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Inmarsat joins satellite positioning project

Inmarsat has signed an agreement with Geoscience Australia, an agency of the Commonwealth of Australia, to support a collaborative research project aimed at enhancing positioning accuracy and integrity by augmenting signals from multiple Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) over the Australian continent.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The research project, which is scheduled to run for two years, will see Inmarsat deploying a transponder on board its L-band Asia Pacific (APAC) Region satellite, Inmarsat-4 F1 (I-4 F1), to provide the space component of the Second Generation Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) testbed.

The navigation payload on Inmarsat’s I-4 F1 satellite is a dual-channel bent-pipe transponder, which provides mobile users with two SBAS navigation signals at both GPS L1 and L5 frequencies. The I-4 F1 satellite was the first in the world to be launched carrying a transponder capable of broadcasting SBAS signals at both frequencies.

The project aims to demonstrate how the use of signals from multiple GNSS, i.e. GPS and Galileo, and SBAS signals broadcast on dual frequencies, can offer enhanced navigation performance in terms of user positioning integrity and accuracy.

Lockheed Martin and satellite ground segment equipment company GMV of Spain are also project members.{/mprestriction}

“Being part of this innovative research project is testament to our important heritage on satellite navigation matters,” said Claudio Soddu, Inmarsat VP for navigation and special projects.

“A second generation SBAS testbed is a natural continuation of the concept of augmenting satellite navigation systems with a separate satellite data and ranging channel that we helped pioneer. Having previously been involved in testbeds and operational systems in other regions of the world, this collaboration showcases our capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region and potentially opens the door to further research and development projects in the future.”

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