Joel J. K. Parker, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC); Fabio Dovis, Italian Space Agency (ASI), Italy; Benjamin Anderson, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC); Luigi Ansalone, Italian Space Agency (ASI), Italy; Benjamin Ashman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC); Frank H. Bauer, FBauer Aerospace Consulting Services; Giuseppe D’Amore, Claudia Facchinetti, Italian Space Agency (ASI), Italy; Samuele Fantinato, Qascom S.r.l., Italy; Gabriele Impresario, Italian Space Agency (ASI), Italy; Stephen A. McKim, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC); Efer Miotti, Qascom S.r.l., Italy; James J. Miller, NASA Headquarters; Mario Musmeci, Italian Space Agency (ASI), Italy; Oscar Pozzobon, Qascom S.r.l., Italy; Lauren Schlenker, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC); Alberto Tuozzi, Italian Space Agency (ASI), Italy; Lisa Valencia, Overlook Systems

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Abstract:

The Lunar GNSS Receiver Experiment (LuGRE) is a joint NASA-Italian Space Agency (ASI) payload on the Firefly Blue Ghost Mission 1 (BGM1) with the goal to demonstrate GNSS-based positioning, navigation, and timing at the Moon. LuGRE was chosen by the NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program as one of ten payloads on its “19D” task order for delivery to the lunar surface in 2023. The LuGRE payload consists of a weak-signal GNSS receiver, a high-gain L-band patch antenna, a low-noise amplifier, and an RF filter. The receiver will track GPS L1 C/A and L5, and Galileo E1 and E5a signals and will return pseudorange, carrier phase, and Doppler measurements to the ground. It will also calculate least-squares point solutions and Kalman-filter based navigation solutions onboard. In addition, the receiver features the capability to record raw I/Q baseband samples for downlink and ground processing. LuGRE will build on the legacy of prior missions in the Space Service Volume (SSV) including the initial experiments by AMSAT-OSCAR 40 and others, the GOES-R series of geostationary weather satellites, and the NASA Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission currently operating on GPS-based navigation at nearly 50% of lunar distance. Further, LuGRE will be one of the very first demonstrations of GNSS signal reception and navigation in the lunar environment and on the lunar surface, paving the way for operational use by future lunar missions such as Orion, Gateway, robotic and human landers, and surface rovers. Ultimately, all LuGRE science data will be released to a public data archive for the benefit of the GNSS and space communities. This paper provides a detailed overview of the LuGRE payload, including its design, concept of operations, and its predicted ability to meet its core science objectives. The baseline science investigations and priorities are outlined. Simulated performance results are shown based on the latest calibrated models including signal strength, signal availability, onboard navigation performance and convergence properties, and ground-based post-processed navigation performance.