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    Re: Low orbit satellites for navigation
    From: Peter Monta
    Date: 2018 Mar 30, 11:40 -0400
    Frank writes:

    > Why hasn't the Satelles navigation system become popular?
    > ...
    > My guess is that the answer is simply that they haven't found a partner willing to bring the system to market at a reasonable price.

    That seems likely enough; any price greater than zero will have a hard time of it.  There's also the engineering cost of committing to disparate niche systems.  Even the "official" commercial signals from say Galileo may not see all that much market share.

    But if mobile phones start to migrate toward user-accessible SDR, that could change the game.  It seems far from certain, for cost and regulatory reasons, but imagine an app ecosystem for RF.  Download the navigation-augmentation-flavor-of-the-month, and your phone now has Satelles, or some other signal of opportunity.  A phone might make a handy little radar too, once the antennas have more elements.

    Today's launch brings Iridium NEXT closer to full deployment.  Maybe we'll see open-source projects that use just the Iridium carriers or something like that (thus forgoing the strong authentication), though if the signals aren't continuous that might be complicated.  Just a few ground stations would be enough to tie the whole thing to the GNSS frame.


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