Lunar orbiting satellite. (Credit: Xplore)
SEATTLE, April 6, 2020 (Xplore PR) – Xplore Inc., a commercial space company has announced they have won an Air Force award to study position, navigation and timing (PNT) solutions for cislunar space. The award category, for commercial and technical innovations between the Earth and the Moon — is entirely new for the Air Force, which is investigating the capabilities necessary to extend operations beyond geosynchronous orbit to now include cislunar space.
Earth-orbiting satellites rely on the Global Positioning System (GPS)
satellite constellation circling the Earth at an altitude of about
20,000 km (12,427 miles) – to know where they are and how to navigate
to a destination. This GPS infrastructure, a public service provided
by the U.S. Government, is essential to satellite operations and
separately has become an integral part of our daily lives.
Smartphones receive GPS signals that allow us to seamlessly perform a
wide range of tasks such as planning travel itineraries, hailing a
rideshare, viewing local weather or ordering a pizza and tracking its
delivery in real-time. Beyond Earth orbit an equivalent positioning
and navigation system does not exist. Given this, it can be extremely
difficult for spacecraft, landers or ...