Nokia Picked by NASA to Build First Cellular Network on the Moon

20 Octobre, 2020, 13:43 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Vodafone 4G

Bell Labs, the research arm for Nokia, says on Twitter that the company wants the network to allow for streaming video as well as lunar rovers and navigation. Eventually, the company's goal is to upgrade the 4G network to 5G, which is just now starting to roll out on the home planet.

The US Space Agency aims to develop a range of technologies to pave the way for permanent Artemis program on the moon by the end of this decade. "The system could support lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speeds, and provide more reliability than current standards", said NASA.

The $14.1 million contract was given to Nokia's U.S. subsidiary and is a small part of the $370 million total awarded to companies such as SpaceX.

Why build a cellular network in the first place, when NASA hasn't yet worked out the mechanics of a lunar base?

Nokia has announced details of its partnership with NASA to advance "Tipping Point" technologies for the Moon, deploying the first LTE communications system in space to work towards "sustainable human presence on the lunar surface".

"Reliable, resilient and high-capacity communications networks will be key to supporting sustainable human presence on the lunar surface", he added.

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NASA said that the their Space Technology Mission Directorate or STMD would negotiate with companies to offer milestone-based firm fixed-price contracts that would last for around five years.

This improved data transmission will help astronauts control lunar rovers, navigate lunar geography in real time, and stream videos.

Nokia Bell Labs' pioneering innovations will be used to build and deploy the first ultra-compact, low-power, space-hardened, end-to-end LTE solution on the lunar surface in late 2022.

For even as many Earthlings still suffer from signal problems, astronauts visiting the lunar surface will soon be able to get full bars.

Developed mission-critical LTE network is specially created to withstand the extreme temperature, radiation and vacuum conditions of space, as well as the sizable vibrational impact during launch and landing on the lunar surface.

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