Airbus Defence and Space selects Neptec UK to design LiDAR extra-terrestrial imaging applications
Germany-based Airbus Defence and Space has contracted Neptec Design Group’s UK subsidiary to design a ‘radar laser’ or LiDAR extra-terrestrial imaging applications (LEIA), which will be installed on the Pilot autonomous landing navigation system.
Development of the landing sensor prototype has already been started by Neptec UK in Oxfordshire.
Neptec UK managing director Mike Kearns said: “The LIDAR technology that is being developed for this mission also has significant potential for terrestrial use in helping to guide autonomous mobile platforms.
“Vehicle autonomy is an exciting growth industry around the world, and LIDAR technology plays a key role in its development.”
To be developed by Neptec UK, the LEIA will be launched aboard an unmanned mission to the south polar region of the Moon.
The first in a series of launches that could see the first human habitat on the Moon, the proposed mission is currently being undertaken by Russian space agency Roscosmos, in cooperation with European Space Agency (ESA).
Known as Luna Resource-1 Lander, the mission is expected to be launched by 2021.
Neptec UK noted that the LiDAR is expected to map the surface of the Moon during the lander’s descent in order to find a suitable safe landing area.
ESA has also provided the Pilot system for precision and safe landing of the Luna Resource-1 Lander mission.