Expanding Horizons into Space
16 May 2022

As the saying goes, shoot for the Moon! Some individuals such as Dr Thierry E. Klein, President of Bell Labs Solutions Research at Nokia Bell Labs, take it quite literally, as he shared at a DSTA Academy Technology Talk held on 11 May 2022.

Speaking to DSTA staff, Dr Klein shared some information about Nokia’s mission to deploy a Long-Term Evolution (LTE)/4G cellular network on the moon as part of their collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Under the ‘Tipping Point’ Programme, a US government-industry collaboration to develop space technologies supporting future space capabilities and missions, Nokia provides its expertise in communications and networking technology to deploy the first cellular communications system in space.

Their aim? To demonstrate that current cellular technologies can meet the communication needs of future space missions.

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He also highlighted the various equipment and technologies being designed, developed and deployed by Nokia Bell Labs for the lunar mission, the challenges brought about by the extreme demands of space travel, and how they are being addressed.

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During the question and answer session that followed, our engineers raised a myriad of questions. They were particularly interested to learn more about ground-to-satellite communications and the potential of 5G technology. But more importantly was the opportunity to hear and learn directly from an industry expert such as Dr Klein.

Senior Engineer (InfoComm Infrastructure) Brenda Lee said: “The sharing was insightful, and the use case demonstrated how technologies that may be common in our daily lives can actually have innovative use cases in other situations and environments.”

Sharing those sentiments, Senior Principal Engineer (InfoComm Infrastructure) Loh Kuan Chou added: “It was very informative – I’d never thought about setting up a 4G/5G infrastructure on the moon before this!”

Visuals in article courtesy of speaker.