Finnish company Nokia has been selected by NASA to build the first-ever 4G LTE cellular network on the Moon which will be a crucial component for NASA’s Artemis program. The deployment is to pave the way towards a sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.
NASA is looking to establish a sustainable presence by the end of the decade with the 4G LTE technology promising to enhance lunar surface communications with reliable, high data rates while containing power, size, and cost.
Nokia Bell Lab’s will build and deploy the first ultra-compact, low-power, space-hardened, end-to-end LTE solution on the lunar surface in late 2022 with the network to be self-configured upon deployment and establish the first LTE communications system on the Moon. The communication applications will be vital to long-term human presence on the lunar surface.
“Leveraging our rich and successful history in space technologies, from pioneering satellite communication to discovering the cosmic microwave background radiation produced by the Big Bang, we are now building the first ever cellular communications network on the Moon. Reliable, resilient and high-capacity communications networks will be key to supporting sustainable human presence on the lunar surface. By building the first high performance wireless network solution on the Moon, Nokia Bell Labs is once again planting the flag for pioneering innovation beyond the conventional limits.”
Marcus Weldon, Chief Technology Officer at Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs President
NASA is leverage its Tipping Point solicitation as it prepares for an expedition to Mars. Nokia has partnered with Intuitive Machines to deliver the lunar network to the lunar surface.
The lunar network will have a LTE Base Station with integrated Evolved Packet Core (EPC) functionalities, LTE User Equipment, RF antennas and high-reliability operations and maintenance (O&M) control software. It will withstand the harsh conditions of the launch and lunar landing and operate in the extreme conditions of space.