LUNAR SURFACE SAMPLING FEASIBILITY EVALUATION METHOD FOR CHANG’E-5 MISSION
Keywords: Chang’E-5 Mission, Lunar Surface Sampling, Sampling Feasibility, Digital Elevation Model, manipulator arm
Abstract. 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.