Positioning and Velocity Performance Levels for a Lunar Lander using a Dedicated Lunar Communication and Navigation System

Antoine Grenier, Pietro Giordano, Lorenzo Bucci, Alexander Cropp, Paolo Zoccarato, Richard Swinden, and Javier Ventura-Traveset3

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: The interest in Moon exploration has grown substantially in the last few years, appointing the Moon as the first step toward deep space exploration. However, the current state-of-the-art approach for lunar landing does not always reach the required performance levels. This contribution presents a potential implementation of a dedicated lunar communication and navigation service (LCNS) and the performance levels achievable by a representative lunar lander mission that uses the LCNS. The expected positioning precision during the final descent and at the landing site is demonstrated here with a variance-covariance analysis starting from reasonable assumptions about the capabilities of a potential dedicated LCNS system. The performance in positioning and navigation achievable during a generic moon-landing phase significantly outperforms existing ground-based baseline solutions, enabling the stringent requirements from the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) to be met.
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Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 69, Number 2
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