US Army selects Iridium to develop LEO satellite navigation system payload

US Army selects Iridium to develop LEO satellite navigation system payload

The US company Iridium announced on June 24, 2021 that the company has been awarded a US Army contract to develop a payload for broadcasting timing or positioning signals. The $30 million contract is an “other transaction agreement” awarded by the American Aviation and Missile Technology Alliance on behalf of the U.S. Army for related research and development work. Iridium will design a small satellite payload suitable for the LEO constellation. The payload is designed to support military users who rely on GPS signals for positioning, navigation and timing.

Iridium said the project could take at least three years. The company will develop a concept based on an “Iridium Burst” service that transmits data from the Iridium network’s 66 LEO satellites to thousands of enabled devices.

It is reported that Iridium will cooperate with two major subcontractors, Satelles and SEAKR. The satellites will use Iridium’s L-band constellation for timing and position signal transmission. The service will be a backup solution for GPS.

Iridium said the contract was not intended to provide Iridium-based services. The company may develop new capabilities that can be leveraged in other ways and then translated into products. Iridium’s focus is to explore the ways in which services obtained from such a network can be diffused among the various LEO networks.

In addition to Satellites, Iridium has also invested in DDK Positioning, which provides positioning data services using Iridium’s network.

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Author: Yoyokuo