Audi Luna Quattros
Are they sending up a space-suited Gene Hunt to drive the things?
Vodafone and Nokia have joined forces to bring 4G to a barren, characterless expanse (no, we don't mean Surrey suburbia). From 2019 LTE will be available on the moon. The network is intended to support a mission by Berlin company PTScientists, along with Vodafone Germany and Audi, to achieve the first privately funded Moon …
I thought NASA didn't want people playing around on the Apollo landing sites, disturbing them?
Not that they own any real estate on the Moon of course. But it would be a bit rude if you were doing it without permission, to launching from NASA's own base. Even if it is on a private rocket.
Also, have they bought a license for that spectrum from Lunar Ofcom? They might be interrupting the Clangers' mobile reception. Worse, it could even be ATC for the soup dragon!
What's the Martian equivalent of an Ofcom weasel?
I know their fuck-buddy BT once used E.T. in its adverts, with E.T. even giving its customers the glowing finger in those ads, back then.
"Not that they own any real estate on the Moon of course."
No they don't, but you reminded me about something saying that. What about that bloke that claimed all the planets and celestial bodies and started selling bits of them to gullible punters (yeah unfortunately me too in my younger days, chance for a bit of the moon eh, why not?). Surely he should kick up a stink about people going up there and sticking mobile masts on his and his customers land? Or is he busy sitting on his cash pile still laughing.
Patent everything 3G, 4G, 5G, bluetooth, everything, but on the moon (even though the moon has rounded corners).
Patent everything 3G, 4G, 5G, bluetooth, everything, but on Mars (even though Mars has rounded corners).
Patent everything 3G, 4G, 5G, bluetooth, everything, but on Mercury (even though Mercury has rounded corners).
Patent everything 3G, 4G, 5G, bluetooth, everything, but on Venus (even though Venus has rounded corners).
That does actually raise some interesting questions? What is the scope of trademark/patent/copyright law? I'm pretty sure it doesn't extend off-planet. So could someone put a satellite in lunastationary orbit that projects a giant video of Snow White or Bambi on the lunar surface without Disney being able to sue?
as long as your "home of record" remains on Earth, you'd be subject to the laws of that jurisdiction.
Additionally, there are international agreements, such as what you'd face "on the high seas".
But I'm sure the legislators can't wait to muck things up even worse than it already is on Earth. No escaping it, like death and taxes.
Hello. EE customer support? How can I help you?
My Venus-patented 5G mobile phone isn't working. I need a replacement.
OK sir. Let me just do a couple of diagnostic checks. Firstly has it been disolved by the sulphuric acid rain?
Has it been crushed by the massive atmospheric pressure?
Has it been melted by the ludicrous surface heat?
Struck by lightning?
Ah yes, that was it.
I'm sorry sir, that's considered an act of God, and so your insurance policy is void. Goodbye.
"Deep space" doesnt really have a set definition, the best I could find is that the US GOV define it as anything outside cislunar space - basically anything beyond the moon.
By definition the moon is always on the boundary of this.
Though I suspect that the naming of the Deep space network is more to do with how cool it sounds than anything else!
> There are better solutions.
Possibly, but they might need extensive designing. This is off the shelf, plus some radiation hardening, so probably a bit less effort
> LTE is designed to suit patent holders,
Meh, Nokia is part of this, and the specs are in FRAND, so doubt they'll owe much. Equally I doubt this is vanilla LTE - probably rather cut down protocols as they don't need to worry about authenticating their users. Plus a core network in a box to do the local switching/routing to the right base station
> the issues of terrestrial channel size,
What issues? You can do carrier aggregation up to 6x20MHz, at least, plus MIMO and beam steering. Loads of capacity for each rover if they want
> handovers between bases etc.
Possibly a useful feature if the rover, you know, moves about
Definitely good PR though :)
"8 seconds delay"
yeah the signal has a half-million mile (or so) trip each way, or something like it. Imagine two people trying to talk during the silences.
Uh, you first...
Anyway ~1 million miles / 186,000 miles/sec -> ~6 seconds give or take some roundoff, and that assumes my half-million mile to the moon figgur is actually correct.
"yeah the signal has a half-million mile (or so) trip each way, or something like it. Imagine two people trying to talk during the silences."
Not far off making an international call in the early 90s... I remember trying to speak to people in Saudi at the time over the phone and it was horrendous.
The mean distance to the moon from Earth is about 238,855 miles, so round trip delay isa bit more than two and a half seconds. My recollection is that when men were on the moon, the delays were noticeable but not so large as to get in the way of sensible communication.
Actually, the Moon is roughly a quarter-million miles distant; 240k miles or so.
If I recall from watching the teleoperated video from the LRVs on Apollos 15-17, the one-way signal time is something like 2 seconds -- enough that there's a discernible delay, but not so much that you can't have a normal radio conversation. Still, working the remote-controlled cam on the LRV required the operator to kind of guess ahead by about 2 or 3 seconds.
When transmitting the live video of the Apollo 15-17 LMs lifting off from the Moon, the LRV cam console op in Mission Control would hit "tilt up" at about T-3 seconds, so that the camera at the site got the "tilt up" command just at T-0 and followed the ascent stage up.
Vodafone won’t get the link up, they’ll blame signal strength or something and then ask for power and kit checks, and then phone it through to the deep space network to troubleshoot. Several days later they’ll phone asking for site access details and then claim they can’t get an engineer to site as it’s too remote. That’ll be th3 only true thing they will report.
So, I spend a billion dollars to get to the moon. Talking to my rover via 4G. Then beep, beep... incoming call...
I press the key to answer...
Robo voice comes on saying "Good news... Do not miss this great deal on carpet cleaning...."
Can they make it to the moon to clean that moon dust out of my carpet?
> Maybe put a fence around the Apollo landing site and charge admission?
The moon has gravity only a sixth as strong as earth's, so it'd have to be six times as high for the same effect. You can electrify it, but anybody who goes there will be wearing non-conductive gloves. And, of course, you'd need to make it thick and ugly just to avoid people breaking through it with wire or bolt cutters. Really, there's no practical way to prevent vandals from stealing them.
There is no risk of interference from Earth since the distance is on average 350.000 km and the frequencies in use are already in use in Europe (but not in US). With all 4G transmitters being too small to reach the Moon (normal is 1W to 30W).
I do wonder how much coverage this going to get on the Moon. Since on Earth the best 1800Mhz can give is 25 km. Weather is not a issue on the Moon but radiation levels are.
jonfr suggested, "Since on Earth the best 1800Mhz can give is 25 km."
And why is 1800 MHz limited to 25 km? It's certainly not an inherent limitation of the band, as there is no such thing. Perhaps given a certain EIRP and 'waveform' technology, it might be a rough rule-of-thumb guideline. But it'd be wrong all the time.
That was the maximum range when it was used for GSM technology. It might even be shorter with LTE due to modulation differences. Unless they are using a modulation that can go longer distances than 25 km. As I understand it a QPSK modulation might work well on the Moon and elsewhere to get a good distance coverage (I don't know if it works with LTE). But there is a good chance that OFDM is just going to be used as the standard says.
The only things different (radio-wise) about the Moon compared to the Earth are as follows.
It should be radio-quieter (lack of people).
No atmosphere, no moisture.
Horizon would be much closer (size of Moon).
In general, modulation schemes ("waveforms") are getting more clever and more optimal each generation. That's simply a function of human intelligence.
Other than that, it's system design and trade-offs.
"QPSK modulation might work well on the Moon"
I would hope so. If it didn't, then that would be a very interesting observation. :-)
"And why is 1800 MHz limited to 25 km?"
Atmospheric attenuation and for GSM-style thingies, hard limits on allowable round trip times.
On the moon the limiting issue will be the distance to the horizon - 2.43km - you'll need a pretty tall mast to overcome that or have it orbiting (in which case the handoff is because the "base station" is moving, not the rover.)
In any case, 4G is _not_ limited to 1800MHz. Even in Europe it's used in a number of sub 1GHz bands
"The man that sold the Moon". Robert Heinlein wrote it, if I recall correctly, it was a very long time ago. I vaguely recall the plot centered around a guy using the law that people own everything above the land they buy, bought up lots of land around the Equator, since the Moon orbited around the Equator, he claimed he had bought the Moon, then proceeded to sell it, or bits of it, for a rather large profit. I could be entirely wrong about all of this.
As if the snake oil radios scam couldn't be even more of a joke.
This explains the joke exactly. HD lol.
"The base station should be able to broadcast 4G using the 1800 MHz frequency band and send back live HD video feed of the Moon's surface, which will be broadcast to a global audience via a deep space link."
I'm having as much as anybody here enjoying a laff about mobile quality on Earth vs the Moon, but I've been reading up a bit lately on issues like communication infrastructure for lunar and Martian expeditions and thinking all hype aside, this'd be really cool if it worked.
I'm even more fascinated by the idea of their visiting and imaging the Apollo 17 site in HD. I'm really curious to see what kind of "weathering" there is on the artifacts left behind -- the descent stages, the PLSS's, the ALSEP components, the LRVs.
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