Several options are available to customers when deciding the type of communication services best suited to their mission. From a dedicated service in “Real-time” to autonomous optimisation, service can be tailored to the mission needs.
Services are incremental, starting with a basic package called “back-up” service in which SSTL works with the customer in ensuring compatibility of their lunar asset and Lunar Pathfinder, and then offer periodic contact between the two to ensure availability of service if required.
The “autonomous” mode includes the “back-up service”, and relays an agreed amount of data per day between earth ground station and relay satellite. This is called “autonomous” as Lunar Pathfinder optimises automatically when the customer asset is contacted for data transfer, within an agreed periodicity. This allows Lunar Pathfinder to automatically offer the best possible data-rates to customers whenever available.
The “scheduled” service builds upon the “autonomous” one, by adding priority service where, over a pre-agreed time period, the only the asset in question will be hailed and provided data relay services. This service is ideal for users that have time critical events where they need a greater level of assurance on their communications link. During this time period the Moon Link payload will repeatedly hail the asset until it establishes a link.
The “Real-time” service builds upon the “scheduled” one, adding the operational constraint that Lunar Pathfinder must be in visibility of the customer asset and the earth ground station simultaneously, so that it can transmit data from one to the other with minimal delay.
At the start of Lunar Pathfinder services, “autonomous” and “scheduled” modes will be the 2 baseline services at the start of Lunar Pathfinder operations with the option of “back-up” service. The “Real-time” services will be built up subsequently.
Wrap-up services to accompany our customers before and after launch
Prior to contract signature for Lunar Comms services, SSTL will work with the prospective customer to define the services best suited to their needs. This will include pre-launch support and link commissioning for customer asset. SSTL will be happy to assist the customer at every phase of the design, ensuring compatibility of the customer asset with the data-relay satellite.
Once on the lunar surface and in lunar orbit, and for the duration of the services, SSTL will provide a customer service package to answer customer's requests or queries.
Contact us for more information on our Lunar Mission services: email@example.com
The Lunar Pathfinder User Manual is currently being updated - available again soon