New GNSS aboard LEO satellites in development

February 12, 2021  - By
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A new GNSS architecture aboard low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellites is in development.

The patent-pending system architecture “is combining the efficiency and innovation of the new space era with the world of satellite navigation to help enable modern intelligent systems to operate safely in any conditions, anywhere on the planet,” according to a press release from Xona Space Systems.

Xona, a San Mateo-based startup, announced a service agreement to advance its 2022 Alpha mission. The agreement is with Momentus Inc., a commercial space company offering in-space infrastructure services.

Once complete, Xona’s LEO smallsat constellation will provide a resilient alternative to GNSS with more than 10 times better accuracy, Xona claimed.

“Xona is developing a truly innovative system to enhance the reliability and precision of global PNT and GNSS. As an infrastructure company, Momentus is excited to partner with other like-minded pioneers to help build out the future services needed to enable human presence in space while improving life on earth,” said Dawn Harms, Momentus CEO.

“We have been very impressed with the capabilities and services that Momentus offers with their Vigoride spacecraft,” said Xona CEO Brian Manning. “There is a rapidly growing demand for higher performance navigation and timing services as well as alternatives to GNSS. Forming this partnership with Momentus represents a key milestone in our technology development roadmap as we work towards our on-orbit demonstration and deployment of the full constellation to meet these needs.”

Xona joined the Open PNT Industry Alliance in February.

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.