Jul 2021 | No Comment

Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio win contract for Sicral 3

Thales Alenia Space, the joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), and Telespazio, the joint venture between Leonardo (67%) and Thales (33%), have signed a contract with the Italian Ministry of Defense, represented by TELEDIFE / Secretariat General of Defense, for the development of the SICRAL 3 secure satellite communications system, including its ground segment. Covering the development of phases B and C1, the contract is worth a total of approximately €159 million, as result of an articulated and complete negotiation process.

The SICRAL (Italian System for Secure Communications and Alerts) program deploys geostationary satellites for confidential strategic and tactical communications, to support defense missions both in Italy and abroad. The new SICRAL 3 system is designed to meet Italian defense communications and interoperability requirements.

OxTS Georeferencer, version 1.4

OxTS has released the latest version of its LiDAR georeferencing software – OxTS Georeferencer 1.4. It makes the process of pairing a LiDAR sensor with an inertial navigation system (INS) to generate a georeferenced pointcloud easier for surveyors, streamlining the process while simultaneously improving results. OxTS Georeferencer fuses position, navigation and timing (PNT) data from an OxTS INS with raw LiDAR data to output highly accurate 3D pointclouds. The software uniquely makes use of navigation diagnostic data that provides surveyors with LiDAR point error estimation.

Honeywell debuts new rate sensors for small satellites

Honeywell has unveiled a new rate sensor specifically intended to help small satellites navigate increasingly crowded orbits above the Earth’s surface. The new micro-electromechanical system (MEMS)-based product will provide lower cost and power consumption in a smaller size, all while maintaining high levels of performance.

A space rate sensor, also known as an inertial reference unit or IRU, is a type of inertial sensor that is composed of three gyroscopes that work together to sense rotation rates. They determine an aircraft or spacecraft’s change in rotational attitude over time and allow it to move from one location to another without using any external information. It can also serve as a back-up solution to provide extra redundancy in case other navigation systems fail.

Celestial navigation options like star trackers are a popular method of obtaining pointing directions for satellites and spacecraft. This form of navigation uses angular measurements between objects in space (stars, planets, etc.) and the horizon to calculate location. However, sometimes these star trackers are blinded by the sun or affected by thruster gases. In this case, Honeywell’s HG4934 can act as a secondary method of attitude determination.

LiDAR-based adaptive perception software for smart cities

Cron AI and Innoviz Technologies have announced a new partnership to deliver an enhanced deep learning enabled perception solution for 3D point cloud data on the sensing edge. The collaboration between the two will accelerate the adoption of the InnovizOne LIDAR sensor and Cron AI’s senseEDGE platform into the intelligent transport systems, V2X and smart city markets.

With mobility and vehicle electrification accelerating at a rapid pace to meet a greener transportation future, Cron AI and Innoviz’s partnership aims to ensure that smart city, road and infrastructure operators also take a forward-looking and connected approach to delivering high-quality, real-time contextual data about objects that move and interact on roads, including vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, and other road users.

Four spherical satellites into orbit in four years by Russia

Russia plans to launch four spherical satellites into orbit in 2025, for calibrating ground optical stations and serving other purposes for the Glonass navigation system. According to Russian space agency Roscosmos, Russia plans to launch the four satellites from the Vostochny spaceport using the Russian Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket. Three Gonets-M communications satellites will be launched together with the four spherical satellites.

CATALYST collaboration with AWS

CATALYST is collaborating with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to take satellite-based earth observation intelligence to the mainstream business community via AWS Cloud. The CATALYST-AWS collaboration will deliver actionable geoscience analytics to users with any level of technical expertise.

CATALYST’s initial solution, available through AWS Data Exchange, is an infrastructure risk assessment service that uses satellite data to continuously monitor millimeter-level ground displacement over a subscriber’s area of interest anywhere on Earth. It is exploring additional risk mitigation solutions and monitoring services using AWS.

First floating lidar survey in Vietnam

Enterprize Energy commissioned geo-data specialist Fugro and local partner PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation (PTSE) to install the first floating LiDAR survey technology in Vietnamese waters at the site of the 3.4GW Thang Long offshore windfarm. This is the first time such technology has been used in Vietnam. This announcement for the installation of floating LiDAR marks the next step in the surveying process for Thang Long, the only large-scale offshore wind farm to be granted a survey license by the Vietnamese government. To date, a full year of wind data measurements has been collected via fixed LiDAR to assess resource over the allocated area, with reconnaissance surveys to support the project team’s understanding of geological and seabed features occurring earlier this year. Based on initial results, Enterprize Energy has confirmed there will be no reduction in prospective area due to unsuitable seabed features such as basalt intrusions.

UP42 announces Copernicus Masters Challenge

UP42 has announced the UP42 Airbus Challenge in the 2021 Copernicus Masters Competition. With EUR 100,000 in awards at stake, including commercial satellite data from the Airbus OneAtlas Living Library, UP42 seeks researchers, companies, and students to submit algorithm development ideas to provide new ways of performing EO analytics.

Copernicus Masters is an international competition held annually to foster innovative applications of EO data that address the world’s most compelling environmental, social, and business problems. In 2021, UP42 joins other leading geospatial organizations such as the European Space Agency (ESA), European Commission, and German Aerospace Center (DLR) in devising 10 Challenges spanning the full spectrum of EO applications.

The UP42 Challenge calls on participants to propose algorithms that advance EO analytics by using Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to augment satellite imagery. GANs are an advancement in deep learning technology to generate realistic synthetic data to supplement existing data sets.

The deadline for idea submissions is July 19, 2021. UP42 and Airbus experts will select five finalists to move on to the evaluation and live pitch phase based on scientific merit, business value, quality of implementation, and ecological impact. One Challenge winner will be chosen from the five finalists.

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