German space firm PTScientists has partnered with Vodafone and Nokia to create a Moon-based communication network that uses 4G LTE to bring high definition video of the moon to earth. The company had earlier partnered with Audi to produce Quattro rovers to the Moon to explore the lunar surface. The project is expected to start off in 2019 and will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Vodafone’s base station will be used to communicate with the lunar rovers while they are used to capture video of the moon’s surface. According to reports, the 4G based network will use 1800 MHz frequency to transfer HD quality video to the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module (ALINA). ALINA will be connected to the Berlin-based PTScientists. Nokia is working on constructing space-grade equipment that will be weighing less than a kilogram.
Compared to analogue radios, 4G is more energy efficient and allows a greater amount of data to be sent and received between the rover and ALINA station. "We are very pleased to have been selected by Vodafone to be their technology partner," said Nokia's Marcus Weldon. "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.”