ESA PNT contract for Celestia UK
September 30, 2022
By Chris Forrester
Celestia UK has won a €800,000 ESA NAVSIP (Navigation, Innovation and Support Programme) contract to develop an innovative PNT (Positioning, Navigation & Timing) solution based on LEO satellite constellations for 5G networks and applications, that will boost the reliability and performance of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).
Called LEO-SYN+, the ESA project will use LEO satellite Signals of Opportunity (SoOp) to provide a resilient position and time reference for 5G networks and improve the robustness of GNSS signals.
Time and Synchronisation are fundamental building blocks in 5G and GNSS systems play a pivotal role in the network operation. However, GNSS signals can prove vulnerable to interference, for instance when blocked by objects such as tall buildings or trees, and require augmentation with supplementary technology to deliver the level of reliability and longevity required.
Celestia UK’s solution is to combine the use of LEO satellite constellation signals with the development of a PNT receiver compatible with multi-GNSS constellations and LEO SoOps and test the solution in 5G networks.
During the project, a prototype will be produced to validate the product design and the technology development, paving the way for additional applications of the technology to other critical infrastructures after the initial ESA NAVSIP roll-out.
To deliver the ambitious project, Celestia UK is partnering with Heriot-Watt University who bring extensive knowledge in Satcoms and Digital Signal Processing and The Scotland 5G Centre, the national centre for accelerating the deployment and adoption of 5G and realising its economic and societal potential for Scotland.
“It is a great benefit for the business to have won an ESA NAVSIP contract and we are looking forward to collaborating with ESA and our partners to unlock the potential to improve the resilience of 5G networks with our PNT solution,” says Malachy Devlin, CEO of Celestia UK.
“Building on our expertise in high throughput electronic steerable gateways together with the evolution of 5G integrating non terrestrial networks together with the Scotland 5G Centre here on our doorstep, make us well-placed to meet the requirements of this challenging project and deliver a future-proofed solution with scope for considerable future commercial application,” he adds.