MSG Lunar Base

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing, Dr Anastasia Anagnostou and Professor Simon Taylor have developed the MSG Lunar Base to demonstrate LED visualisation with Raspberry Pis. The lights show various states and interactions between the settlements and a resupply base in the centre. Four Pis and four 60 LED strips were used with the Adafruit Neopixel library. The buildings were built from TTCombat’s Sci Fi Utopia range. All wiring, programming, painting, and building were done by Anastasia and Simon. This is the basis for future distributed computing, Internet of Things and simulation demonstrations (especially the Simulation Exploration Experience – as well as new data visualisation.

In this version of our lunar base we have four scientific outposts supplied by a central facility. Each outpost is racing to be the first to discover a new process for producing Helium-3 from the moon’s regolith (soil). To do this each outpost engages in different activities (with colours):

  • Research (green)
  • Mining (orange)
  • Scientific dissemination (white)
  • Resupply (blue from outpost to resupply base – blue if successful, red if not)
  • Emergency (red)


Importantly the MSG Lunar Base is a test bed for simulation and distributed computing.  Near term projects include:

  • Mixed language (Python and Java) client-server game demonstrating different forms of distributed computing (sockets, REST API, etc.)
  • An agent-based simulation (in REPAST) modelling a more detailed scientific operation (we might also do this as hybrid with discrete-event simulation for some parts)
  • A distributed simulation using the HLA (i.e. a federate as part of the larger Simulation Exploration Experience Federation)
  • IoT applications showing how the base can react to sensed information via IoT cloud
  • Cloud-based simulation showing how the simulation can be linked to one of our cloud partners (CloudSME UG)

New hardware will be added (e.g. LED matrix, control panels, sensors, etc.) and we will grow the base as more people become interested.  Get in touch if you want to collaborate!