JAXA creates consortium to study navigation and communication technology for Lunar Activities
ArkEdge Space Inc. has been awarded a contract by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to study navigation and communication technology development for lunar surface activities.
The government of Japan has chosen "A Study of Navigation and Communication Technology Development for Lunar Surface Activities" (Ministry of Education: Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)) as one of the Strategic Programs for Accelerating Research, Development and Utilization of Space Technology (STARDUST Program). JAXA has been assigned to manage the project and selected ArkEdge Space as a primary contractor.
The study will be conducted by a consortium formed by ArkEdge Space, including ispace, inc., AAI - GNSS Consulting Office, Kiyohara Optics Inc., KDDI Corporation, KDDI Research, Inc., The Graduate School of Engineering - The University of Tokyo, and Mitsubishi Precision Co., Ltd. From mid-January until March 25, 2022, the consortium will work on proposing lunar navigation and communication architecture which is expected to become infrastructure of lunar exploration.
This includes designing a concept of a lunar navigation satellite system and lunar-earth communication system and its development plan. The study is expected to develop architecture as well as to accelerate research and development of key technologies that could contribute to international discussion in the future.
International interest has been growing towards human space exploration such as the Artemis Program, which aims to return humans to the Moon by 2025 and to conduct a historic human mission to Mars in the 2030s. Japan is expected to play a key role in designing and developing navigation and communication architecture as its infrastructure.
ArkEdge Space and the consortium members will actively support Japan to achieve sustainable space exploration on the Moon and beyond, and to establish lunar economy by accelerating technology development and demonstration through collaboration among industry, academia, and government.
 A Japanese government-led and cross-ministry cooperation program to select and promote research and development projects for lunar exploration and fundamental satellite technologies.
 A United-States-led international human spaceflight program that aims to return humans to the Moon by 2025 and to conduct a historic human mission to Mars in the 2030s. NASA and JAXA also finalized an agreement for NASA's Gateway which is an orbiting outpost planned to be built in lunar orbit.