The launch of NASA's Artemis I rocket is the first step toward bringing people to the moon again. A receiver developed at the DIGITAL Institute ensures proper communication to and from the moon rocket. After decades of interruption, NASA's Artemis mission will once again take humans to the moon. But it's not that far yet: Artemis I is the first, still crewless rocket to make its way around the moon - with the help of technology developed at the DIGITAL Institute. There are about 40 experts researching space technologies for everyday use. Among other things, a device has been developed to control the antennas that establish communication between the rocket and the ground station.
Michael Schmidt, a researcher at DIGITAL, explains: "In radio communications, moving transmitters such as satellites in low orbits have to be tracked with highly directional antennas in order to maintain data communications. The monopulse tracking method is used for this. We have developed a receiver for this." The technology, which is familiar to radar technology, requires only one transmission pulse to perform the focusing of the antenna on the transmitter. The monopulse tracking receiver was developed by a team from JOANNEUM RESEARCH and is distributed by CPI/ VERTEX ANTENNENTECHNIK GmbH.
The company has now provided the signal receiver for the British ground station Goonhilly. There, the large antenna handles communications to and from the lunar rocket when it is within the antenna's field of view.
"We have commercialized the Monopulse Tracking Receiver worldwide and are now especially proud to be part of such an important space mission as Artemis," says a delighted Gerbert Lagerweij, sales director of CPI/ VERTEX Antenna Technology.
About the Monopulse Tracking Receiver
In radio communications, moving transmitters (e.g.: satellites in low orbits) must be tracked with highly directional antennas in order to maintain data communications. For this purpose, the "monopulse tracking" method is used. This technology needs only one transmitting pulse to perform the focusing of the antenna on the transmitter. Of course, this also works with continuous signals such as those found in satellite communication. With the "Monopulse Tracking Receiver" developed by JOANNEUM RESEARCH a fast and robust tracking of the transmitter/satellite is possible. The implementation was done by means of "Software-Defined-Radio-Technology". The device was developed for VERTEX ANTENNENTECHNIK GmbH and is distributed exclusively by this company.
- More information about the moon mission Artemis on the NASA website