LunaNet Overview

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Position, Navigation and Timing: Services for position and velocity determination, as well as time synchronization. This includes search and rescue location services for astronauts.
  3. 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.
LunaNet Systems Engineering and Integration Task Force (SEITF)

The LunaNet SEITF at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, employs the diverse expertise of the center in service to NASA's exploration initiatives. Their innovative approaches to networking and communications promise to empower the future of lunar exploration and facilitate NASA's journey to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Systems Engineering and Integration Task Force (SEITF)

NASA chartered the SEITF at Goddard to perform the architecture management, systems engineering, network integration and operations concepts definition for LunaNet. The SEITF's goal is to produce the relevant standards and systems engineering products, and facilitate the collaborations required to foster, extend, build and operate the network services-based LunaNet architecture in an efficient, agile and collaborative manner.

Science Utilization
LunaNet Solar Flare Warning
An artist's concept of what LunaNet network access might look like to astronauts on the lunar surface. Credit: NASA

The LunaNet architecture would embrace a unique approach to utilizing NASA science data in service to human exploration. By providing astronauts with more direct access to science data, LunaNet would improve astronaut safety and situational awareness.

If solar weather, the radiation released from the Sun, rises dramatically, as in the case of a solar flare, LunaNet could advise astronauts to seek shelter with unparalleled speed by providing them direct access to data from space weather instruments on satellites connected to the network.

LunaNet Body

 

Get Involved

LunaNet IconAre you a university student? NASA is soliciting proposals for development projects and demonstration missions that relate to propulsion, power systems and lunar networking technologies like LunaNet! Learn more about this exciting opportunity here:

https://tinyurl.com/NASA-20STP-S1

Have questions about collaborating with the LunaNet team at Goddard Space Flight Center? Reach out to Dave Israel, communications architect for the Exploration and Space Communications projects division, or Michael Johnson, Chief Technologist for the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate. Direct general inquiries here.