Chandrayaan-3 detects possible seismic activity on the moon
The Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) payload on India's Chandrayaan 3 lander has recently discovered vibrations occurring on the moon, as confirmed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on August 31.
ILSA's primary objective is to measure ground vibrations generated by natural quakes, impacts, and artificial events. The vibrations were initially recorded during the rover's navigation on August 25, 2023. Additionally, a seismic event, seemingly natural, was recorded on August 26 and the source of this event is currently under investigation, as per ISRO.
One of the objectives of ILSA is to assess if the lunar soil is susceptible to seismic activities. The recording was done by micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology-based instruments, and this is the first time such technology is being used on the moon.
ILSA comprises a cluster of six high-sensitivity accelerometers which are indigenously fabricated using the silicon micromachining process. The core sensing element consists of a spring-mass system with comb-structured electrodes. External vibrations lead to a deflection of the spring, resulting in a change in capacitance which is converted into voltage.
Chandrayaan-3's lander touched down on the lunar surface on August 23.