NASA is equipping its Viper lunar probe with two floodlights similar to those that may be installed on trucks or jeeps for use in nighttime environments.These floodlights will be used to illuminate the darkest parts of the moon, allowing Viper to look for water where it is difficult to see. NASA demonstrated one of the prototype floodlights before the mission.
NASA explained that the Viper team has been testing various LED based lighting systems designed to be used in the coldest and darkest parts of the moon, which will be necessary for the rover's navigation in search of water in other places that are basically invisible.
As part of this work, we are exploring different wavelengths, including the bright blue floodlights shown in NASA's recently shared test images. These lights need to provide the best working conditions for viper's optical system, including various cameras mounted on the detector. Among other things, these cameras will help it navigate around boulders and avoid falling into lunar craters.
The work is currently underway at NASA's Ames Research Center, but the results will eventually be transferred to researchers at the Johnson Space Center, where the final floodlights of the lunar rover will be built. According to NASA, this will be the first time lighting systems have been deployed on a lunar rover, and NASA has created a high-quality lunar surface simulation to test.
Ultimately, these car like floodlights are a necessary component that will include LED arrays and the kind of light adjustment (high beam, etc.) on the car. The rover can use up to six lights and will be able to control each light individually according to the current demand.