Qascom has signed a contract with ASI, called NEIL, to develop a GPS and Galileo receiver able to experiment for the first time in history the satellite navigation positioning from the Moon.
The contract is part of the experimentation “Lunar GNSS Receiver Experiment (LuGRE)”, agreement between the Italian Space Agency and NASA linked to the CLPS 19-D mission in which NASA is planning to land a space vehicle in the “Mare Crisium” basin in 2023. For the first time in history, Qascom will try to position a space vehicle using satellite navigation system approximately 400.000 kms away from earth, almost the double of what previously achieved by NASA. The launch is foreseen with a Space X Falcon 9 vector and a lander provided by NASA. Within this contract, Qascom will develop a GPS / Galileo module and an antenna to support the extreme weather conditions of the moon. The module will be installed in the lander after the integration and qualification phase that will happen in 2022. The GPS and Galileo signals will be processed with innovative techniques with respect to the ones currently used on Earth, allowing the calculation of the position during the flight and once landed.
The experiment is the first of its type and will allow to study how the GPS and Galileo positioning signals could be exploited to support future Lunar colonizations, including the human presence, the Gateway space station, lunar satellite costellations and vehicles.
It is also an unique historic moment for Italy: for the first time an Italian technology will land to the moon. The mission and the data collected from the experimentation will provide a strong benefit to the academic and scientific world as well as space opportunities for small and large industries. For Qascom, this contract confirms the excellent collaborations with ASI and NASA in the field of satellite navigation, from the rocket experimentation missions to the studies in the Artemis program.
Qascom is an Italian SME leader in satellite navigation and security and operating in the Space and Defence market. It is based in Bassano del Grappa (Italy) and has a team of approximately 45 software, telecommunication and aerospace engineers.