all about the ongoing Chandrayaan series project of ISRO, apart from moon, the soft landing may be of use for ISRO's mission to other planets," he said.

The project is part of ''Respond programme'' by ISRO with premier academic institutions related to space science, space technologies.

Chatterjee said for "planets where optical imaging will not work, the imaging has to be adapted appropriately.

"We are involving undergraduate students as interns, allowing them to get an exposure of live projects," Gupta said.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Prof Chiranjib Bhattacharya said he is proud and happy that two eminent researchers of JU are working on such a project in collaboration with ISRO.

In September 2019, Vikram lander, named after the father of India's space programme Vikram Sarabhai, had lost contact with the orbiter of the Chandrayaan-2 mission two minutes after it was to touchdown on the lunar surface near the moons south pole and had a hard-landing close to the location where it was planned to touchdown, ISRO had stated.

As Chandrayan-3 is expected to take place this year itself, "we think our findings may be of use for next Chandrayan mission of ISRO," Chatterjee said.


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