Last year, NASA signed a contract of $14.1 million with Nokia Bell Labs for developing 4G LTE network on the moon. This network set up will be within a range of 5 km. The company will be developing cell towers on the lunar surface that will enable smoother communication and robotic control from space.
How will 4G Network Work on the Moon?
Nokia has been working with Intuitive Machines to develop rovers that will facilitate communication on the moon. The devices that will be used will be smaller than the current cell phones we use.
Coming to the communication system, it will work within a short range of 300-400 metres. However, the company is also working on providing signal up to 5 km. The towers are going to be 3-5 metres tall.
The equipment being used for providing network on the moon will be more resistant to vibration, radiation and temperature fluctuation. This module integrates radio, baseband and processing hardware that can mount on the lunar surface.
What Does the Future Look Like?
Even though we are developing 5G network for communication here, 4G has proven to provide better performance on the moon. According to Thierry Klein, the vice president of Enterprise & Industrial Automation Research Lab at Bell Labs, this is the biggest project in focus for 2021.
The vision is to enable voice communication and transmission of high-resolution videos and scientific data on the lunar surface at a high speed. Furthermore, we will also be developing robotic control and biometrics. The aim is to conduct more advanced research projects on the surface of the moon.