Early Artemis Surface Navigation: Challenges, Approaches, and Opportunities

Evan Anzalone, Lemuel Carpenter, Cheryl Gramling, Laurie Mann, Thomas Moody

Abstract: The early Artemis missions represent the return of humanity to the surface of the Moon and provide opportunities for meeting early science and exploration goals. Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) capabilities are a fundamental element and inform operational design, flight rules, and the ability to meet these. This paper provides an overview of the needs, potential implementations, challenges, and concepts of operations in the initial human surface missions, Artemis III and IV. These early excursions are a crucial learning opportunity to gain more experience in the actual operational environment for Artemis V and beyond where exploration objectives and complexity increases. As part of the study, the team defined a threshold performance navigation requirement (including position and orientation) to meet crew safe return and assessed a breadth of navigation approaches that could be deployed to augment the crew’s baseline navigation capability. Data was collected in terms of size, mass, power, operational constraints, environment constraints, interface, and performance to define the technical metrics. Given these, the trade team conducted polling among the various Artemis Campaign elements to capture preference, integration challenges, and operational impacts. These were used to develop weightings and inform a ranked order of solutions across each of the early missions. The results of the study recommended augmenting the initial orientation capability with additional navigation sensors to provide coarse position and heading information to the crew to enable a safe contingency walk-back when out of video range. The team identified opportunities for embedding this hardware in future scenarios to provide an integrated solution. With the deployment of the LunaNet’s Lunar Augmented Navigation System, the crew will be able to maintain accurate real-time navigation knowledge with minimal physical impacts. Discussion of future testing and continued analysis is included in this paper. These forward plans and long-term architecture systems will enable a powerful navigation approach for orbiting and surface users, enabling a high level of scientific return and crew safety.
Published in: Proceedings of the 36th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2023)
September 11 - 15, 2023
Hyatt Regency Denver
Denver, Colorado
Pages: 3597 - 3611
Cite this article: Anzalone, Evan, Carpenter, Lemuel, Gramling, Cheryl, Mann, Laurie, Moody, Thomas, "Early Artemis Surface Navigation: Challenges, Approaches, and Opportunities," Proceedings of the 36th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2023), Denver, Colorado, September 2023, pp. 3597-3611. https://doi.org/10.33012/2023.19274
Full Paper: ION Members/Non-Members: 1 Download Credit
Sign In