The UK Space Agency has awarded a National Space Innovation Programme (NSIP) contract to Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications to develop an in-orbit telemetry relay service for rockets called “InRange”.
Inmarsat’s InRange service will reduce the dependency of space launch providers on traditional, expensive ground-based monitoring systems infrastructure for their rockets and will provide a more cost-effective, flexible solution, available globally via Inmarsat’s geostationary L-band satellite network.
Inmarsat is working with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to ensure the InRange service develops to meet the challenging environmental conditions experienced by launch vehicles. Safran Data Systems (France) and Haigh-Farr Inc. (USA) are also partners in this project and focus on the L-band transmitter and antenna design.
Nick Shave, Vice President of Strategic Programmes at Inmarsat Global Government, said: “Inmarsat’s highly robust L-band satellite network is ideal to provide telemetry services for launch providers globally. The space launch market is an exciting new sector for our network and team to work on. This innovative project will allow us to solve problems and create efficiencies in the design of a reliable and secure telemetry solution for launch service providers and launch site operators.”
Yasrine Ibnyahya, Senior Director of Advanced Concepts and Technologies at Inmarsat added: “Inmarsat remains dedicated to supporting launch vehicle innovation by enabling new launch trajectories from anywhere in the world while reducing dependencies on ground networks.”
The contract announced today is valued at £258,000 with matched funding from industry taking the project total to £422,096.
Iwao Igarashi, Vice President and General Manager of Business Development, Space Systems at MHI said: “MHI is delighted to work on this innovative project with Inmarsat, Safran Data Systems and Haigh-Farr Inc. We hope that this project will promote further collaborations between UK and Japan in the space development industry.”