RIGEL

Rock Identification for Geological
Evaluation

Computer Vision Project

Apollo 14 was the third mission to land on the Moon and was largely successful, especially in terms of science goals. The lunar rocks collected during the EVAs were especially unique too, since they were some of the oldest found. However, during an EVA to the Cone Crater, the astronauts missed their destination by just 30 metres. The journey was physically exhausting, their supplies were running low, and it was difficult for them to gain their bearings in the hilly terrain.

This occurrence inspired CLAWS members to harness the data and technologies that are now available to help prevent something like this from happening again. RIGEL will use computer vision techniques along with high resolution lunar images to identify geological features. This work will help lunar astronauts better understand their environment. A stretch goal of the project is photogrammetry, to help understand distances on the lunar surface. This is currently a difficult problem for the human eye due to the lighting conditions on the moon.