The government has officially scrapped Theresa May’s plans for a British version of the GPS satellite navigation program, with some parts of Whitehall now pressuring the UK to rejoin the EU’s Galileo system.
The UK Space Agency will announce in the coming days that it has completed the GNSS project, which Mrs May placed in tax payer 92 million taxpayer funds in May 2011.
Under the resumption of Britain’s space ambitions, the agency is now ready to test an alternative to a sovereign location system, including satellite deployments from Overweb, with the bankrupt space agency paying দি 400 million to rescue the government.
Multiple options are considered to be considered. Civil servants and parts of the industry have repeatedly pushed for a resumption of talks on joining the EU’s Galileo system, which Britain froze during the Brexit talks. The government says Galileo’s participation was off the table.
There has been considerable variation among governments regarding eligibility to invest on OneWeb. UKSA officials and experts have rejected the idea of republishing the company’s broadband satellites to create location systems, saying they could suffer signal interference and not carry the heavy atomic clock needed for accurate time signals.
A British study equivalent to Galileo and American GPS, which used heavy superior orbital satellites, estimated the cost to be between bn 3bn and bn 5bn, and the UKSA has been canceling industry contracts in recent weeks.
OneWeb’s options may include a regional approach using geological satellites, which would be cheaper as fewer satellites are needed to portion a portion of the Earth’s surface.
Because of technologies such as autonomous vehicles and boats, and because foreign governments and criminals exploit the vulnerabilities of GPS, accurate and secure location systems are seen as increasing national importance.
Several British companies were involved in the development of Galileo before the European Space Agency called for Article 50 before starting work abroad.
The government has agreed to take over 45 PCs on OneWeb, which went bankrupt in March in a joint venture with India’s Bharati Global.
A spokesman for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “The Government has set a clear ambition for a sovereign space program that will bring long-term strategic and commercial benefits to the UK. Evaluation of options.
“The Galileo will not participate in the EU program. The current OneWeb satellite will be used to provide satellite communications, not satellite navigation.”
Analyst. Amateur problem solver. Wannabe internet expert. Coffee geek. Tv guru. Award-winning communicator. Food nerd.