DOI: 10.3390/s23249832 ISSN: 1424-8220

A Review of Lunar Communications and Antennas: Assessing Performance in the Context of Propagation and Radiation

Elham Serria, Rida Gadhafi, Sara AlMaeeni, Husameldin Mukhtar, Abigail Copiaco, Raed Abd-Alhameed, Frederic Lemieux, Wathiq Mansoor
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Analytical Chemistry

Over the previous two decades, a notable array of space exploration missions have been initiated with the primary aim of facilitating the return of both humans and robots from Earth to the moon. The significance of these endeavors cannot be emphasized enough as numerous entities, both public and private, from across the globe have invested substantial resources into this pursuit. Researchers have committed their efforts to addressing the challenges linked to lunar communication. Even with all of these efforts, only a few of the many suggested designs for communication and antennas on the moon have been evaluated and compared. These designs have also not been shared with the scientific community. To bridge this gap in the existing body of knowledge, this paper conducts a thorough review of lunar surface communication and the diverse antenna designs employed in lunar communication systems. This paper provides a summary of the findings presented in lunar surface communication research while also outlining the assorted challenges that impact lunar communication. Apart from various antenna designs reported in this field, based on their intended usage, two additional classifications are introduced: (a) mission-based antennas—utilized in actual lunar missions—and (b) research-based antennas—employed solely for research purposes. Given the critical need to comprehend and predict lunar conditions and antenna behaviors within those conditions, this review holds immense significance. Its relevance is particularly pronounced in light of the numerous upcoming lunar missions that have been announced.

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