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Antenna for assets navigation on planets, integrated in communication systems

Programme
TDE
Programme Reference
T307-702EF
Prime Contractor
SENER TAFS, S.A.U.
Start Date
End Date
Status
Closed
Country
Spain
Objectives

Design, manufacture and test an antenna integrating communication and localization capabilities.

Description

Accurate localisation of assets on planetary bodies will be crucial in future exploration missions when it comes to autonomous vehicles navigation and accurate positioning. On Earth, dedicated systems in L-band are typically used for navigation and localisation. For exploration missions, it is desirable to integrate the navigation antenna in a communication system operating at higher frequency (such as Ka-band).The advantage of this solution is a reduction of the required hardware, corresponding to relaxed requirements on mass and volume to be transported to the planet, as well as reduced complexity of the deployment mechanisms. Specifically, the use of higher frequencies will help reducing the size and mass of the navigation system. The actual reduction depends on the selected frequency, but a 30 to 50% reduction is expected.Based on the current definition of the Lunar Communications Architecture by the Interagency Operations Advisory Group (IAOG), the Positioning Navigation and Timing (PNT) service shall be integrated with the communication baselines between relay or lunar orbiter and lunar surface. Such feature will provide an in-situ navigation service.The activity will focus on the design and development of an antenna for terminals (e.g. landers, rovers, etc.) integrating localisation and communication capabilities. The overall dimension will be driven by the communication antenna, but its use for PNT will add a requirement on the phase centre and group delay stability. An overview of possible solutions and a trade-off analysis among them shall be derived. Several scenarios, terminals, antenna configurations and operation frequencies shall be included in the comparison. The most promising solution shall be designed and experimentally demonstrated. The Breadboard aiming at demonstrating the navigation capability, it can be a simplified antenna (e.g. linear or planar array instead of full-scale phased array antenna).This activity encompasses the following tasks:- Consolidation of the requirements,- Trade-off analysis among several solutions and identification of the most promising antenna configuration,- Design and detailed analysis,- Manufacture and testing of a representative simplified antenna Breadboard

Application Domain
Exploration
Technology Domain
7 - Electromagnetic Technologies and Techniques
Competence Domain
5-Radiofrequency & Optical Systems and Products
Keywords
10-Communications & Navigation
Initial TRL
TRL 2
Target TRL
TRL 4
Achieved TRL
TRL 4
Public Document