Lunar Imaging Module & Observatory

Fig. 1   Part of the console view from inside the LIMO. 
Video clip of this mission

Updated: 14 Oct 2020
The main monitor displaying the SSI camera view of the lunar surface was a 42" HD LCD. The smaller monitor just below it was what we called the "Quad Select, which showed which camera (1,2,3, or 4) was displayed and recorded for some reason. There are other monitors not shown here, one being the SkyGlobe star & moon position display.

The LIMO sessions began with mission 78 on 29 August 2014, and ended with mission 95 on 22 October 2015, a total of 17 missions. All of them were conducted with the SSI camera.

Fig. 2

Fig. 3 
Fig. 4  

Fig. 2 is a shot from the big double doors at the back of the 8'x10' trailer.  On the left is the instrument console. All the way back at the front of the trailer is rack 2 with the data recorders and parts drawers.  Fig. 2 is the view from the side door during a mission showing the wall above the console. A better view of the console can be seen in Fig. 4. Not powered up here but shown for identification are (front row, left to right): the quad monitor, the Quad-Select monitor, and then the SkyGlobe computer monitor.

Figure 5

Fig. 5 is the compact Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, an 8" f/10 with a 2032 mm focal length on a custom-designed Tech 2000 DOB Driver II computer-driven Dobsonian mount. It is the same scope and mount used in the TCCM Series.

Fig. 6.  Upper 30" turret.

Fig. 7  Rack 1 Electronics.
Fig. 8   Digital to analog converters.

Fig. 6 is the 30" upper turret for the Tech 2000 DOB Driver II computer system, also used in the TCCM Series. Also shown are the computer and the hand control. Fig. 7 is the rack 1 electronics section with the Sennheiser receiver, picking up the the WWV time signal from the transmitter in the lab, the quad processor, the DVR, and a VHS recorder. Fig. 8 shows two digital to analog converters needed to display computer images on the Quad processor.

Fig. 9  
Findercam with miniature video camera
Fig. 10
The powered audio/video panel

Fig. 11
   Two of the computers used.

The Findercam in Fig. 9 had a miniature video camera with a video feed to camera 1 on the Quad so the scope could be guided using its crosshairs. The target area could be found very quickly and maintained easily during the mission. All audio and video signals were controlled and amplified using the A/V panel shown in Fig. 10.  Fig. 11 shows two of the five computers used. The Tech 2000 DOB Driver-II computers was unlike the towers shown and can be seen in Fig. 6. (red)

Fig. 12 Quad processor monitor view

Quad Monitor view showing Findercam on cam 1 position, Cabcam on cam 2, VMA graphics on cam 3 and the live camera view from the SSI camera on cam 4.

The LIMO missions were the end of the 20-year scanning portion of the Lunascan Project, a total of 95 missions for all three imaging systems, beginning with the STU and the TCCM. Hundreds of VHS recordings were made which included all 95 missions, some involving additional 2 hour recordings during clear sky and favorable conditions where sessions were extended. Some of the later sessions involved recordings of cab cameras, quad processor images, etc.

The non-scanning projects that were also underway from the first day of the project continue to this day, and includes the discovery of the anomalies in Paracelsus C in June of 2016 and our hopes of getting a NASA or ESA mission to put a lander there as soon as possible.

Also see the STU (1995-2005) and the later trailer configuration, TCCM (2011- 2014).