Galileo blow: US company raises £1.5m to create 'more accurate and secure' alternative

San Francisco based firm TrustPoint Inc has today announced plans to expand its engineering team, continue developing core technologies – including satellite payload testing – and extend key partnerships. This has dealt a blow to Europe’s Galileo satellite as governments look for backup alternatives. Galileo is an EU project for a GNSS and is interoperable with the UK’s GPS and the US and Russian global satellite navigation systems.

But the US are seeking to rival Europe’s Galileo system with their new rival project after TrustPoint raised £1.5 million in funding from venture capital firm DCVC.

TrustPoint founders Patrick Shannon, a former Astro Digital vice president, and Chris DeMay, former Hawkeye 360 founder and chief technology officer, said alternatives are needed as current systems are inaccurate, slow, unencrypted, and can become jammed.

The company has stressed that GNSS systems alone are not accurate enough for a lot of the emerging commercial applications like drone delivery, self-driving cars, urban air transportation and augmented reality.

Their new alternative seeks to provide governments and commercial customers with an improved service, security and reliability.

TrustPoint promised that their system will bring about better accuracy, quicker time to first fix, as well as anti-jamming capabilities.

Patrick Shannon, TrustPoint co-founder and CEO, said in a statement: “NewSpace startups have been successfully revolutionizing a host of space applications, like launch, earth observation and communications for the past decade.

“Our effort to develop a fully commercial GNSS service is the logical next step to this trend, a much-needed layer of security for today’s GPS users, and an enabler for nascent applications in the autonomous navigation sector.”

DCVC Partner Chris Boshuizen, who led the firm’s investment in TrustPoint, said in a statement: “It’s easy to imagine TrustPoint’s innovative and fast-evolving commercial service alongside government GNSS, or even as the primary solution.”

Initial services for Galileo satellites have been in effect and on offer for governments since 2016.

But the fully deployed Galileo system, which will consist of 24 operational satellites plus six in-orbit spares, is set to go completely live in 2026.

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