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LTA-8A [25]. The term lidar was originally a portmanteau of light and radar. Lidar instruments fitted to aircraft and satellites carry out surveying and mapping — a recent example being Lorena garcia pornstar U. Its octagonal shape was supported by four Craigslist greensboro nc landing gear legs, and contained a throttleable Descent Propulsion System DPS engine with four hypergolic propellant tanks. Skinny shemale big cock essential concept of lidar was originated by EH Synge inwho envisaged the use of powerful searchlights to probe the atmosphere. Retrieved 28 April NASA History. Terrestrial applications Rebecca linar lidar also terrestrial laser scanning happen Maduras haciendo el amor the Earth's surface and can be Lucy heart stationary or mobile.

In addition to the lidar detection, RADAR data obtained by using two short-range radars is integrated to get additional dynamic properties of the object, such as its velocity.

The measurements are assigned to the object using a potential distance function. The geometric features of the objects are extracted efficiently, from the measurements obtained by the 3-D occupancy grid, using rotating caliper algorithm.

Fusing the radar data to the lidar measurements give information about the dynamic properties of the obstacle such as velocity and location of the obstacle with respect to the sensor location which helps the vehicle or the driver decide the action to be performed in order to ensure safety.

The only concern is the computational requirement to implement this data processing technique. It can be implemented in real time and has been proven efficient if the 3-D occupancy grid size is considerably restricted.

But this can be improved to an even wider range by using dedicated spatial data structures that manipulate the spatial data more effectively, for the 3-D grid representation.

The framework proposed in this method by Soonmin Hwang et al. First, the data from the camera and 3-D lidar is input into the system.

Both inputs from lidar and camera are parallelly obtained and the color image from the camera is calibrated with the lidar.

To improve the efficiency, horizontal 3-D point sampling is applied as pre-processing. Second, the segmentation stage is where the entire 3-D points are divided into several groups per the distance from the sensor and local planes from close plane to far plane are sequentially estimated.

The local planes are estimated using statistical analysis. The group of points closer to the sensor are used to compute the initial plane.

By using the current local plane, the next local plane is estimated by an iterative update. The object proposals in the 2-D image are used to separate foreground objects from background.

For faster and accurate detection and tracking Binarized Normed Gradients for Objectness Estimation at fps is used.

This way the foreground and background objects are separated. To form objects after estimating the objectness of an image using BING, the 3-D points are grouped or clustered.

Using the clustered 3-D points, i. The third step is detection, which is broadly divided into two parts. First is object detection in 2-D image which is achieved using Fast R-CNN [87] as this method doesn't need training and it also considers an image and several regions of interest.

Second is object detection in 3-D space that is done by using the spin image method. To merge the results of 2-D image and 3-D space object detection, same 3-D region is considered and two independent classifiers from 2-D image and 3-D space are applied to the considered region.

Scores calibration [89] is done to get a single confidence score from both detectors. This single score is obtained in the form of probability.

The final step is tracking. This is done by associating moving objects in present and past frame. For object tracking, segment matching is adopted.

Features such as mean, standard deviation, quantized color histograms, volume size and number of 3-D points of a segment are computed.

Euclidean distance is used to measure differences between segments. To judge the appearance and disappearance of an object, similar segments obtained based on the Euclidean distance from two different frames are taken and the physical distance and dissimilarity scores are calculated.

If the scores go beyond a range for every segment in the previous frame, the object being tracked is considered to have disappeared.

The advantages of this method are using 2-D image and 3-D data together, F l-score which gives a measure of test's accuracy , average precision AP are higher than that when only 3-D data from lidar is used.

These scores are conventional measurements which judge the framework. This method proposed by Kun Zhou et al.

As mentioned earlier the lidar systems use rotating hexagonal mirrors that split the laser beam into six beams. The upper three layers are used to detect the forward objects such as vehicles and roadside objects.

The sensor is made of weather-resistant material. The data detected by lidar are clustered to several segments and tracked by Kalman filter. Data clustering here is done based on characteristics of each segment based on object model, which distinguish different objects such as vehicles, signboards, etc.

These characteristics include the dimensions of the object, etc. The reflectors on the rear edges of vehicles are used to differentiate vehicles from other objects.

Object tracking is done using a 2-stage Kalman filter considering the stability of tracking and the accelerated motion of objects [82] Lidar reflective intensity data is also used for curb detection by making use of robust regression to deal with occlusions.

The road marking is detected using a modified Otsu method by distinguishing rough and shiny surfaces. Roadside reflectors that indicate lane border are sometimes hidden due to various reasons.

Therefore, other information is needed to recognize the road border. The lidar used in this method can measure the reflectivity from the object.

Hence, with this data road border can also be recognized. Also, the usage of sensor with weather-robust head helps detecting the objects even in bad weather conditions.

Canopy Height Model before and after flood is a good example. Lidar can detect high detailed canopy height data as well as its road border.

Lidar measurements help identify the spatial structure of the obstacle. This helps distinguish objects based on size and estimate the impact of driving over it.

Lidar systems provide better range and a large field of view which helps detecting obstacles on the curves.

The fusion of lidar measurement with different sensors makes the system robust and useful in real-time applications, since lidar dependent systems can't estimate the dynamic information about the detected object.

It has been shown that lidar can be manipulated, such that self-driving cars are tricked into taking evasive action. Lidar has also found many applications in forestry.

Canopy heights, biomass measurements, and leaf area can all be studied using airborne lidar systems. Similarly, lidar is also used by many industries, including Energy and Railroad, and the Department of Transportation as a faster way of surveying.

Topographic maps can also be generated readily from lidar, including for recreational use such as in the production of orienteering maps.

In addition, the Save the Redwoods League has undertaken a project to map the tall redwoods on the Northern California coast. Lidar allows research scientists to not only measure the height of previously unmapped trees, but to determine the biodiversity of the redwood forest.

Stephen Sillett , who is working with the League on the North Coast lidar project, claims this technology will be useful in directing future efforts to preserve and protect ancient redwood trees.

High-resolution digital elevation maps generated by airborne and stationary lidar have led to significant advances in geomorphology the branch of geoscience concerned with the origin and evolution of the Earth surface topography.

The lidar abilities to detect subtle topographic features such as river terraces and river channel banks, to measure the land-surface elevation beneath the vegetation canopy, to better resolve spatial derivatives of elevation, and to detect elevation changes between repeat surveys have enabled many novel studies of the physical and chemical processes that shape landscapes.

Lidar is also used in structural geology and geophysics as a combination between airborne lidar and GPS for the detection and study of faults , for measuring uplift.

This combination was used most famously to find the location of the Seattle Fault in Washington , United States.

Helens by using data from before and after the uplift. The combination is also used by soil scientists while creating a soil survey. The detailed terrain modeling allows soil scientists to see slope changes and landform breaks which indicate patterns in soil spatial relationships.

Initially, based on ruby lasers, lidar for meteorological applications was constructed shortly after the invention of the laser and represent one of the first applications of laser technology.

Lidar technology has since expanded vastly in capability and lidar systems are used to perform a range of measurements that include profiling clouds, measuring winds, studying aerosols, and quantifying various atmospheric components.

Atmospheric components can in turn provide useful information including surface pressure by measuring the absorption of oxygen or nitrogen , greenhouse gas emissions carbon dioxide and methane , photosynthesis carbon dioxide , fires carbon monoxide , and humidity water vapor.

Atmospheric lidars can be either ground-based, airborne or satellite depending on the type of measurement.

Backscatter from the atmosphere directly gives a measure of clouds and aerosols. The Doppler broadening of gases in motion allows the determination of properties via the resulting frequency shift.

Doppler lidar systems are also now beginning to be successfully applied in the renewable energy sector to acquire wind speed, turbulence, wind veer, and wind shear data.

Both pulsed and continuous wave systems are being used. Pulsed systems use signal timing to obtain vertical distance resolution, whereas continuous wave systems rely on detector focusing.

The term, eolics , has been proposed to describe the collaborative and interdisciplinary study of wind using computational fluid mechanics simulations and Doppler lidar measurements.

The ground reflection of an airborne lidar gives a measure of surface reflectivity assuming the atmospheric transmittance is well known at the lidar wavelength, however, the ground reflection is typically used for making absorption measurements of the atmosphere.

When tuned to the appropriate absorption lines of a particular gas, DIAL measurements can be used to determine the concentration mixing ratio of that particular gas in the atmosphere.

This is referred to as an Integrated Path Differential Absorption IPDA approach, since it is a measure of the integrated absorption along the entire lidar path.

Synthetic array lidar allows imaging lidar without the need for an array detector. It can be used for imaging Doppler velocimetry, ultra-fast frame rate MHz imaging, as well as for speckle reduction in coherent lidar.

Another lidar technique for atmospheric remote sensing has emerged. It is based on Scheimpflug principle , referred to as Scheimpflug lidar slidar.

Thus as in the case of conventional lidar technologies continuous wave light sources such as diode lasers can be employed for remote sensing instead of using complicated nanosecond pulse light sources.

Laser emissions at the on-line and off-line wavelengths of the NO 2 absorption spectrum are implemented by tuning the injection current of the laser diode.

The low-cost and robust DIAL system demonstrated in this work opens up many possibilities for field NO 2 remote sensing applications.

Lidar speed guns are used by the police to measure the speed of vehicles for speed limit enforcement purposes. Scans of a scene are taken to record exact details of object placement, blood, and other important information for later review.

These scans can also be used to determine bullet trajectory in cases of shootings. Few military applications are known to be in place and are classified such as the lidar-based speed measurement of the AGM ACM stealth nuclear cruise missile , but a considerable amount of research is underway in their use for imaging.

Higher resolution systems collect enough detail to identify targets, such as tanks. Short-range compact spectrometric lidar based on Laser-Induced Fluorescence LIF would address the presence of bio-threats in aerosol form over critical indoor, semi-enclosed and outdoor venues such as stadiums, subways, and airports.

This near real-time capability would enable rapid detection of a bioaerosol release and allow for timely implementation of measures to protect occupants and minimize the extent of contamination.

Army to provide the earliest possible standoff warning of a biological attack. It is an airborne system carried by a helicopter to detect synthetic aerosol clouds containing biological and chemical agents at long range.

A robotic Boeing AH-6 performed a fully autonomous flight in June , including avoiding obstacles using lidar. For the calculation of ore volumes is accomplished by periodic monthly scanning in areas of ore removal, then comparing surface data to the previous scan.

A worldwide network of observatories uses lidars to measure the distance to reflectors placed on the moon , allowing the position of the moon to be measured with millimeter precision and tests of general relativity to be done.

In atmospheric physics, lidar is used as a remote detection instrument to measure densities of certain constituents of the middle and upper atmosphere, such as potassium , sodium , or molecular nitrogen and oxygen.

These measurements can be used to calculate temperatures. Lidar can also be used to measure wind speed and to provide information about vertical distribution of the aerosol particles.

Lidar has been widely used in rock mechanics for rock mass characterization and slope change detection. Some important geomechanical properties from the rock mass can be extracted from the 3-D point clouds obtained by means of the lidar.

Some of these properties are:. Some of these properties have been used to assess the geomechanical quality of the rock mass through the RMR index.

Moreover, as the orientations of discontinuities can be extracted using the existing methodologies, it is possible to assess the geomechanical quality of a rock slope through the SMR index.

THOR is a laser designed toward measuring Earth's atmospheric conditions. The laser enters a cloud cover [] and measures the thickness of the return halo.

The sensor has a fiber optic aperture with a width of 7. Lidar technology is being used in robotics for the perception of the environment as well as object classification.

Lidar is increasingly being utilized for rangefinding and orbital element calculation of relative velocity in proximity operations and stationkeeping of spacecraft.

Lidar has also been used for atmospheric studies from space. Short pulses of laser light beamed from a spacecraft can reflect off tiny particles in the atmosphere and back to a telescope aligned with the spacecraft laser.

By precisely timing the lidar 'echo,' and by measuring how much laser light is received by the telescope, scientists can accurately determine the location, distribution and nature of the particles.

The result is a revolutionary new tool for studying constituents in the atmosphere, from cloud droplets to industrial pollutants, which are difficult to detect by other means.

Airborne lidar sensors are used by companies in the remote sensing field. LiDAR are also in use in hydrographic surveying.

Depending upon the clarity of the water LiDAR can measure depths from 0. Lidar systems have also been applied to improve forestry management.

Other statistical analysis use lidar data to estimate total plot information such as canopy volume, mean, minimum and maximum heights, and vegetation cover estimates.

The data was manipulated to view bare earth, and identify healthy and burned vegetation. Lidar has been used in the railroad industry to generate asset health reports for asset management and by departments of transportation to assess their road conditions.

Systems such as those by Siemens, Hella, Ouster and Cepton use a lidar device mounted on the front of the vehicle, such as the bumper, to monitor the distance between the vehicle and any vehicle in front of it.

When the road ahead is clear, the ACC allows the vehicle to accelerate to a speed preset by the driver. Refer to the Military section above for further examples.

A lidar-based device, the Ceilometer is used at airports worldwide to measure the height of clouds on runway approach paths.

Lidar can be used to increase the energy output from wind farms by accurately measuring wind speeds and wind turbulence. Lidar is also used to characterise the incident wind resource for comparison with wind turbine power production to verify the performance of the wind turbine [] by measuring the wind turbine's power curve.

Another aspect of Lidar in wind related industry is to use computational fluid dynamics over Lidar-scanned surfaces in order to assess the wind potential, [] which can be used for optimal wind farms placement.

Lidar can also be used to assist planners and developers in optimizing solar photovoltaic systems at the city level by determining appropriate roof tops [] [] and for determining shading losses.

Recent simulation racing games such as rFactor Pro , iRacing , Assetto Corsa and Project CARS increasingly feature race tracks reproduced from 3-D point clouds acquired through Lidar surveys, resulting in surfaces replicated with centimeter or millimeter precision in the in-game 3-D environment.

The exploration game Scanner Sombre , by Introversion Software , uses Lidar as a fundamental game mechanic. The video for the song " House of Cards " by Radiohead was believed to be the first use of real-time 3-D laser scanning to record a music video.

The range data in the video is not completely from a lidar, as structured light scanning is also used. The elevation or 3-D data is extracted using multiple parallel passes over mapped area, yielding both visual light images and 3-D structure from the same sensor, which is often a specially chosen and calibrated digital camera.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Lidar disambiguation. Method of spatial measurement using laser scanning. Play media. In this view, the viewer flies down to the rainforest canopy and flies through the virtual leaves.

This visualization shows an airplane collecting a 50 kilometer swath of lidar data over the Brazilian rainforest. For ground level features, colors range from deep brown to tan.

Vegetation heights are depicted in shades of green, where dark greens are closest to the ground and light greens are the highest.

Animation of a satellite collecting digital elevation map data over the Ganges and Brahmaputra River basin using lidar.

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Atmospheric lidar.

See also: Lidar speed gun. Further information: 3-D scanner. Entry for "lidar". Archived from the original on May 30, Retrieved June 4, Introduction to Remote Sensing 2 ed.

London: Taylor and Francis. This Is What It's Like". Retrieved 28 April Odessa American. Bakersfield Californian p. Copley News Service. Retrieved 11 July Lincoln Journal Star p.

Watson September Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Bibcode : BAMS Archived from the original on Retrieved Weaire and P.

Retrieved 8 August Bibcode : SPIE. Retrieved May 24, Dakin, John; Brown, Robert CRC Press. Ganeev Laser - Surface Interactions.

Solid-state lidar is the key". Digital Trends. Ars Technica. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

January United States Patent Bibcode : OptL MIT Technology Review. GIS Geography. Airborne and terrestrial laser scanning.

Whittles Publishing. Journal of Forestry Research. June 9, Google Patents. Retrieved 4 June English Heritage. New York Times. Live Science.

Retrieved May 15, National Geographic. Retrieved 3 March Journal of Archaeological Science. Bibcode : PNAS.. The Guardian — via www. Retrieved February 28, National Geographic News.

Business Insider. Retrieved August 9, BING: Binarized normed gradients for objectness estimation at fps. Johnson, Andrew; Hebert, Martial Proceedings of the American Control Conference.

Hata, Alberto; F. Wolf, Denis. The Guardian. Remote Sensing of Environment. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. C; van Ballegooy, S. GSA Today.

Geophysical Research Letters. Bibcode : GeoRL.. The lunar module pilot performed the role of an engineering officer, monitoring the systems of both spacecraft.

After achieving a lunar parking orbit, the commander and LM pilot entered and powered up the LM, replaced the hatches and docking equipment, unfolded and locked its landing legs, and separated from the CSM, flying independently.

The commander operated the flight controls and engine throttle, while the lunar module pilot operated other spacecraft systems and kept the commander informed about systems status and navigational information.

After the command module pilot visually inspected the landing gear , the LM was withdrawn to a safe distance, then rotated until the descent engine was pointed forward into the direction of travel.

As the craft approached perilune, the descent engine was started again to begin powered descent. During this time, the crew flew on their backs, depending on the computer to slow the craft's forward and vertical velocity to near zero.

Control was exercised with a combination of engine throttling and attitude thrusters, guided by the computer with the aid of landing radar.

During braking, the LM descended to about 10, feet 3. During final approach, the vehicle pitched over to a near-vertical position, allowing the crew to look forward and down to see the lunar surface for the first time.

Astronauts flew Apollo spacecraft manually only during the lunar approach. At this point, manual control was enabled for the commander, who had enough propellant to hover for up to two minutes to survey where the computer was taking the craft and make any necessary corrections.

If necessary, landing could have been aborted at almost any time by jettisoning the descent stage and firing the ascent engine to climb back into orbit for an emergency return to the CSM.

Finally, one or more of three On touchdown, the probes would be bent as much as degrees, or even break off. The original design used the probes on all four legs, but starting with the first landing LM-5 on Apollo 11 , the one at the ladder was removed out of concern that the bent probe after landing might puncture an astronaut's suit as he descended or stepped off the ladder.

The original extravehicular activity EVA plan, up through at least , was for only one astronaut to leave the LM while the other remained inside "to maintain communications".

After the spacecraft undocked, the CSM raised and circularized its orbit for the remainder of the mission.

When ready to leave the Moon, the LM's ascent engine fired, leaving the descent stage on the Moon's surface. After a few course correction burns, the LM rendezvoused with the CSM and docked to transfer the crew and rock samples.

Having completed its job, the ascent stage was separated. The Apollo 10 ascent stage engine was fired until its fuel was used up, sending it past the Moon into a heliocentric orbit.

Both direct ascent and EOR would have involved landing a much heavier, complete Apollo spacecraft on the Moon. Once the decision had been made to proceed using LOR, it became necessary to produce a separate craft capable of reaching the lunar surface and ascending back to lunar orbit.

In July , eleven firms were invited to submit proposals for the LEM. Grumman Aircraft was awarded the contract two months later.

Grumman had begun lunar orbit rendezvous studies in the late s and again in There were initially four major subcontractors: Bell Aerosystems ascent engine , Hamilton Standard environmental control systems , Marquardt reaction control system and TRW's Space Technology Laboratories descent engine.

The second design invoked the idea of a helicopter cockpit with large curved windows and seats, to improve the astronauts' visibility for hover and landing.

This also included a second, forward docking port, allowing the LEM crew to take an active role in docking with the CSM. As the program continued, there were numerous redesigns to save weight, improve safety, and fix problems.

First to go were the heavy cockpit windows and the seats; the astronauts would stand while flying the LEM, supported by a cable and pulley system, with smaller triangular windows giving them sufficient visibility of the landing site.

Later, the redundant forward docking port was removed, which meant the Command Pilot gave up active control of the docking to the Command Module Pilot; he could still see the approaching CSM through a small overhead window.

Egress while wearing bulky Extra-Vehicular Activity EVA spacesuits was eased by a simpler forward hatch 32 x 32 inches.

The configuration was frozen in April , when the ascent and descent engine designs were decided. In addition to Rocketdyne, a parallel program for the descent engine [12] was ordered from Space Technology Laboratories TRW in July , and by January the Rocketdyne contract was canceled.

Power was initially to be produced by fuel cells built by Pratt and Whitney similar to the CSM, but in March these were discarded in favor of an all-battery design.

The initial design had three landing legs, the lightest possible configuration. But as any particular leg would have to carry the weight of the vehicle if it landed at a significant angle, this was also the least stable configuration if one of the legs were damaged during landing.

The next landing gear design iteration had five legs and was the most stable configuration for landing on an unknown terrain.

That configuration, however, was too heavy and the designers compromised on four landing legs. In June , the name was changed to lunar module LM , eliminating the word "excursion".

Comparing landing on the Moon to "a hovering operation", Gus Grissom said in that although most early astronauts were fighter pilots, "now we're wondering if the pilot making this first moon landing shouldn't be a highly experienced helicopter pilot".

This aircraft proved fairly dangerous to fly, as three of the five were destroyed in crashes. It was equipped with a rocket-powered ejection seat, so in each case the pilot survived, including the first man to walk on the Moon, Neil Armstrong.

LM-1 was built to make the first uncrewed flight for propulsion systems testing, launched into low Earth orbit atop a Saturn IB. This was originally planned for April , to be followed by the first crewed flight later that year.

But the LM's development problems had been underestimated, and LM-1's flight was delayed until January 22, , as Apollo 5.

At that time, LM-2 was held in reserve in case the LM-1 flight failed, which did not happen. LM-3 now became the first crewed LM, again to be flown in low Earth orbit to test all the systems, and practice the separation, rendezvous, and docking planned for Apollo 8 in December But again, last-minute problems delayed its flight until Apollo 9 on March 3, A second, higher Earth orbit crewed practice flight had been planned to follow LM-3, but this was canceled to keep the program timeline on track.

Apollo 10 launched on May 18, , using LM-4 for a "dress rehearsal" for the lunar landing, practicing all phases of the mission except powered descent initiation through takeoff.

The LM descended to 47, feet 9. Kennedy's goal : " In April , the Apollo 13 LM-7 Aquarius played an unexpected role in saving the lives of the three astronauts after an oxygen tank in the service module ruptured, disabling the CSM.

Aquarius served as a "lifeboat" for the astronauts during their return to Earth. Its descent stage engine [21] was used to replace the crippled CSM Service Propulsion System engine, and its batteries supplied power for the trip home and recharged the Command Module's batteries critical for reentry.

The astronauts splashed down safely on April 17, The LM's systems, designed to support two astronauts for 45 hours including twice depressurization and repressurization causing loss of oxygen supply , actually stretched to support three astronauts for 90 hours without depressurization and repressurization and loss of oxygen supply.

Hover times were maximized on the last four landing missions by using the Service Module engine to perform the initial descent orbit insertion burn 22 hours before the LM separated from the CSM, a practice begun on Apollo This meant that the complete spacecraft, including the CSM, orbited the Moon with a 9.

The extended lunar module ELM used on the final three "J-class missions" — Apollo 15 , 16 , and 17 — was upgraded to land larger payloads and stay longer on the lunar surface.

A waste storage tank was added to the descent stage, with plumbing from the ascent stage. These upgrades allowed stays of up to 75 hours on the Moon.

The Lunar Roving Vehicle was folded up and carried in Quadrant 1 of the descent stage. It was deployed by the astronauts after landing, allowing them to explore large areas and return a greater variety of lunar samples.

Weights given here are an average for the original pre-ELM spec vehicles. For specific weights for each mission, see the individual mission articles.

The ascent stage contained the crew cabin with instrument panels and flight controls. It contained its own Ascent Propulsion System APS engine and two hypergolic propellant tanks for return to lunar orbit and rendezvous with the Apollo command and service module.

It also contained a Reaction Control System RCS for attitude and translation control, which consisted of sixteen hypergolic thrusters similar to those used on the Service Module, mounted in four quads, with their own propellant supply.

A forward EVA hatch provided access to and from the lunar surface, while an overhead hatch and docking port provided access to and from the Command Module.

Internal equipment included an environmental control life support system; a VHF communications system with two antennas for communication with the Command Module; a unified S-band system and steerable parabolic dish antenna for communication with Earth; an EVA antenna resembling a miniature parasol which relayed communications from antennas on the astronauts' Portable Life Support Systems through the LM; primary PGNCS and backup AGS guidance and navigation systems; an Alignment Optical Telescope for visually determining the spacecraft orientation; rendezvous radar with its own steerable dish antenna; and an system for active thermal control.

Electrical storage batteries, cooling water, and breathing oxygen were stored in amounts sufficient for a lunar surface stay of 48 hours initially, extended to 75 hours for the later missions.

During rest periods while parked on the Moon, the crew would sleep on hammocks slung crosswise in the cabin. The descent stage's primary job was to support a powered landing and surface extravehicular activity.

When the excursion was over, it served as the launch pad for the ascent stage. Its octagonal shape was supported by four folding landing gear legs, and contained a throttleable Descent Propulsion System DPS engine with four hypergolic propellant tanks.

A continuous-wave Doppler radar antenna was mounted by the engine heat shield on the bottom surface, to send altitude and rate of descent data to the guidance system and pilot display during the landing.

Almost all external surfaces, except for the top, platform, ladder, descent engine and heat shield, were covered in amber, dark reddish amber, black, silver, and yellow aluminized Kapton foil blankets for thermal insulation.

The number 1 front landing leg had an attached platform informally known as the "porch" in front of the ascent stage's EVA hatch and a ladder, which the astronauts used to ascend and descend between the cabin to the surface.

The footpad of each landing leg incorporated a inch-long 1. The probe was omitted from the number 1 leg of every landing mission, to avoid a suit-puncture hazard to the astronauts, as the probes tended to break off and protrude upwards from the surface.

Equipment for the lunar exploration was carried in the Modular Equipment Stowage Assembly MESA , a drawer mounted on a hinged panel dropping out of the lefthand forward compartment.

Besides the astronaut's surface excavation tools and sample collection boxes, the MESA contained a television camera with a tripod; as the commander opened the MESA by pulling on a lanyard while descending the ladder, the camera was automatically activated to send the first pictures of the astronauts on the surface back to Earth.

A United States flag for the astronauts to erect on the surface was carried in a container mounted on the ladder of each landing mission.

An external compartment on the right front panel carried a deployable S-band antenna which, when opened looked like an inverted umbrella on a tripod.

This was not used on the first landing due to time constraints, and the fact that acceptable communications were being received using the LM's S-band antenna, but was used on Apollo 12 and A hand-pulled Modular Equipment Transporter MET , similar in appearance to a golf cart, was carried on Apollo 13 and 14 to facilitate carrying the tools and samples on extended moonwalks.

On the extended missions Apollo 15 and later , the antenna and TV camera were mounted on the Lunar Roving Vehicle , which was carried folded up and mounted on an external panel.

One proposed Apollo application was an orbital solar telescope constructed from a surplus LM with its descent engine replaced with a telescope controlled from the ascent stage cabin, the landing legs removed and four "windmill" solar panels extending from the descent stage quadrants.

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