Safran Acquires Orolia and Plans to Become the World Leader in Resilient PNT

ROCHESTER, N.Y., July 8, 2022 (Orolia PR) — After an exclusive negotiation process that began in December 2021, Orolia — a company recognized globally for its positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) and related activities, technologies and equipment — today joins Safran Electronics & Defense, the European leader and world number three in inertial navigation systems.

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UK Satnav Signal Generated in New Test to Provide Future Resilient, Precise, Safety-Critical Capabilities

  • Team comprising Inmarsat, Goonhilly, GMVNSL demonstrates platform for future sovereign UK Position, Navigation and Timing capability
  • UK not part of Galileo satnav system, cannot use European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) safety of life (SOL) services since leaving European Union

LONDON (Inmarsat PR) — An Inmarsat-led team of companies in the UK, building on national expertise and prior experience within the group, has begun broadcasting a satellite navigation signal as part of a programme to explore the creation of a sovereign national capability in resilient positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) for the aviation and maritime sectors. The signal, being broadcast in coordination with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union Space Programme Agency (EUSPA), is now stable and operational, enabling on-going testing and validation by industry, regulators, and users.

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NASA Moon Mission Set to Break Record in Navigation Signal Test

Artistic rendering of LuGRE and the GNSS constellations. In reality, the Earth-based GNSS constellations take up less than 10 degrees in the sky, as seen from the Moon. (Credit: NASA/Dave Ryan)

By Danny Baird
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

GREENBELT, Md. — As the Artemis missions journey to the Moon and NASA plans for the long voyage to Mars, new navigation capabilities will be key to science, discovery, and human exploration.

Through NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, Firefly Aerospace of Cedar Park, Texas, will deliver an experimental payload to the Moon’s Mare Crisium basin. NASA’s Lunar GNSS Receiver Experiment (LuGRE) payload will test a powerful new lunar navigation capability using Earth’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals at the Moon for the first time.  GNSS refers to satellite constellations commonly used for position, navigation, and timing services on Earth. GPS — the GNSS constellation operated by the U.S. Space Force — is the one many Americans are familiar with and use on a daily basis.

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Xona Passes Critical Testing Milestone as Private GNSS Readies for Launch

Xona has completed environmental testing for their upcoming demo mission, a significant step towards realizing the first high-performance commercial navigation system. 

Xona’s first demonstration mission successfully completes testing at Experior Laboratories and prepares for launch on a Falcon 9 in May. This is the first American private company to launch a satellite navigation mission. (Image Credit: Xona Space Systems)

SAN MATEO, Calif., May 10, 2022 (Xona Space Systems PR) — Xona Space Systems, the aerospace startup developing a precision navigation and timing system in low Earth orbit, today announced that their first in-space demonstrator has been delivered to Spaceflight Inc. for final integration after successfully completing testing and is scheduled for launch on SpaceX’s Transporter 5 in May. Xona is building the first ever independent high-performance satellite navigation and timing system designed to meet the needs of intelligent systems.

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Rogozin: Russia Could Deepen Cooperation with China on Satellite Surveillance, Communications

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: A. Savin)

TASS reports that Roscosmos could deepen ties with the Chinese space program in the areas of satellite surveillance and communications constellations as the nation’s invasion of Ukraine drives a deeper wedge in its relations with the West.

“Cooperation between Glonass and Beidou [China’s satellite navigational system] can quite spread to communications and surveillance clusters,” Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin said during a forum on Tuesday.

Roscosmos has ordered airlines to replace the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) with Glonass in Russian airlines. Roscosmos is working with China to make the Glonass and Beidou satellite navigation systems interoperable.

Rogozin previously said that Russia will end cooperation with the United States, Europe, Japan and Canada on the International Space Station over the sanctions imposed on the country after its invasion of Ukraine in February. The Roscosmos leader said that details of Russia’s withdrawal will be announced soon. He has also said Russia is looking to cooperate on China’s Tiangong space station, which was launched last year.

Station operations have been approved until 2024. In December, NASA announced plans to work with station partners to extend operations until 2030. U.S. space officials have said it would be difficult to maintain the station without Russian involvement.

Russia’s Ukraine invasion has accelerated the nation’s drift away from cooperation with its ISS partners. Roscosmos decided not to participate in the U.S.-led Artemis program, which aims to land two astronauts at the south pole of the moon later this decade. While the other ISS partners have signed on to the program, Russia has opted to cooperate with China on the establishment of a lunar research base.

Roscosmos Plans Cooperation on Chinese Space Station, Prepares to Dump GPS in Russian Airliners and Ship New ICBMs

Roscosmos boss Dmitry Rogozin meets with Russia’s boss of bosses, President Vladimir Putin. (Credit: Russian President’s Office)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Vowing that cooperation in space with the West will resume on Russia’s terms, Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin said the space corporation is eyeing cooperation on China’s space station and begun efforts to replace the American Global Positioning System (GPS) in airplanes with Russian GLONASS satellite navigation system that is also capable of receiving navigation signals from China’s Beidou satellite constellation.

Rogozin also said Roscosmos plans to begin shipments of silo-based hypersonic Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in the fall amid continued tensions with the West over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The rocket was successfully test fired on Wednesday.

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GeoOptics Announces New European Subsidiary, Expands Global Satellite Services

PASADENA, Calif. (GeoOptics PR) — A global leader in Earth remote sensing, GeoOptics announced its expansion in Europe, with founder and chief technology officer, Tom Yunck, relocating to Lausanne, Switzerland, to manage GeoOptics Switzerland SA. The new subsidiary and team of data scientists represent a key component of GeoOptics plans to enhance their commercial satellite services around the globe.

As a pioneer in commercial remote sensing data services, GeoOptics supports decision makers, research groups, and individual users worldwide,” Yunck noted. “Our European office will help us better serve an international base of government and civil customers with the most accurate, timely data available.”

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Thales Alenia Space Paves the Way to the Future Satellite Navigation Systems

Credit: Thales Alenia Space

CANNES, France, February 7, 2022 (Thales Alenia Space PR) – Thales Alenia Space, joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%) announced today that it has been awarded a contract by the French Space Agency CNES to develop a DFMC (Dual Frequency Multi Constellations) SBAS prototype in the frame of the next generation of SBAS, like EGNOS, the European navigation satellite system.

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Hytera Delivers Reliable Comms and Time GPS to Tracking for Southern Launch

Southern Launch’s Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex.

SYDNEY (Hytera PR) – Hytera partner D2N in Australia supplied a multi-site Hytera XPT radio network with real-time GPS tracking across a large rocket launch site with difficult terrain for space company Southern Launch.

Southern Launch is a rocket launch service provider based in Adelaide, South Australia. Its goal is to develop a space launch capability to send satellites into orbit from its Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. The company also has a suborbital testing facility at the Koonibba Test Range.

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Russia Threatens to Destroy U.S. GPS Satellite Constellation

Global Positioning System (Credit: DOT&E)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Well, this was a rather frightening thing to wake up to this morning. GPS World reports:

The Kremlin warned it could blow up 32 GPS satellites with its new anti-satellite technology, ASAT, which it tested Nov. 15 on a retired Soviet Tselina-D satellite, according to numerous news reports.

On the state-run Channel One, host Dmitry Kiselyov warned that Russia’s anti-satellite missiles would leave the United States and NATO blind if the multi-national defense alliance “crosses our red line.”

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Vladimir Putin to Roscosmos: Do More with Less

Russian President Vladimir Putin tours Vostochny Cosmodrome in September 2019. (Crredit: Roscosmos)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Russian President Vladimir Putin has Roscosmos taken to task for failing to compete a series of goals even as his government prepares to cut the budget of the Roscosmos state corporation that runs the nation’s space program by more than $500 million.

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SpaceX Satellite Signals Used Like GPS to Pinpoint Location on Earth

Sixty Starlink satellites separate from a Falcon 9 second stage on April 22, 2020. (Credit: SpaceX website)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ohio State University PR) — Engineering researchers have developed a method to use signals broadcast by Starlink internet service satellites to accurately locate a position here on Earth, much like GPS does. It is the first time the Starlink system has been harnessed by researchers outside SpaceX for navigation.

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ASI and Qascom to Bring Italy and Galileo Navigation System to the Moon

Photo of Mare Crisium taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. (Credit: NASA)

ROME (ASI PR) — Finding the best route for lunar orbit and easy parking on the Moon is the goal of NEIL (Navigation Early Investigation on Lunar surface) GNSS receiver with Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology. The creation of NEIL, named in honor of Neil Armstrong, the first man to touch the lunar soil, is at the center of an agreement between the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and NASA linked to the CLPS 19-D mission (NASA missions with contributions commercial and private of an experimental nature) with which the American space agency has planned to land with a lander in the Mare Crisium basin in 2023. [Editor’s Note: This is Firefly Aerospace’s Blue Ghost lander mission.]

NEIL, subject of the contract signed between ASI and the company Qascom SRL, is the on-board payload that will be an integral part of the experiment called Lunar GNSS Receiver Experiment  (LuGRE), defined in the ASI/NASA agreement, which aims to develop an activity in a lunar and cislunar environment.

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Deep Space Atomic Clock Moves Toward Increased Spacecraft Autonomy

NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock has been operating aboard the General Atomics Orbital Test Bed satellite since June 2019. This illustration shows the spacecraft in Earth orbit. (Credits: General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems)

Designed to improve navigation for robotic explorers and the operation of GPS satellites, the technology demonstration reports a significant milestone.

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — Spacecraft that venture beyond our Moon rely on communication with ground stations on Earth to figure out where they are and where they’re going. NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock is working toward giving those far-flung explorers more autonomy when navigating. In a new paper published today in the journal Nature, the mission reports progress in their work to improve the ability of space-based atomic clocks to measure time consistently over long periods.

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