Catapult undertaking feasibility study into first GNSS Demo Centre in the UK

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A Satellite Applications Catapult-led consortium has won a contract to undertake a feasibility study into the European Space Agency’s (ESA) first GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) Demonstration Centre to be built in the UK.

The six-month study – to be funded by ESA as preparatory activity for establishing a new ESA Navigation programme – will consider the impact on downstream market penetration for European GNSS organisations by developing the centre in Harwell, adding to the growing Harwell Space Cluster. The consortium partners are Ordnance Survey, Spirent Communications and University of Nottingham.

Subject to the successful outcome of the study, the Catapult will complete the second phase of the project – the development and operational validations of the Centre. The total value of the project is £2m.

Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: “The GNSS Demonstration Centre will enable a wide range of organisations to exploit GNSS technologies to provide applications in markets such as Smart Cities, Transport, Energy and Health. This project will provide ESA with a model for establishing multiple sustainable GNSS Demonstration Centres in other European member states, potentially focusing on different markets.”

Within the UK Space sector, the Catapult has a unique role as “neutral convener”. This status, combined with its exceptional facilities, will provide ESA with unrivalled access to the burgeoning UK domestic market. Not only will the Centre be a high profile, core feature of the Catapult and Harwell Space Cluster, but it will also offer a major strand of UK government strategy for generating growth through the exploitation of satellite technologies and services.