Harwell, Oxfordshire – 24 November, 2017

Neptec UK is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed testing of the Development Model of our Lunar Landing Sensor called LEIA (LiDAR for Extra-terrestrial Imaging Applications). The European Space Agency’s (ESA) and Airbus approved the shipment of the unit to NGC Ltd of Sherbrooke, Quebec for integration with their lunar simulator.

LEIA will be Neptec UK’s first Lidar to be qualified for operation in high Earth orbit. LEIA features low mass and volume and a range up to 1500 metres. LEIA is a critical component of the ESA’s autonomous landing navigation system called PILOT and will be integrated into the Luna Resource-1 Lander for the Luna 27 mission which is planned to launch in 2021. LEIA will map the surface of the south polar region of the Moon during the lander’s descent in order to locate a suitable landing area for the vehicle.

The prototype underwent rigorous testing at various sites on the Harwell Campus including the Atlas and Gemini buildings. The team also spent two weeks on the runway at the Royal Air Force base in Abingdon, Oxfordshire testing ranges up to 1.5 km