The Antenna Technologies division of Communications & Power Industries (CPI) has received a subcontract valued at more than $30 million to provide earth station antennas for the NASA Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program’s Lunar Exploration Ground Sites (LEGS) project. The subcontract was awarded to CPI by Peraton, a national security company, as part of its multiyear Space Exploration Network Services and Evolution (SENSE) contract from NASA for telemetry, tracking and command (TT&C) services for near-Earth missions.
CPI will provide three 20-meter diameter gateway antenna systems, operating in X-band and Ka-band for the three LEGS sites, equally spaced around the planet to enable near-continuous direct-to-Earth communications and navigation services. The LEGS antennas will ease coverage demands on SCaN’s Deep Space Network, or DSN. These communications services are critical to NASA‘s Artemis exploration program and other lunar and cis-lunar missions, as they keep Artemis astronauts on the Moon connected with their support teams on Earth. The LEGS antennas will provide vital dedicated communications. The antenna systems will be designed and manufactured at CPI’s antenna facilities in the United States and Europe.
“As NASA looks to evolve its networks to support missions up to two million kilometers from Earth that enable new science and exploration, CPI is proud to be a member of the team that provides efficient, effective and innovative space communications and navigation solutions for these high-priority missions. CPI companies have been part of lunar and space exploration since the beginning, supporting programs such as the first moon landing and the Deep Space Network, and we look forward to supporting the next generation of lunar missions,” said Andrew Ivers, president and chief executive officer of CPI.
“We are proud to work with CPI, a proven leader in space communications and navigation solutions, to expand NASA‘s mission capabilities and strengthen the United States’ space posture,” said Roger Mason, PhD, president, Peraton’s Space & Intelligence sector.
This is one of CPI‘s several recent wins to support lunar and cis-lunar programs. In 2021, the company announced it was selected to provide specialized K-band traveling wave tube amplifiers (TWTAs) for NASA‘s Artemis lunar exploration program. The amplifiers will aid communications, data, and telemetry functions for the program’s gateway outpost in lunar orbit. More recently, KSAT (Kongsberg Satellite Services) announced in July 2023 that it had selected the company’s German subsidiary, CPI Vertex Antennentechnik, to provide 20-meter X-band and Ka-band antennas for TT&C and other services to support KSAT’s purpose-built lunar ground network. The antennas are compliant with the requirements of planned lunar relay satellite constellations and NASA’s LEGS program.