Globalstar, Inc. of Covington, LA (NYSE American: GSAT) and Echo Ridge, LLC of Sterling, VA have signed an agreement to collaborate, share data, and jointly pursue market opportunities for a new assured positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) technology that can backup and/or complement GPS when GPS is unavailable or unreliable. The agreement includes joint assessment of commercial and government market requirements and use cases for an assured PNT service based on the technology, which is called Augmented Positioning System (APS). The envisioned service responds to increasing user concerns about GPS vulnerability and the critical importance of accurate PNT information to support essential services and infrastructure. The companies plan to offer limited trial service to selected customers beginning this year and, pending positive market assessment, expect to enter into an agreement enabling ongoing commercial assured PNT services.
“Today so much of our critical infrastructure relies on the GPS system, including transportation, telecommunications, logistics, and utilities, that any disruption to this service can create severe impacts and risk lives,” said Jim Kilfeather, VP of emerging technologies at Globalstar. “The assured PNT service we propose will provide a reliable backup and complement to GPS to help secure the availability of vital positioning and timing information.”
The new technology that underlies the prospective assured PNT service uses ordinary signals from communications satellites (not special positioning/navigation signals, such as GPS) to produce accurate position and timing information in compatible user devices. No new infrastructure is needed to implement the service. Globalstar’s constellation of 24 low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellites and Echo Ridge software and compatible devices at the user end provide the building blocks for the APS-based service. The technology, which has been successfully demonstrated in diverse environments, incorporates multiple features that boost availability and reliability to produce accurate PNT information under circumstances that can challenge or disable GPS/GNSS technology.
Globalstar, Inc. is a leading provider of mobile satellite voice and data services to individuals, governments, and businesses in industries such as emergency management, marine, logging, oil & gas and outdoor recreation. Globalstar products include mobile and fixed satellite telephones, the Sat-Fi satellite hotspot, Simplex and Duplex satellite data modems, tracking devices and service packages. Globalstar’s two-way duplex, one-way simplex and SPOT products transmit more than 1.3 billion messages a year. The company’s network of 24 satellites covers over 80% of the Earth’s surface and uses a modern W-CDMA air interface. In 2018, the company launched its Globalstar Automotive division to support future connected and autonomous vehicles and intelligent transportation systems by assisting automotive OEMs and other ecosystem partners to implement connectivity solutions for vehicles and critical transportation infrastructure.
About Echo Ridge
Echo Ridge, LLC is a Northern Virginia small business that provides RF-focused product development, including intellectual property development, to the Government and commercial marketplace through hardware and software design and production, and signal processing algorithm development. Echo Ridge develops, produces, and sells advanced devices/systems for Positioning/Navigation/Timing (PNT), Electronic Warfare (EW), and high-fidelity laboratory modeling, simulation and testing. Echo Ridge PNT products employ proprietary alternate navigation technology to provide assured navigation in GPS-unavailable environments. The company’s management and engineering team members have extensive experience and expertise in PNT, and have contributed to the development and commercialization of multiple PNT technologies and systems, including the industry-leading Geometrix® product line of E911 wireless caller location systems deployed nationwide by U.S. carriers.