by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Oct 16, 2023
Lunar exploration is expanding at a rapid pace, and a robust lunar economy within the next decade is coming quickly into focus. It's clear that many shareable, scalable commercial systems will be needed to support a future lunar ecosystem. Yet a key question remains: How will these systems interface?
Through the Lunar Guidelines for Infrastructure Consortium (LOGIC), DARPA will convene stakeholders across industry, academia, and government to identify critical lunar infrastructure interoperability and interface needs. Where appropriate, LOGIC will encourage the community to develop operational guidelines and pathways to close interoperability gaps.
The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) will administer LOGIC, providing technical leadership and management of the consortium. LOGIC envisions a permanent, self-sustaining, and independent forum where international industry, government and academia can collaborate for the benefit of the entire lunar community.
DARPA recently initiated the 10-Year Lunar Architecture (LunA-10) Capability Study, which aims to spur the development of a future civil lunar framework for peaceful U.S. and international use.
It seeks to rapidly develop foundational technology concepts that move away from individual scientific efforts within isolated, self-sufficient systems, toward a series of shareable, scalable systems that interoperate - minimizing lunar footprint and creating monetizable services for future lunar users. LOGIC will foster international engagement and the required technical discussions for the creation of interoperating standards for such commercial technologies.
"Widespread exploration and commerce on and around the Moon are on the horizon. With LunA-10, we're studying the technologies that can help to get us there - and interoperability needs to be part of the picture from the start," said Dr. Michael "Orbit" Nayak, program manager in DARPA's Strategic Technology Office.
"Regular collaboration within the communities working on lunar technologies is key to an interoperable future that supports a diverse industrial base and facilitates efficient upgrades, maintenance, and repairability for commercial lunar services. While other efforts focus on technology development, LOGIC will zero in how systems work together. We're looking for maximum participation from the public and private sectors and from international stakeholders."
Working closely with NASA's Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative (LSII) and Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium (LSIC), LOGIC seeks to accelerate the development of international, consensus-driven technical interoperability standards in areas such as power distribution, communications, relative positioning and navigation methods, lunar surface surveying, and cislunar air and space traffic control.
JHU APL and LOGIC will facilitate working groups to identify critical interfaces that would benefit from standardization and system components that would benefit from modularity; assess the impact of potential technology decisions on the broader space community; and develop community-recommended solution paths to close interoperability gaps.