ION Alberta Virtual Meeting – Thursday December 16, 2021

Dr. Tyler Reid, co-founder and CTO of Xona Space Systems presented “A New Space Approach to Commercial LEO PNT.” [download here]

Previously, Tyler worked as a Research Engineer at the Ford Motor Company in the localization and mapping group for self-driving cars. He has also worked as a software engineer at Google and as a lecturer at Stanford University, where he co-taught the GPS course. He received his PhD (2017) and MSc (2012) in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford, where he worked in the GPS Research Lab.

Abstract: We present a novel concept for a New Space approach to commercial satellite navigation, one architected to meet the Position, Navigation, and Time (PNT) needs of demanding critical applications, including autonomous vehicles. This concept leverages the ecosystem which has enabled the Mega Constellations including SpaceX, OneWeb, Telesat, and Amazon. The Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) constellations of GPS, Galileo, Glonass, and BeiDou represent marvels of engineering as well as immense undertakings by nation-states to support government needs. By standing on the shoulders of these giants, the proposed commercial PNT concept leverages the best of the old and the new. It combines familiar signals with novel ones for new capability and added resilience, including stronger, spectrally diverse signals with encryption and authentication for civil users. We discuss Xona’s staged roll out plan to first deliver GNSS augmentation as a steppingstone to the ultimate constellation delivering full, independent PNT. We conclude with a small satellite mission concept to be launched in 2022 to demonstrate the proposed concepts.