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Customer:European Space Agency 
Prime contractor:Astos Solutions
Project Status:finalized

Project Objectives

MoonDesk is a tool for the visualisation of space scenarios with focus on landing missions. It provides a very realistic visalisation of planetary surfaces with resolutions up to 0.5m. Eclipse and local shadowing effects are calculated in real-time such that correct lighting conditions are shown. The required ephemerides and spin data for celestial bodies and spacecrafts are part of MoonDesk.

As MoonDesk is based on the Astos Solutions visualisation engine VESTA, not only celestial bodies but also spacecrafts and ground vehicles are displayed in a higly realistic manner, whereas not only local shadowing but also the reflectivity and texture of surface materials are considered.

On top, MoonDesk can display a variety of data like

  • trajectories of spacerafts, rovers and celestial bodies,
  • visibility cones e.g. for ground stations, antennas, rovers, etc.,
  • map layers e.g. for rare earth abondances, TiO2 and gravity anomailies,
  • points of interest like past and envisaged landing sites, and
  • interesting information on exploration missions

The standard installation of MoonDesk runs on a 4K 65"-touch screen computer system. Therefore, its human-machine interface is designed for touch gestures, enabling an intuitive interaction. Nontheless, MoonDesk can operate in a demonstration mode without the need of external control, whereas the shown predefined tour is acomplished by audio comments.

For both, scientific and outreach applications the capabilities of MoonDesk are beneficial.

MoonDesk demonstration in the Erasmus building of ESA/ESTEC
MoonDesk demonstration in the Erasmus building at ESA/ESTEC