Nokia acquires a $14.1 million NASA deal to set up a 4G network on Moon.
The company aims for the network to bolster the wireless operation of moon rovers and navigation and streaming video.
4G network on Moon
NASA has granted Nokia of the US $14.1 million to deploy a 4G cellular interface on the moon.
The grant is a piece of $370 million worth of agreements. Consequently, the contract is under NASA’s “Tipping Point” selections. They are to advance research and space exploration development.
“The system could support lunar surface connections at greater distances, progressed speeds, and provide more security than current models,” NASA noted in its contract award statement.
The purpose of a new network
United Press International, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine states that the space agency must quickly produce new technologies in a live broadcast. These technologies are for living and working on the moon if it wants to achieve its purpose to have astronauts working at a moon base by 2028.
“We need power systems that can last an extended time on the surface of the moon. Also, we need dwelling capability on the surface,” Bridenstine said.
Nokia’s research division, Bell Labs, provides more aspects in a Twitter thread. The company plans for the network to help the wireless operation of lunar rovers and navigation and streaming of the video.
To the moon! 🌕
We are excited to have been named by @NASA as a key partner to advance “Tipping Point” technologies for the moon, to help pave the way towards sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.
So, what technology can you expect to see? (1/6) pic.twitter.com/wDNwloyHdP
— Bell Labs (@BellLabs) October 15, 2020
Not the first time
This attempt is not Nokia’s first trial to propel an LTE network on the moon. The company prepared to do this in 2018 in collaboration with PTScientists, a German space company.
The initiative also included Vodafone UK to launch an LTE network at the place of the Apollo 17 landing. Unfortunately, the mission never really got off the ground.
The company will operate with Intuitive Machines for the network. Consequently, this collaboration will form the “critical communications fabric” for data transmission purposes. It will also include rover control and real-time navigation on the surface of the Moon.
The features of the network
According to Nokia, the network is to withstand the intense temperatures, radiation, and vacuum of space, along with the vibrational impact encountered during launch and landing.
Its building matches the size, weight, and power restrictions of space payloads in the smallest conceivable form.
The mission is to prove the future of operational deployments and the potential of human dwelling on the Moon.
NASA’s vision for the moon
In its contract award announcement, NASA said, “The operation could maintain lunar surface connections at greater ranges, increased velocities and provide more safety than current norms.”
According to reports, the NASA Administrator gave information in a live broadcast. He said that the US-based space organization should soon reveal new technologies for existing and working on the moon.
This aim is necessary if it wants to realize its goal to have astronauts working at a lunar base by 2028.
Image courtesy of Ingus Kruklitis/Shutterstock