Nebula Public Library

The knowledge bank of ESA’s R&D programmes

GNSS L-band antenna for lunar relay satellites

Programme Reference
Prime Contractor
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Corporation
Start Date
End Date
GNSS L-band antenna for lunar relay satellites
The objective of this activity is to design, manufacture and test a new receiving Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) antenna for Lunar relay satellites.
In the recent years an increasing interest in the positioning navigation and timing service on the Moon has been shown in order to support next exploration missions on the Earth natural satellite. In order to improve satellite autonomy and support real time orbit determination, ESA has studied the use of GNSS signals in Moon orbits in previous activities.
As the first on-flight demonstration of the GNSS receiver system performance on Moon orbit, a hosted GNSS receiver has been planned to be embarked on Lunar satellite. This technology could allow significant reduction in operational cost, improving spacecraft autonomy and orbit state vector (position and velocity) knowledge accuracy. In addition, this technology can provide precise timing to the satellite avionic platform.
The aim of this activity is to design, manufacture and test a new receiving L-band antenna that guarantees the minimum signal power required to acquire and track Earth GNSS signals in lunar orbits, providing the necessary accuracy in positioning, navigation and timing.
The proposed activity shall include the following tasks:
    • Critical review and consolidation of the antenna specifications;
    • Design of the antenna;
    • Manufacture of PFM antenna,
Qualify the PFM antenna.
Application Domain
Technology Domain
10 - Flight Dynamics and GNSS
Competence Domain
5-Radiofrequency & Optical Systems and Products
Initial TRL
Target TRL