Vodafone and Nokia Set to bring 4G to the Moon

Photo by NASA on The Commons/Flickr

PTScientists, a German new-space company, has been planning a mission to the Moon for years. It has created a partnership with Audi to produce and deliver two units XPrize-winning Quattro rovers to the Moon that is intended explore both the lunar surface and carefully return to the landing site of Apollo 17 in 2019. Currently, the team has partnered with Nokia and Vodafone in order to create a communications network that is based on the moon using 4G LTE to bring a high-definition video of the moon to those of us that are here on Earth.

The base station of Vodafone will communicate with the rovers as they collect images and videos of the numerous lunar sights. The 4G network will make use of the 1800 MHz frequency band in order to send HD video to the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module (ALINA). The ALINA will then connect to PTScientists that are based in Berlin. Nokia is producing space-grade networking gear that will weigh less than a kilogram in total.

4G is considered to more energy efficient compared to analogue radio. It will enable a larger amount of data to be transferred between the ALINA station and the rovers.

Marcus Weldon of Nokia stated: “We are very pleased to have been selected by Vodafone to be their technology partner.

He added: “This important mission is supporting, among other things, the development of new space-grade technologies for future data networking, processing and storage, and will help advance the communications infrastructure required for academics, industry and educational institutions in conducting lunar research. These aims have potentially wide-ranging implications for many stakeholders and humanity as a whole, and we look forward to working closely with Vodafone and the other partners in the coming months, prior to the launch in 2019.”