A strategic alliance announced on Dec. 15 between Orolia and Satelles includes product development and go-to-market activities of positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) solutions provided by the Iridium satellite constellation, independent of GPS/GNSS signals. The companies intend to provide PNT solutions to military, defense, government and commercial customers worldwide.
Orolia, the parent of GNSS-active companies Spectracom and Spectratime, among others, announced that it has formed a strategic alliance, including an equity investment with Satelles Inc. to develop, market and sell PNT solutions based on Satelles’ satellite time and location (STL) signal technology. STL is a unique space-based PNT technology that provides location and timing data independent from traditional GPS and other GNSS satellite signals. By using STL, Orolia’s Spectracom and McMurdo solutions will, according to the company, be less susceptible to vulnerabilities such as spoofing, interference and jamming that are associated with GPS/GNSS.
Based on the low-Earth orbit (LEO) Iridium satellite constellation, STL signals are up to 1,000 times stronger than GPS/GNSS; this signal strength, due in part to the constellation’s closer proximity to users, helps to prevent jamming and enables signal reach into buildings and other difficult locations. STL’s additional cryptographic security also ensures performance, productivity and security.
For further background on Iridium, see “Iridium and GPS revisited: A new PNT solution on the horizon?“, the June 2016 Defense PNT column by Don Jewell.
Projected key applications and use cases include energy/utility grids, enterprise data networks including financial systems, maritime/aviation navigation, fleet/asset tracking management, search and rescue and data center management. Further details on planned projects and products of the Orolia-Satelles partnership will be posted to this site in a follow-up story in coming days.
Many highly sensitive military, defense, government and commercial applications and operations require accurate and reliable PNT data. Today, these applications rely on signals from GPS/GNSS satellites. There are instances, however, where GPS/GNSS signal strength and security are not sufficient and prone to signal disruption. For these cases, the companies jointly state, STL can be used as a secure signal of opportunity to complement GPS/GNSS, making the applications more accurate and secure and less prone to interference and attack.
“In today’s increasingly dynamic and mobile world, there is a growing need for precise and robust positioning, navigation and timing information especially in business-critical, high risk and life-saving operations,” said Jean-Yves Courtois, Orolia CEO. “By augmenting Orolia’s market-leading GPS/GNSS-based solutions with Satelles’ STL technology, we will have the industry’s first essentially fail-safe, resilient PNT solution. This breakthrough offering will be ideal for mission critical applications in which the smallest of discrepancies in PNT data accuracy, availability and stability can result in a network outage, a system crash or a loss of life.”
“Satelles’ pioneering role in STL technology is a perfect fit with Orolia’s proven Resilient PNT strategy,” said Michael O’Connor, Satelles CEO. “We look forward to working together to introduce new products and solutions that will provide our customers with the utmost confidence that their positioning, navigation and timing data is accurate, secure and accessible.”