069 - ENABLING HIGH PERFORMANCE PNT IN LUNAR ENVIRONMENT
Status: On Going
Activity Code: NAVISP-EL1-069
Start date: 23/08/2023
Duration: 18 Months
In the context of the renewed interest in lunar exploration, the need for preparing the future user instrument for the new positioning service on the Moon has become very important, in particular for supplementing the current navigation techniques based on inertial sensors and cameras. A significant R&D effort is ongoing towards the development of dedicated lunar infrastructures for enhanced Moon PNT services. The use of 1-way GNSS-like technologies, in particular, is being proposed by Europe throughout the Moonlight/LCNS system initiative. While preparing for the system development, the user equipment side shall be assessed in detail and innovative concepts introduced. In this context, it is of high interest to understand in detail how Moon users could optimally combine the availability of a new GNSS-like dedicated orbiting system (Moonlight) with inertial and visual sensors planned lunar technologies. The synergies between these sensor technologies for lunar PNT applications is recognized as a priority research area, with a very high potential to achieve absolute metre-level accuracies on the Moon, compared to the currently achievable 200 m with Earth ranging or relative navigation on the Moon’s surface.
The main objectives of the activity are to define, develop and demonstrate innovative PNT techniques for Lunar applications. Such techniques shall combine the currently adopted user planetary PNT techniques with the potential future ranging signals from LCNS (Lunar Communication and Navigation System) tuned for the different areas of the use cases of interest (e.g. the lunar south pole, the far side or permanently shadowed regions);
This activity aims to discover/define a new paradigm for the navigation of planetary rovers, where the requirements to the onboard relative localisation function could be potentially relaxed, in favour of the availability and fusion of LCNS signal data that can maintain and bound the inherent drift in dead-reckoning solutions. This could in turn enable a faster/efficient traverse, due to the fact that less resourceful computations would be now required to run for the relative localisation function. Eventually, speed limitations should be according to the terrain conditions, instead of the computational resources that are currently hindering faster roving platforms.
Last Updated: 12/09/2023 11:31