Spacecraft’s Cameras Arrive at SpaceIL’s Lab
Moon Selfie looks closer than ever
For months, SpaceIL electronics team worked to find a solution for the cameras which meet the criteria of the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. Now, after a long wait, the spacecraft’s most important sub-system: the cameras, finally arrives at SpaceIL’s lab. In the lab, known as the Avionics Laboratory, various tests will now be performed on the cameras, towards the final integration of the spacecraft in the future, along with other various spacecraft components.
The selected camera system is an 8 megapixel HD, including two sets of video processors, for redundancy (as a response in case of a malfunction).
SpaceIL’s solution includes a special AF lens, to survive and function in the harsh environmental conditions and extreme temperature range prevailing at the Moon: -120 + 120 ° C. The camera’s weight is ~ 130 grams and is is made of titanium and hard glass.
“The day the camera finally arrived at our offices was a special day for me,” says Sandy Hefftz-Millard, head of avionics. “For a hardware engineer, the fun part starts when you can hold the tangible product in your hands. On the first day, we took the camera to one of our sterile laboratories and opened the package, to weigh it and to test its electronics. There was a great excitement in the room. We even tried two different weighing scales, to verify the weight of the camera”.
In the coming months, the team will continue to work vigorously on the integration of the camera and the adjustment to extreme environmental conditions. Meanwhile, the team temporary uses a “normal” camera lens, like the ones you can get in photography stores, for the purpose of testing.