News Moon to get 4G mobile network

Notebook

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Wishful thinking, and good promotions?.
Does beggar the question of what comms you would use on a pristine Moon? No copper buried cable, no fibre-cable. Line-of sight microwaves?

The world's your lobster.
N.
 

Andy44

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Maybe this makes sense if you have several rovers/landers within range of the cells, which can use lightweight and lower power phone type transceivers instead of high power radios and high gain antennas, leaving the heavy power and bandwidth work for the cell station. But it sounds like a gimmick to me.

As for comms on an inhabited moon, certainly mobile phone tech would be ubiquitous. Many developing nations have been skipping historical land line infrastructure and going straight to mobile; it's cheaper and more advanced. For longer distance comms you'd probably want a satellite phone network similar to Iridium or something. Problem with lunar satellites though is that they require much more frequent maneuvering to stay in orbit than earth-orbiters do, due to the Moon's wonky mass properties and Earth's influence.
 

MaverickSawyer

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Nah, microwave relay towers. Low gravity means you can build 'em much taller. ;)
 

Notebook

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Would think its a good time to start thinking about making the Moon an RF protected site. We are just on the cusp of cheap and cheerful robotic exploration. Would be a shame to start polluting the place?

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Ravenous

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Would think its a good time to start thinking about making the Moon an RF protected site. We are just on the cusp of cheap and cheerful robotic exploration. Would be a shame to start polluting the place?

N.

I heard a quote years ago (with no supporting evidence) that if someone left a mobile phone up there, it would be more powerful than any natural radio source in space.

(It's not a fair comparison, as there are lots of other artificial sources in - and now around - the solar system, but it illustrates the potential inconvenience to radio astronomy.)
 

jedidia

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Well, if there's serious intentions to explore the moon, sending up a few satelites to build a communications network that future probes can use instead of carrying their whole radio equipment with them would seem like an excellent idea.
 

Urwumpe

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If they manage to bring 4G into a small valley in the Westerwald region, I would be more impressed...
 

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Maybe this makes sense if you have several rovers/landers within range of the cells, which can use lightweight and lower power phone type transceivers instead of high power radios and high gain antennas, leaving the heavy power and bandwidth work for the cell station. But it sounds like a gimmick to me.

Curious what they mean by 4G? LTE is designed specifically for a radio environment where you have many users simultaneously accessing the network and the radio channels are subject to tons of interference and meteorological distortion. That situation doesn't apply to the moon. LTE is also asymmetric; it's optimized for downlink transmissions, but the kind of rover network they're envisioning would need uplink priority. Are they just trying to leverage existing technology? Why not start with ZigBee or some other protocol designed for data collection and automation networks, and just scale it up for bandwidth and range?
 
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