Leidschendam, Netherlands, 1 July 2021 – Fugro’s SpaceStar™ GNSS Precise Point Positioning (PPP) service is providing essential high-accuracy positioning in space for the first time. Loft Orbital, which flies and operates customer payloads on its YAM series of small satellites, launched their YAM-2 satellite, the first in space to be equipped with Fugro’s SpaceStar next-generation positioning technology, on 30 June into a 525 km sun-synchronous orbit from Cape Canaveral in Florida onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
SpaceStar is using PPP to deliver high-accuracy sub-decimetre 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 employs state-of-the-art technology to receive 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.”
Daan Scheer, Fugro’s Satellite Positioning Commercial Manager, said: “We are extremely proud to be providing our real-time PPP service to the YAM-2 small satellite. 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!”
Fugro is the world’s leading Geo-data specialist, collecting and analysing comprehensive information about the Earth and the structures built upon it. Adopting an integrated approach that incorporates acquisition and analysis of Geo-data and related advice, Fugro provides solutions. With expertise in site characterisation and asset integrity, clients are supported in the safe, sustainable and efficient design, construction and operation of their assets throughout the full life cycle. Employing approximately 9000 talented people in 61 countries, Fugro serves clients around the globe, predominantly in the energy and infrastructure industries, both offshore and onshore. In 2020, revenue amounted to EUR 1.4 billion. Fugro is listed on Euronext Amsterdam.
About Loft Orbital
Loft Orbital deploys and operates space infrastructure as a service, providing rapid, reliable, and simplified access to orbit for customer missions. The company has developed modular hardware and software technologies that enable any payload to fly on any standard, commodity satellite bus. By remaining payload agnostic and holding these satellite buses in inventory, Loft Orbital is able to deliver unprecedented speed-to-orbit without compromising reliability or schedule for even the most demanding customer payloads. For Payload-as-a-Service missions, Loft Orbital offers quarterly launches to ensure maximum schedule flexibility.