Table of Contents
International Journal of Navigation and Observation
Volume 2008, Article ID 435961, 7 pages
Research Article

Regionalized Lunar South Pole Surface Navigation System Analysis

Glenn Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Cleveland, OH 44135, USA

Received 10 May 2007; Accepted 17 January 2008

Academic Editor: Daniele Mortari

Copyright © 2008 Bryan W. Welch. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Apollo missions utilized Earth-based assets for navigation, since the landings took place at lunar locations in constant view from the Earth. The new exploration campaign to the lunar South Pole region will have limited Earth visibility, but the extent to which a navigation system comprised solely of Earth-based tracking stations will provide adequate navigation solutions in this region is unknown. This article presents a dilution-of-precision-(DoP-) based stationary surface navigation analysis of the performance of multiple lunar satellite constellations, Earth-based deep space network assets, and combinations thereof. Results show that kinematic and integrated solutions cannot be provided by the Earth-based deep space network stations. Also, the surface stationary navigation system needs to be operated as a two-way navigation system, or as a one-way navigation system with local terrain information, while integrating the position solution over a short duration of time with navigation signals being provided by a lunar satellite constellation.