TrustPoint Secures $2 Million in Seed Funding Round for GPS Alternative

DCVC funds the advancement of the NewSpace startup’s alternative global positioning service.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– TrustPoint, Inc., a startup with operations in Silicon Valley and Northern Virginia, announces that it has raised a $2M seed round from DCVC.

GPS is a ubiquitous global utility: knowing one’s location and accurate time is critical for government, commercial, and consumer applications. Still, today’s solutions are inaccurate, slow, unencrypted, and susceptible to jamming and spoofing. These shortcomings make heritage GPS and other government-owned and -operated systems insufficient for tomorrow’s safety-critical and high-precision commercial applications, such as drone delivery, self-driving cars, urban air mobility, and augmented reality.

(more…)

Contract Secures Build for HydroGNSS Scout Mission

The HydroGNSS Earth observation spacecraft (Credit: Equinox Graphics)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Today, as Φ-week gets underway, ESA has signed a contract with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd to build the HydroGNSS Scout mission. Embracing the concept of New Space, HydroGNSS is a micro satellite that will use a technique called Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reflectometry to measure climate variables such as soil moisture, freeze–thaw state over permafrost and inundation.

The contract, worth €24 million, was signed by ESA’s Acting Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Toni Tolker-Nielsen and Managing Director of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, Phil Brownnett.

(more…)

Xona Space Systems Fully Funded for First LEO Satellite Navigation Mission

SAN MATEO, Calif., September 22nd, 2021 (Xona Space Systems PR) — Xona Space Systems, the leading innovator in precision LEO satellite navigation services, announced today that it has raised a new funding round co-led by Seraphim Space Investment Trust (LSE:SSIT) and MaC Venture Capital, with participation from Toyota Ventures, Daniel Ammann (co-founder of u-blox), and Ryan Johnson (former CEO of BlackBridge, operator of the Rapideye constellation). Follow-on investors also include 1517 Fund and Stellar Solutions.

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) such as GPS and Galileo have become the backbone of nearly every aspect of the modern connected world. However, threats to these legacy systems along with consumer demands for enhanced performance are increasing rapidly. 

(more…)

Keysight and Orolia Advance 5G Location-Based Services Based on Global Navigation Satellite System Technologies

Integrated solutions address global navigation satellite system test requirements defined by 3GPP and major US carriers

ROCHESTER, N.Y., September 21, 2021 (Keysight Technologies PR) — Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS), a leading technology company that delivers advanced design and validation solutions to help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, and Orolia have joined forces to advance 5G location-based services (LBS) based on global navigation satellite system (GNSS) technologies.

Working with Orolia, a world leader in Resilient Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) solutions, allows Keysight to extend its 5G device test solution portfolio with advanced global navigation satellite system (GNSS) simulation capabilities. As a result, existing users of Keysight’s 5G device test solutions can easily address GNSS-related 3GPP protocol conformance and carrier acceptance test requirements by upgrading the software in Keysight’s E7515B UXM 5G Wireless Test Platform and combining it with Orolia’s GSG-8 simulator.

(more…)

SSTL Signs Up ESA as Anchor Customer for Lunar Pathfinder Communications Relay Satellite

Lunar Pathfinder satellite (Credit: Surrey Satellite)

LONDON, September 15, 2021 (SSTL PR) — The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed a contract with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) for communications services from Lunar Pathfinder, due to launch in 2024.  The Commercial Lunar Mission Support Services contract was signed between ESA’s Director of Human and Robotic Exploration, Dave Parker, and SSTL’s Managing Director, Phil Brownnett, on 15 September 2021 at The Royal Society in London.  Amanda Solloway, UK Government Science Minister, Josef Aschbacher, ESA’s Director General, Paul Bate, Director of the UK Space Agency, and SSTL’s Executive Chairman, Sir Martin Sweeting were also in attendance. 

(more…)

Developing the “Brains” Behind Astroscale’s Debris Removal Spacecraft

The ELSA-d satellite servicer and client launched March 2021, the team prepares to demonstrate the servicer’s technology and capability to remove the Client debris from this summer. Credit: Astroscale)

Astroscale UK has been working in partnership with RUAG Space to develop the “brains”, based on RUAG Space’s constellation On Board Computer (cOBC), to command Astroscale’s space debris removing ELSA-M Servicer spacecraft.

DIDCOT, UK (Astroscale UK PR) — Developing the “brains” behind Astroscale’s debris removal spacecraft Astroscale UK has been working in partnership with RUAG Space to develop the “brains”, based on RUAG Space’s constellation On Board Computer (cOBC), to command Astroscale’s space debris removing ELSA-M Servicer spacecraft.

(more…)

Audit Concludes Use of European Union Space Services Needs an Extra Boost

Galileo constellation (Credit: Thales Alenia Space)

LUXEMBOURG (European Court of Auditors PR) — The European Union has not done enough to harness the full potential of its space programmes, according to a special report published today by the European Court of Auditors (ECA). While the satellite-based programmes Galileo and Copernicus in particular provide valuable services and data, more efforts are needed to capitalise on the significant investment made (around €18 billion so far) and to optimise the benefits they bring to citizens and the economy. The auditors call for a comprehensive strategy, more targeted actions and better use of the regulatory framework for efficiently supporting the uptake of services.

(more…)

NASA Engineers Analyze Navigation Needs of Artemis Moon Missions

Illustration of NASA’s lunar-orbiting Gateway and a human landing system in orbit around the Moon. (Credit: NASA)

By Danny Baird
​NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

GREENBELT, Md. — Space communications and navigation engineers at NASA are evaluating the navigation needs for the Artemis program, including identifying the precision navigation capabilities needed to establish the first sustained presence on the lunar surface.

(more…)

Soyuz-2 to Launch 38 Spacecraft from 18 Countries on March 20

Soyuz-2 rocket lifts off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome with 36 OneWeb satellites. (Credit: Arianespace)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — On March 20, a launch of the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage is scheduled from the Baikonur Cosmodrome that will deliver 38 spacecraft (SC) from 18 countries into three sun-synchronous orbits:

(more…)

Sentinel-6 Passes In-orbit Tests with Flying Colors

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will map up to 95% of Earth’s ice-free ocean every 10 days in order to monitor sea level variability. (Credit: ESA/ATG medialab)

PARIS (ESA PR) — In November 2020, the Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite was launched into orbit from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, US. Now, months later, the satellite has successfully passed what is known as the ‘in-orbit verification phase’, where its equipment is switched on and the instruments’ performance is checked.

(more…)

European Union Consolidating Space Programs Under Expanded & Renamed GNSS Agency

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The European Union (EU) is consolidating its space programs under an existing agency that is being given an expanded mandate.

The European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA), which will be renamed the EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUASP), will take on managing the use of the Copernicus Earth observation satellite system and oversee new initiatives in satellite communications named GOVSATCOM and space situational awareness (SSA).

(more…)

NASA Advancing Global Navigation Satellite System Capabilities

Deployment of Bobcat-1 from the International Space Station. (Credit: Nanoracks)

by Danny Baird
​NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation program office

NASA is developing capabilities that will allow missions at high altitudes to take advantage of signals from Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) constellations — like GPS commonly used in the U.S. These signals — used on Earth for navigation and critical timing applications — could provide NASA’s Artemis missions to the Moon with reliable timing and navigation data. NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program is developing the technologies that will support this goal.

(more…)

Memo on Space Policy Directive 7: U.S. Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Policy

Global Positioning System (Credit: DOT&E)

January 15, 2021

MEMORANDUM

SUBJECT: Space Policy Directive 7, The United States Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Policy

This Space Policy Directive establishes implementation actions and guidance for United States space-based positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) programs and activities for United States national and homeland security, civil, commercial, and scientific purposes. This policy complements the guidance set forth in Executive Order 13905 of February 12, 2020 (Strengthening National Resilience through Responsible Use of Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Services), and the intersector guidance for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) included in the December 9, 2020, National Space Policy. This policy supersedes National Security Presidential Directive-39 (NSPD-39) of December 15, 2004 (United States Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Policy).

(more…)

NASA Explores Upper Limits of Global Navigation Systems for Artemis

An Orion spacecraft approaches the lunar Gateway. (Credit: NASA)

By Danny Baird
​NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation program office

The Artemis generation of lunar explorers will establish a sustained human presence on the Moon, prospecting for resources, making revolutionary discoveries, and proving technologies key to future deep space exploration.

To support these ambitions, NASA navigation engineers from the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program are developing a navigation architecture that will provide accurate and robust Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) services for the Artemis missions. Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals will be one component of that architecture. GNSS use in high-Earth orbit and in lunar space will improve timing, enable precise and responsive maneuvers, reduce costs, and even allow for autonomous, onboard orbit and trajectory determination.

(more…)