UK Satellite Navigation System

Contains threads on equipment developed by the UK defence and aerospace industry, but not in service with the British Armed Forces.
dmereifield
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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by dmereifield »

Not exactly the most reliable of sources, but interesting if true:

Boris has approved a programme expected to cost £5 billion, with satellites to be launched by 2025 and full operating capability by 2030. Apparently, long lead items such as atomic clocks have already been ordered. Announcements due in March, apparently (coinciding with the Budget, perhaps?)

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/12153 ... ore-eu-spt

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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Get more for less... i.e. package more functionality into every packet to be shot into space (or near orbit)?
"Talking about MoD's satellites (GPS services so far have been separated from these) "
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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by abc123 »

IMHO, UK plc has way higher priorities in defence spending than this. If they want to do something useful it would be better to send these 5 billions to the RN.
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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by dmereifield »

Hopefully, it won't (all) come from the defence budget. Or if it does, it'll come from an increased defence budget

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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

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ARPA?
- as in "it won't (all) come from the defence budget"
- but as ARPA is not with us (yet), there is a need for 'Chinese whispers'?
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by Lord Jim »

Another reason the "Security" aspect needs to be split from the SDSR. It simple confuses things and allow Politicians to use "Slight of hand".

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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

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dmereifield wrote:Hopefully, it won't (all) come from the defence budget. Or if it does, it'll come from an increased defence budget
To clarify things: if by some case, UK has so much money that they can't figure where to spend it, then yes, why not have it's own GPS.
But, I can think 100 things that are higher priorities for the HMG ( just in military and security area ) than British GPS. Because, I highly doubt that the US will ever ban the UK to use GPS. And if something like that ever happens, then having a GPS is last of the HMG problems.
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

No worries, as
"can't figure where to spend it, then yes, why not have it's own GPS."
the money will be diverted from our contribution to :D the Indian space programme.
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by abc123 »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:No worries, as
"can't figure where to spend it, then yes, why not have it's own GPS."
the money will be diverted from our contribution to :D the Indian space programme.

Hmm, a worthwhile intention indeed, but how that goes with "global Britain" and making a free trade treaty with India?
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by dmereifield »

https://amp.ft.com/content/50c3b6dc-2d2 ... ssion=true

"UK scales back plans for £5bn rival to Galileo satellite systemWork under way to see if much cheaper navigation platform via struggling OneWeb is feasible"

Can anyone explain the benefits/drawbacks of a low orbit system that is supposedly several billions cheaper?

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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by SW1 »

It sounds similar to the space x starlink satellite constellation.

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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by Caribbean »

The idea behind One web is to provide global internet from low-earth satellites. When fully deployed, it will use a constellation of approx. 650 satellites (actually micro-satellites- the last launch put 36 into orbit at once), each with a lifetime of c. 5-7 years, after which they de-orbit and burn up (keeps the orbits clear of junk). Main benefits are higher bandwidth and lower latency than geo-synchronous orbits. Down side is that you need to keep launching satellites to maintain the "cloud".

For a military GPS system, having 650 satellites in orbit is going to mean that it is difficult to put the entire net out of use, though individual satellites will be easier to hit.

If the Scottish launch facility goes ahead (a good location for launching satellites into a polar orbit), then it would IMO be a good location from which to launch GPS satellites based on micro-sat technology, certianly in the early years when the payload capacity will be limited.

Re-directing the Gallileo funds into something like this would give a huge boost to the nascent UK launch industry (we already manufacture satellites in quantity)

Oneweb can currently manufacture two sats a day, but have just filed for chapter 11 protection.

Edit: Corrected some ridiculous spelling errors. Discovered that my multiple wireless keyboards interfere with each other if they are placed too close together!
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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by Timmymagic »

Here's the link, in the tweet:



Reminds me a little of Iridium and Globalstar's bankruptcy in the early 2000's. Buying those then would have made a lot of money as the demand for satellite bandwidth, particularly from the US military, skyrocketed in the 2000's.

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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

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Caribbean wrote:The idea behind One web is to provide global internet from low-earth satellites. When fully deployed, it will use a constellation of approx. 650 satellites (actually micro-satellites- the last launch put 36 into orbit at once), each with a lifetime of c. 5-7 years, after which they de-orbit and burn up (keeps the orbits clear of junk). Main benefits are higher bandwidth and lower latency than geo-synchronous orbits. Down side is that you need to keep launching satellites to maintain the "cloud".

For a military GPS system, having 650 satellites in orbit is going to mean that it is difficult to put the entire net out of use, though individual satellites will be easier to hit.

If the Scottish launch facility goes ahead (a good location for launching satellites into a polar orbit), then it would IMO be a good location from which to launch GPS satellites based on micro-sat technology, certianly in the early years when the payload capacity will be limited.

Re-directing the Gallileo funds into something like this would give a huge boost to the nascent UK launch industry (we already manufacture satellites in quantity)

Oneweb can currently manufacture two sats a day, but have just filed for chapter 11 protection.

Edit: Corrected some ridiculous spelling errors. Discovered that my multiple wireless keyboards interfere with each other if they are placed too close together!
Actually sounds quite positive then. Why are the papers presenting it as a lesser capability compared to the original proposals (which appear to cost around twice as much)? What are the downsides other then having to periodically renew the satellites within the system?

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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by Caribbean »

dmereifield wrote:Actually sounds quite positive then. Why are the papers presenting it as a lesser capability compared to the original proposals (which appear to cost around twice as much)? What are the downsides other then having to periodically renew the satellites within the system?
That would mean having to say something positive about the the current Government - I guess they just can't bring themselves to do it :twisted:

Seriously, though - I think it's just a mindset issue. Galilieo is based on a smaller (24 + 6 spares) constellation in Medium Earth Orbit, with large, long lifespan satellites carrying four atomic clocks each for redundancy - I think that shaped initial thinking on the UK replacement. Once you factor in the short life spans of the One Web satellites and the fact that you don't need multiple redundancy within an individual satellite, but across the cloud as a whole (e.g. if a satellite's clock drifts, just switch it off and de-orbit the satellite, then put an additional satellite in the next launch), then you can think differently.
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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by dmereifield »

Caribbean wrote:
dmereifield wrote:Actually sounds quite positive then. Why are the papers presenting it as a lesser capability compared to the original proposals (which appear to cost around twice as much)? What are the downsides other then having to periodically renew the satellites within the system?
That would mean having to say something positive about the the current Government - I guess they just can't bring themselves to do it :twisted:

Seriously, though - I think it's just a mindset issue. Galilieo is based on a smaller (24 + 6 spares) constellation in Medium Earth Orbit, with large, long lifespan satellites carrying four atomic clocks each for redundancy - I think that shaped initial thinking on the UK replacement. Once you factor in the short life spans of the One Web satellites and the fact that you don't need multiple redundancy within an individual satellite, but across the cloud as a whole (e.g. if a satellite's clock drifts, just switch it off and de-orbit the satellite, then put an additional satellite in the next launch), then you can think differently.
Interesting, thanks. Sounds quite positive to me...

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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by Ron5 »

Caribbean wrote:The idea behind One web is to provide global internet from low-earth satellites. When fully deployed, it will use a constellation of approx. 650 satellites (actually micro-satellites- the last launch put 36 into orbit at once), each with a lifetime of c. 5-7 years, after which they de-orbit and burn up (keeps the orbits clear of junk). Main benefits are higher bandwidth and lower latency than geo-synchronous orbits. Down side is that you need to keep launching satellites to maintain the "cloud".

For a military GPS system, having 650 satellites in orbit is going to mean that it is difficult to put the entire net out of use, though individual satellites will be easier to hit.

If the Scottish launch facility goes ahead (a good location for launching satellites into a polar orbit), then it would IMO be a good location from which to launch GPS satellites based on micro-sat technology, certianly in the early years when the payload capacity will be limited.

Re-directing the Gallileo funds into something like this would give a huge boost to the nascent UK launch industry (we already manufacture satellites in quantity)

Oneweb can currently manufacture two sats a day, but have just filed for chapter 11 protection.

Edit: Corrected some ridiculous spelling errors. Discovered that my multiple wireless keyboards interfere with each other if they are placed too close together!
Regarding the Scottish launch site, are polar orbits beneficial to this technology?

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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

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Will be an interesting case, in how far two friendly nations can stretch 'dual use'. From sharing launchers and at times also their payloads... err, USA and Russia used to be 'friendly nations'.

But taking it further, satellites can be separate, or separate just in components (thus most components are dual use, but the military bit can become a 'payload' not with the launcher, but within a satellite).
- well, speculation
- I doubt that the details will be widely shared, if the deal is navigated to a success

I called this Advanced Cosmos Consulting Ltd, and they said that as a rule of thumb dual use can halve the overall costs :lol:
... divide by two
[joke, joke. Seems that health warnings can be beneficial :) ]
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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by Timmymagic »

Christ...its actually happening...maybe bailing on the UK's GNSS was a good idea, and Galileo as well...


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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by Caribbean »

Ron5 wrote:Regarding the Scottish launch site, are polar orbits beneficial to this technology?
Good question. I guess it depends on the technology. In conventional terms, polar orbits are good for surveillance/ mapping type missions, as the Earth rotates beneath the satellite, allowing any individual satellite to scan the entire Earth's surface over time, whereas a normal orbit restricts coverage of the "high North" and "low South". I guess you trading coverage for complexity of co-ordination between the individual satellites
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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by dmereifield »

Timmymagic wrote:Christ...its actually happening...maybe bailing on the UK's GNSS was a good idea, and Galileo as well...

Exciting stuff. The Telegraph has an article.without a paywall:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/0 ... lileo/amp/

Apparently, Boris and Sunak have signed off on a 20% stake for $500 million

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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Looks like this post script could hold, for the case:
The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

"Mr Johnson initially sought to create a sovereign, home-grown system. However, costs have resulted in a rethink"
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

dmereifield
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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by dmereifield »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Looks like this post script could hold, for the case:
The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

"Mr Johnson initially sought to create a sovereign, home-grown system. However, costs have resulted in a rethink"
So why is this rethink negative?

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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Who else except you has said that? "So why is this rethink negative?"
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: UK Satellite Navigation System

Post by Caribbean »

Caribbean wrote:Once you factor in the short life spans of the One Web satellites and the fact that you don't need multiple redundancy within an individual satellite, but across the cloud as a whole (e.g. if a satellite's clock drifts, just switch it off and de-orbit the satellite, then put an additional satellite in the next launch), then you can think differently.
Thinking further about it, if the GPS function is simply an additional payload, then the payload just needs to be switched off and the satellite continues for the rest of it's lifespan, earning money (hopefully) as a comms satellite.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
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