International Lunar Observatory Association

ILO-X Rapid Development Program Phase 2: Moon Express (2011-2012)

The goals for Phase 2 of the Moon Express ILO-X contract with the International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) were to advance the ILO-X instrument to a space qualifiable design with component environmental testing to the extent possible, concluding with a hardware demonstration that integrated the ILO-X prototype with a pan-tilt Alt./Az drive Engineering Model (EM) supporting a Global Access Demonstration on Mauna Kea. At the conclusion of Phase 2, the objective was to have the ILO-X project ready to enter a Flight Instrument Build Phase 3. These goals were met.

At the conclusion of this phase the ILO-X design has been thoroughly developed and passed through several layers of engineering design reviews to ensure a path to flight. The design is now at a stage ready to enter a final flight design, test and build stage.


A key aspect of the Phase 2 contract was a Global Demonstration of the ILO-X prototype at the summit of Mauna Kea. This demo tested key features of the ILO-X including the use of commercial off the shelf optics components that were candidate flight components, as well as pseudo-flight software with the internet-based user interface. Science teams from all over the world accessed the ILO-X prototype remotely and imaged celestial objects.