NASA Lunar Communication and Navigation Architecture

Mark Flanegan, Jonathon Gal-Edd, Lynn Anderson, Joseph Warner, Todd Ely, Charles Lee, Biren Shah, Arvydas Vaisnys, James Schier

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2008

link:: doi:: 10.2514/6.2008-3589


America’s Vision for Space Exploration envisions the permanent return of humans to the moon and the expansion of human presence across the solar system. A major NASA effort to develop architectures for lunar exploration and science, called the Lunar Architecture Team (LAT), completed a multi-center, year long study in September 2007. The concepts of operations, analyses, requirements, and conceptual designs developed during the LAT study form the basis of the current effort to decide on the basic elements of the overall space transportation and lunar surface systems architecture. The elements of the Lunar Architecture include descent and ascent transportation, habitation, mobility, power generation and distribution, resource extraction and storage, Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA), and communications and navigation. In this paper, an overview of the LAT Communication and Navigation (C&N) results will be described. This includes the architecture of the Lunar Network (LN), concepts of operations, spectrum utilization, traffic model, element design concepts (including lunar relay satellites, surface communication terminals, and user radios), and requisite technology improvements.