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Spire Global Awarded Contract Under European Space Agency’s NAVISP Element 2 Program 


December 07, 2021

Spire Global, Inc. has been awarded a contract under the European Space Agency's (ESA) Navigation Innovation and Support Programme (NAVISP) Element 2 Program funded by UK Space Agency. Spire will work with NAVISP to build on the current capabilities of the Spire constellation and develop tools needed for geolocation signal processing, which will be applied toward geolocating Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) interferences coming from Earth’s surface. Spire’s low-earth orbit (LEO) nanosatellite technology will be used to collect suspect interfering RF signals from a range of geographic areas prone to disruptions. Advanced processing algorithms will be developed to characterise the collected signals in support of a range of potential use cases.

NAVISP Element 2 emphasizes maintaining and improving the capability and competitiveness of the position, navigation, and timing (PNT) industry and its technologies and services in the global satellite navigation market. In recent years, PNT services have become ubiquitous and are currently relied upon by numerous applications, including key elements of critical national infrastructure such as telecommunications, emergency services, energy, finance, food, and transport. The GNSS signals utilized in these applications are vulnerable to interference, which can disrupt PNT services.

Drawing from Spire's expertise in space-based infrastructure and GNSS, the project will develop a suite of geolocation signal collection and processing techniques (including single and multi-satellite) to detect and characterise signals collected from a variety of expected interference scenarios.

“Satellite-derived position, navigation, and timing signals underpin services such as banking and transportation, as well as almost all the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure (including energy, policing, and healthcare) and defense operations,” says the United Kingdom’s 2021 National Space Strategy. “Space capabilities are already central to many basic safety-critical civil functions, and this dependency on space will only increase.”

“In order to maintain the continuity of applications reliant on PNT services, we recognized a need for a more proactive monitoring solution for sources of interference,” said Theresa Condor, Chief Operating Officer at Spire Global. “Given the massive number of potential interference sources and large areas to monitor, it’s difficult to perform effective monitoring from the ground or aircraft altitudes, and current technologies are not practical at scale. Implementing a more advanced system will increase coverage of these vulnerable areas, and encourage more targeted and localized actions to ensure faster activation of backup solutions.”



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