Iridium Communications Inc. has announced that it has made a strategic investment in DDK Positioning (DDK), an Aberdeen, Scotland based provider of enhanced Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) accuracy solutions. DDK uses the Iridium network to provide global precision positioning services that can augment GNSS constellations, including GPS and Galileo, to significantly enhance their accuracy for critical industrial applications. DDK is also developing similar services for other GNSS constellations, such as GLONASS and Beidou. Terms of the investment are not being disclosed.
Iridium reports that DDK’s augmentation service can increase the accuracy of positioning from ten meters to five centimetres or less. It is suitable for autonomous vehicles like UAVs, precision agriculture applications, offshore infrastructure projects such as windfarm construction, automotive applications like driverless cars, as well as a host of construction, mining, surveying and IoT use cases.
Speaking about the partnership, Kevin Gaffney, CEO of DDK Positioning, said: “We are delighted to have embarked on this journey with such a strong and well-respected company as Iridium. This partnership is a perfect fit for DDK Positioning, with Iridium’s satellite communications network and our GNSS solution, we are in a position to deliver a truly unique service which is robust, resilient and secure. The investment made by Iridium will also allow us to grow the company even further whilst expanding our service offering globally.”
According to a report published by the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency, augmentation services like those offered by DDK will account for $76.5b (€65bn) in global GNSS market revenue by 2029, while the global GNSS downstream market, including services delivered and hardware devices, is estimated to reach $382bn (€325bn).
Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium, added: “We are impressed with the team that DDK has put together and see great potential for this technology and how it takes advantage of the Iridium network. DDK’s enhanced positioning is a unique capability that adds a high-value solution on top of our existing portfolio of custom network services. Solutions from Iridium and DDK partners that are focused on precision agriculture, autonomous systems, maritime and infrastructure projects can now experience incredibly precise GNSS accuracy from anywhere on the planet.”