The United Kingdom Space Agency will contribute to the creation of InRange, which is an in-orbit telemetry relay device that will utilize the L-band constellation of the British satellite provider Inmarsat to direct rocket launches. According to Inmarsat, InRange would reduce the reliance on land-based systems for monitoring rockets in space, eventually saving launch providers resources on ground stations as well as other terrestrial infrastructure. The National Space Invention Programme (NSIP) of the UK Space Agency granted Inmarsat a contract worth £258,000 ($357,960) to build the network.
InRange is being built in collaboration with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), the main contractor for Japan’s next-generation H3 launch vehicle. MHI would guarantee that the InRange capacity it will apply to its current in-orbit satellites can withstand the harsh environmental constraints that launch vehicles face, according to Inmarsat.
The project also includes Safran Data Systems, a telemetry technology company headquartered in North America And Europe, as well as Haigh–Farr, an United States antenna manufacturer. They’ll concentrate on the L-band transmitter as well as antenna configuration from InRange. Inmarsat reported that InRange had raised just over £422,000 in overall financing, supported by business contributions.
Nick Shave, who serves as the vice president of strategic initiatives at Inmarsat Global Government, stated, “Inmarsat’s extremely versatile L-band satellite network is perfect for providing telemetry services for the launch providers globally.” “Working in the satellite launch industry is an interesting new area for our network and staff. This ground-breaking project will allow us to solve challenges and save time while designing a stable and safe telemetry system for launch service suppliers as well as launch site operators.”
InRange would reduce commercial barriers to access for potential entrants, according to an Inmarsat spokesperson, by eliminating the need for them to invest in their very own system or even develop more costly ground-centred networks. This may help future launch providers located in the United Kingdom as the nation continues to develop its domestic space capability. After releasing its reply to a consultation, the United Kingdom government declared on March 5 that it was on track to finalize regulations for performing space launches from the nation’s soil by completing this year.
According to the study, launches could happen over the next few years, and spaceports could be established in southwest England, Scotland, and Wales. Commercial horizontal and vertical small satellite flights from United Kingdom spaceports have now been granted over £40 million in government grants. The Inmarsat representative was unable to include a timetable for the creation of InRange but stated that with the financing, work on evaluating the project on a potential launch will now begin.