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Communications and Navigation


NASA seeks proposals to produce innovative technologies in the communications and navigation discipline to support Exploration, Operations, Science, and Space Technology missions, including the eventual return of humans to the Lunar surface. Missions are generating ever-increasing data volumes that require increased performance from communications systems while minimizing spacecraft impact. This requires communications systems to have higher peak throughput along with lower cost, mass, and power per bit transmitted.  Missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond will require reliable and secure communications systems operating in the radio frequency bands and optical wavelengths to reduce mission operations burden and support for data-intensive operations. These missions will rely on enhanced autonomous navigation techniques to support rendezvous and docking; on-orbit servicing, assembly, and manufacturing; and precision landing. This focus area supports the development of novel communications and navigation technologies that can provide a significant improvement over the current state of the art, including ultra-fast, robust optical communications systems; positioning, timing, guidance, navigation, and control techniques; and space-based applications of 3GPP technologies, waveforms, and modeling for future Lunar surface communications infrastructure.

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