Thales Alenia Space won ESA's one of two LEO-PNT Orbit Demon
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This news is classified in: Aerospace Contracts Communications Space

Mar 20, 2024

Thales Alenia Space won ESA's one of two LEO-PNT Orbit Demonstrators

  • A Low Earth Orbit constellation dedicated to Positioning Navigation and Timing
  • A game changer for increased precision, resilience and signal penetration enabling new applications and economic growth

Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), signed a contract with European Space Agency to deliver an end to end solution for the LEO-PNT (Low Earth Orbit  Positioning Navigation and Timing) orbit demonstrator. This contract includes the space (5 satellites to be launched), ground and users segments, the in orbit operations (including deorbiting), the launch, the test user segment, experimentation and service demonstration in different industries representative user environments.

This constellation will work in combination with Galileo and other satellite navigation systems to provide guaranteed centimeter location accuracy, robustness, resistance against jamming and spoofing as well as low latency (very fast acquisition). LEO-PNT will thus allow to serve emerging applications as high level autonomy cars including persistent coverage in dense urban areas, unmanned aerial & maritime vehicles or 5G/6G ground telecommunication network synchronization.

“Adding a LEO-PNT constellation layer to the Galileo GNSS, combined with improved user receivers, will unlock new applications and economic growth while bringing essential environment benefits reducing CO2 emissions through fuel saving and a more efficient energy network. By launching the first European LEO-PNT demonstrator, ESA is demonstrating the leading position of European agencies & industry in the development of future operational space programs that will revolutionize tomorrow’s world. The strong support from CNES French Space Agency completed by Italian Space Agency contribution are demonstrating the key innovative and strategic character of this project for the future. Thales Alenia Space will re-enforce its capabilities in new space navigation solutions and small satellites systems with this demonstrator, and support the design of the next evolution of satellite navigation”, declared Hervé Derrey, Chief Executive Officer of Thales Alenia Space.

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Thales Alenia Space in France and in Italy is leading the program, supported by nanosat industries in Europe, mainly based in Spain and in Germany. Telespazio, a joint venture between Leonardo (67 %) and Thales (33 %), will be involved providing its expertise to support the operations and the performance analysis of the system.

LEO-PNT will benefit from Thales Alenia Space strong expertise as leader in the navigation domain from EGNOS to Galileo Second Generation as well as from its heritage acquired through Native Positioning System or IOT programs such as ARGOS, Angels, Kineis or Omnispace. Thales Alenia Space will also capitalize on its strong partnership experience with Newspace actors, leveraged to introduce new entrants into this field.

Thales Alenia Space’s solution will also capitalize on Europe’s dynamism in micro-launch vehicles, helping to secure Europe’s strategic access to space.



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