Galileo will help navigate around the Moon
The European Space Agency (ESA) with its public-private Lunar Pathfinder mission will use an advanced GNSS receiver to perform the first-ever satellite navigation positioning fix in lunar orbit.
The Lunar Pathfinder Mission lays the groundwork for ESA NAVISP
This lays the groundwork for the ESA NAVISP Programme, which facilitates the generation of Satellite Navigation and Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) innovative propositions. NAVISP is an important element for the overall industrial and institutional European GNSS landscape.
Moreover, this experiment is building upon the results of other ground-breaking experiments including NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission which acquired GNSS signals to determine its orbit from 187 166 km away, and ESA’s GIOVE-A mission, which fixed its position, velocity, and time using GNSS signals back in 2013.
Galileo can do more than facilitating lunar exploration
ESA’s high sensitivity receiver’s main antenna is to be able to detect very faint signals, millions of times weaker than those on Earth, and it is part of their ambitious Moonlight initiative which is aiming to establish a Lunar Communication and Navigation Service that can provide positioning accuracy to within 50 meters. ESA believes that in addition to facilitating lunar exploration these satnav signals might be used “to perform reflectometry across the lunar surface; sounding the scant dusty ‘exosphere’ that surrounds the Moon or by providing a common time reference signal across the Moon, to be used for fundamental physics or astronomy experiments”
The Lunar Pathfinder marks the start of an exciting future, with Europe’s Galileo being part of the race to provide autonomous vehicle navigation not only on Earth but in space as well. It is a collaborative project between ESA and UK partners Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and Goonhilly Earth Station.
If you would like to learn more or connect with ESA and its collaboration partners for the Lunar Pathfinder Mission contact email@example.com
Source: The European Space Agency published Galileo will help Lunar Pathfinder navigate around Moon (18 March 2021)