Fugro SpaceStar delivers high-accuracy sub-decimetre onboard positioning in real time in space

SpaceStar is Fugro’s Precise Point Positioning (PPP) service for satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO); GNSS augmentation with orbit and clock corrections.

Now it is providing essential high-accuracy positioning in space for the first time. Although this is the first In-Orbit-Demonstration (IOD) of the service in space, the service itself is based on proven technology that Fugro has delivered for over fifteen years to its clients in offshore/maritime applications.

SpaceStar joins GNSS based services

Fugro also provides a wide range of other GNSS based positioning and correction services:

Fugro Starfix – delivers precise high performance positioning services for offshore construction vessels, survey operations, pipelay and cable lay activities, seismic surveys, dive support, FPSO installation and monitoring. With dual independent positioning reference systems, we provide the highest standards of positioning, reliability, availability and coverage for your offshore operations.

Fugro Seastar – positioning services for DP vessels or rigs worldwide, such as Platform Supply vessels (PSVs), Multi-Purpose Vessels (MPVs), Anchor Handling Tugs (AHTs) and also Diving Support Vessels (DSVs), drill ships and drilling rigs operating on DP. Fugro Seastar’s precise, reliable, high-accuracy differential GNSS correction service is optimised for dynamic positioning and other safety critical applications which require 24/7 availability and full redundancy under the most demanding conditions.

Fugro Marinestar – provides high accuracy positioning services in coastal and deep-sea areas and inland waterways on various types of vessels such as navy vessels, hydrographic vessels, dredging vessels, research vessels, wind farm support vessels and other specialist vessels.

Fugro Oceanstar – is a navigation sensor and onboard decision support system that provides GNSS-quality data. It’s designed to improve navigational safety and reduce operating costs for the shipping industry.

Loft Orbital

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 SpaceStar service flyer in PDF

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