Digital Tbucket Tank (DTT)

Researchers from Wroclaw are working on a satellite navigation system on the moon

Researchers at the Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformatics at the University of Biosciences in Wroclaw are members of an international consortium established by the European Space Agency (ESA) funding for the development of a conceptual navigation system for Lunar missions had received. Such a system will be both the exploration of the moon itself and the implementation of plans to use the satellite as a stage in a manned mission Mars make it easier to use.

There are several on earth Satellite navigation systems, including the most popular GPS. However, there are no similar systems for the moon. Therefore, the GRAIL mission, which studies the moon's gravitational field, was able to brilliantly map one side of it that is visible from Earth. However, once GRAIL was on the opposite side of the moon, it lost contact with the Navigation satellitesso that his ability to pinpoint his position decreased significantly.

NASA wants to send the first manned mission to the moon in decades in a few years and plans to build a station in the orbit of Modes and to carry out work on the lunar surface. Both the people who work there and the autonomous devices need an effective system to determine their own position.

The ESA is in charge of the Moonlight program, which explores possibilities for precise navigation and communication across the entire surface of the moon. The program is a multi-tiered program with a step-by-step approach. First, it will be necessary to provide positioning capabilities for the Earth-Moon transfer orbit, then for satellites in lunar orbit, and finally for approaches and operations on the moon's surface.

The project envisages that existing constellations of navigation satellites will be used between 2022 and 2025. In phase II, which is planned for the years 2025-2035, several satellites are to be placed in a lunar orbit and additional signals are to be transmitted from the lunar surface. In phase III, ie after 2035, a complete lunar navigation system will finally be ready for use.

The Polish scientists Prof. Krzysztof Sosnica, Dr. Radosław Zajdel and Dr. Grzegorz Bury take on ATLAS project which has just been funded by ESA as part of Phase II. The task of ATLAS will be to examine various technical solutions for the lunar navigation system and to test the possibilities of one- and two-way communication between earth and satellites and between lunar relays and satellites. In addition, procedures for the transformation between Lunar, earth and celestial reference systems (inertial systems) to be developed. The members of the ATLAS project must also test the quality of positioning both on the moon and in its orbit.