About the Project

As part of the Australian Space Agency’s Moon to Mars Initiative, the AAO will build a new optical multi-beam laser collimator that be incorporated into a precision instrument that will land on the moon.

The project is part of a collaboration between AAO and lead partner, Advanced Navigation, who were awarded a $5.2M Moon to Mars Initiative: Demonstrator Mission Grant. The laser collimators will be incorporated into Advance Navigation’s space-qualified Light Detection, Altimetry and Velocimetry (LiDAV) sensor called LUNA (Laser measurement Unit for Navigational Aid). The prototype sensor will be delivered to US-based space systems company, Intuitive Machines, as part of NASA’s ongoing Commercial Lunar Payload Services program.

The AAO was chosen to design and build the laser collimator for the LUNA device due to AAO’s proven expertise in the area of precision astronomical instrumentation.