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Xona Space Systems Wins $1.2M AFWERX Funding 

By Rachel Jewett | August 1, 2023

      Photo: Xona Space Systems

      Xona Space Systems has received $1.2 million in further AFWERX funding after demonstrating precision position, navigation, and timing (PNT) signals on its demonstration satellite, Huginn

      AFWERX is the innovation arm of the Air Force Research Laboratory. The funding announced Tuesday is a $1.2 million Direct to Phase II SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) contract. 

      The company is developing Pulsar, an independent precision LEO PNT service as an alternative to GNSS satellites. Huginn is the first commercially funded Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) PNT mission. 

      Xona Space Systems CEO Brian Manning said the company’s partnership with the AFRL Space Vehicles directorate and Space Force’s Space Warfighting Analysis Center will help the company integrate Pulsar into the U.S. national security space architecture. 

      Col. Jeremy Raley, commander of the Phillips Research Site and director of the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate said the investment will contribute to force design analytics that consider contributing signals from multiple orbit regimes. 

      “Lessons from this effort will pave the way for future defense programs to successfully utilize commercial space assets for flexible and diverse satnav that is resilient to the adversarial threat,” Raley said.