Session

Technical Session XII: Communications

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

As NASA establishes a sustained presence on the Moon and ventures further into the solar system, the need for a robust interplanetary communications and navigation architecture increases. LunaNet, an extensible and scalable lunar communications and navigation architecture, is being developed to answer this growing need. The LunaNet architecture will provide users with three services: networking services, positioning, navigation and timing services, and science utilization services. With LunaNet in place, users will experience an operational environment similar to that experienced by users on Earth.

The agency’s plan for solar system exploration necessitates both government and commercial participation, and the LunaNet architecture supports this goal as well, encouraging global participation from commercial and international partners, other government agencies, academia, and federally funded research development centers.

This paper provides a high-level description of the LunaNet architecture, discusses how SmallSat platforms and technologies may provide critical capabilities, and defines the role that SmallSats can play within the architecture.

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Aug 1st, 12:00 AM

LunaNet: A Flexible and Extensible Lunar Exploration Communications and Navigation Infrastructure and the Inclusion of SmallSat Platforms

Utah State University, Logan, UT

As NASA establishes a sustained presence on the Moon and ventures further into the solar system, the need for a robust interplanetary communications and navigation architecture increases. LunaNet, an extensible and scalable lunar communications and navigation architecture, is being developed to answer this growing need. The LunaNet architecture will provide users with three services: networking services, positioning, navigation and timing services, and science utilization services. With LunaNet in place, users will experience an operational environment similar to that experienced by users on Earth.

The agency’s plan for solar system exploration necessitates both government and commercial participation, and the LunaNet architecture supports this goal as well, encouraging global participation from commercial and international partners, other government agencies, academia, and federally funded research development centers.

This paper provides a high-level description of the LunaNet architecture, discusses how SmallSat platforms and technologies may provide critical capabilities, and defines the role that SmallSats can play within the architecture.