Xplore has secured a follow-on contract from the US Air Force (USAF) to continue developing the service’s positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) solution.
The solution will be provided as a commercial service for the USAF to allow precision missions to be conducted on the moon and in the cislunar space region.
The current Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) effort will culminate in a hardware in the loop (HIL) testbed that will showcase the required performance to allow advanced operations.
Xplore founder and chief operating officer Lisa Rich said: “Xplore is developing a first-of-its-kind cislunar architecture that ultimately allows for communication, data distribution and transportation beyond Earth orbit.
“With dozens of international, government and commercial Lunar missions planned over the next decade, Xplore’s commercial PNT service will support this increased cadence of activity at the moon.”
Xplore’s multi-mission ESPA-class space vehicle, Xcraft, will deploy the cislunar PNT system once enabled.
This vehicle is capable of supporting cislunar space missions, operating from Venus to Ceres.
The commercial space company is also working on the design of an advanced solar sail-based vehicle called ‘LightCraft’.
Lisa Rich added: “Xplore is proud to lead the development of critical PNT architecture that aligns with initiatives of the US Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate and supports the evolving goals of the US Space Force.
“Our new capability expands the marketplace for cislunar missions and enhances the sustainability of our business for a wide array of customers ranging from commercial efforts to other US government programmes.”