European geostationary navigation receiver heads into orbit

European geostationary navigation receiver heads into orbit

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Beyond Gravity (formerly RUAG Space) is set to have its first geostationary navigation receiver in orbit as part of NASA’s TEMPO mission.

Beyond Gravity delivered the GEORIX geostationary navigation receiver and an antenna to Maxar for launch on the Intelsat40e satellite to precisely determines a satellite’s position in orbit. Intelsat-40e is hosting NASA’s climate payload called Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) and  GEORIX will help TEMPO determine where it is in orbit as it measures atmospheric gases – including ozone, nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde, and aerosols – over North America. Data collected by TEMPO will help improve air quality forecasting.


 “This will be the first time that a Beyond Gravity navigation receiver will fly in geostationary orbit, around 36000 kilometers away from Earth,” says Anders Linder, EVP Division Satellites at Beyond Gravity.

“The more precisely the position that NASA’s TEMPO can be determined by GEORIX, the more precise the climate data TEMPO can provide.” Currently, around 30 navigation receivers from Beyond Gravity determine the position of satellites in low-Earth orbit (about 2’000 kilometers from Earth). The GEORIX receiver can process both US GPS and European Galileo navigation signals.

TEMPO is a UV-visible spectrometer that will detect pollutants by measuring sunlight reflected and scattered from the Earth’s surface and atmosphere. The resulting data from TEMPO will be used to enhance air-quality forecasts in North America, enabling the more effective early public warning of pollution incidents.  Rather than build a dedicated spacecraft to host the Ball Aerospace-built payload, NASA in 2019 partnered with Maxar to host it on Intelsat 40e.

The satellite launched successfully this weekend aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9.

“The IS-40e high-throughput technology serves as a significant commitment to our North American commercial aviation, mobility and network customers,” said Dave Wajsgras, CEO at Intelsat.

“As we continue to refresh our fleet of satellites and add capacity, Intelsat is focused on providing the best value and service for our customers and their end users. The satellite also includes a NASA payload that will be the first instrument to monitor air pollution across North America from geostationary orbit.”

When operational in May, IS-40e will be positioned at 91 degrees West and as well as the TEMPO mission will provide incremental high-throughput capacity will be added into Intelsat’s commercial aviation network and high-speed connectivity will be added into Intelsat’s Flex network to support growth for on-the-go industrial operations, rapid response missions, maritime, offshore communications, inflight connectivity for business jets and government aviation.


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