OneWeb continues to study offering navigation services – SpaceNews

WASHINGTON — The brand new chief govt of OneWeb says the corporate remains to be pursuing some sort of navigation functionality for its broadband satellite tv for pc constellation, though a full-fledged service could have to attend till a second-generation system.

Neil Masterson, a former govt with Thomson Reuters who was named chief govt of OneWeb when it emerged from chapter in November 2020, stated the corporate was planning to reveal a navigation service later this yr, working with unnamed British organizations. The British authorities, together with telecom firm Bharti World, acquired OneWeb out of Chapter 11 chapter yr.

“We anticipate to have a demo functionality accessible later this yr, and we’re working with sure our bodies within the U.Okay. to our pondering there and assist design that,” he stated throughout a session of the Satellite tv for pc 2021 LEO Digital Discussion board April 7. “We that there’s one thing that may be carried out with the prevailing Gen 1 design. It’s a bit untimely to speak about that proper now, however we’re fairly centered on that.”

His feedback echo these made by OneWeb’s govt chairman, Sunil Bharti Mittal, who stated in December that the first-generation satellites might present a timing service, however {that a} full-fledged positioning, navigating and timing (PNT) system must wait till a second era of satellites. “We’ve got the ambition of offering PNT providers by OneWeb,” he stated. “We imagine we will likely be onto this path within the coming years.

Masterson additionally stated {that a} full PNT system must wait till a second era of the constellation. “To be an actual different to GPS, we’ll have to attend till the second era,” he stated. “It’s doable to offer some type of PNT providers which can be ok, and positively in a position to present a type of redundancy. And that’s the place we’ll begin from.”

The British authorities’s determination to companion with Bharti on buying OneWeb has been linked within the minds of many within the trade within the authorities’s want for its personal satellite tv for pc navigation system. After exiting the European Union, the British authorities can not entry safe Galileo providers sued by European militaries. The British authorities studied, however then deserted, proposals to develop a standalone satellite tv for pc navigation system.

Utilizing OneWeb for navigation providers would face many , together with the truth that it doesn’t use frequencies reserved for satellite tv for pc navigation providers like GPS and Galileo. There have been, nevertheless, studies about using low Earth orbit satellite constellations like SpaceX’s Starlink to offer different navigation providers.

Masterson provided no clues in his presentation about when OneWeb may pursue a second-generation system that might embrace a devoted PNT service or different capabilities. The corporate’s focus is on deploying its preliminary constellation of 648 satellites to offer broadband providers, which the corporate expects to finish subsequent yr. Service in polar areas north of 50 levels latitude might start later this yr after three extra Soyuz launches of 36 satellites every.

“We’re to consider it already,” he stated of a second-generation system. “I wish to maintain off a short while than we make agency selections on that as a result of I actually wish to from our clients about what they need.”

OneWeb, apart from persevering with to deploy these first-generation satellites, nonetheless wants to boost about $1 to finish the system. “We really feel very assured about discovering the funding,” he stated. He declined to supply a schedule for elevating that funding.

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