Design of communication relay mission for supporting lunar-farside soft landing

  • Weiren Wu
  • Yuhua Tang
  • Lihua Zhang
  • Dong Qiao
Research Paper Special Focus on Deep Space Communications


Chang’E-IV will be the first soft-landing and rover mission on the lunar farside. The relay satellite, which is located near the Earth-Moon L2 point for relay communication, is the key to the landing mission. Based on an analysis of the characteristics of the task and the technical difficulties associated with the relay satellite system, the overall design scheme of the relay communication mission is proposed in terms of trajectory design and communication system design among other aspects. First, according to the complex dynamic environment, a mission orbit that serves as an uninterrupted communication link is presented. A short-duration and low-energy transfer trajectory with lunar flyby is discussed. Orbital correction and a low-cost control strategy for orbit maintenance in the Earth-Moon L2 point region are provided. Second, considering the existing technical constraints, the requirement of relay communication in different stages and the design schemes of frequency division and redundant relay communication system are introduced. Finally, based on the trajectory design index and the performance of the communication system, the overall design scheme of the relay communication mission is proposed. This mission will provide the technical support and reference required for the Chang’E-IV mission.


lunar farside soft landing relay communication Earth-Moon Lagrange point 



This work was supported by National Science and Technology Major Project of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Lunar Exploration Program), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11572038), and Chang Jiang Scholars Program.


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weiren Wu
    • 1
  • Yuhua Tang
    • 2
    • 1
  • Lihua Zhang
    • 3
  • Dong Qiao
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Lunar Exploration Program and Space Engineering CenterBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Aerospace EngineeringBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina
  3. 3.Dong Fang Hong Satellite Co. Ltd.BeijingChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Autonomous Navigation and Control for Deep Space ExplorationMinistry of Industry and Information TechnologyBeijingChina

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