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Fugro SpaceStar positioning service heads into space

July 6, 2021  - By

Fugro’s SpaceStar GNSS precise point positioning (PPP) service provides high-accuracy positioning in space

Artist's rendering of Loft Orbital’s YAM-2 small satellite in orbit. The small sat will demo Fugro's PPP service. (Image: Loft Orbital)

Artist’s rendering of Loft Orbital’s YAM-2 small satellite in orbit. The small sat will demo Fugro’s PPP service. (Image: Loft Orbital)

Loft Orbital on June 30 launched its YAM-2 satellite, the first satellite equipped with Fugro’s SpaceStar next-generation positioning technology from Cape Canaveral in Florida onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Now in orbit, the satellite will provide an on-orbit demonstration of the new service.

From its 525-km Sun-synchronous orbit, SpaceStar is using PPP to deliver high-accuracy sub-decimeter onboard positioning in real time during YAM-2’s low Earth orbit (LEO) operations. Fugro’s proprietary positioning software is integrated into YAM-2 and receives precise GNSS real-time orbit and clock corrections from geostationary satellites. Highly accurate positioning in LEO is becoming increasingly important for Earth observation applications, safe constellations management, and space debris collision avoidance.

“We’re especially excited to demonstrate this new functionality,” said Loft Orbital CTO, Pieter van Duijn. “Fugro’s SpaceStar service is something that can really help not only Loft Orbital’s missions, but also be of interest to the wider application of space situational awareness and safety.”

“We are extremely proud to be providing our real-time PPP service to the YAM-2 small satellite,” said Daan Scheer, Fugro’s satellite positioning commercial manager. “We’ve been able to bring this innovative product to market thanks to our close cooperation with Loft Orbital, and we’re looking forward to completing a successful in-orbit demonstration mission. The accuracy of our SpaceStar position service is not only contributing to our purpose of a safe and liveable world but, by facilitating safer navigation in space, even beyond.”

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.