Goddard continues to refine LunaNet, a flexible lunar communications and navigation architecture. This architecture will play a key role in NASA's ambitious exploration initiatives under the Artemis program. With the LunaNet architecture in place lunar missions will have network access as robust as Earth. Each link will be a connection to the larger network, allowing data transfer between any LunaNet user. The architecture will be provided by a combination of NASA and others in industry, academia and the international community. This collaborative approach will allow LunaNet to develop in a manner analogous to the development of the internet on Earth.
The LunaNet architecture is based on linked network assets, or nodes, capable of providing a combination of three standard services:
- Network Services: Data transfer services capable of moving data between nodes and to the end user. These services will incorporate innovations like Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking and optical communications.
- Position, Navigation and Timing: Services for position and velocity determination, as well as time synchronization. This includes search and rescue location services for astronauts.
- Science Utilization Services: Services providing situational alerts and science measurements for human and asset safety and protection. These services could increase NASA's return on investment overall and lead to new discoveries.