Google opens up GNSS pseudoranges

Google has announced that raw GNSS measurements will be available to apps in the Android N operating system, which will be released later this year. This means pseudoranges, dopplers and carrier phase will be obtainable from a phone or tablet computer.

The announcement came during Google’s I/O 2016, its three-day developer conference which was held May 18-20. The specific announcement occurs during a video summary of the conference, shown below.

“This is groundbreaking,” says Steve Malkos, a technical program manager at Google. “It is the first time in history that a mobile application will have access to Read more…

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Qualcomm Technologies adds Galileo to product portfolio

Qualcomm SnapdragonIn a major boost for Galileo uptake in the location based services (LBS) market segment, the GSA announces that US-based Qalcomm Technologies, a world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies, is adding support for Galileo across its Snapdragon processor and modern portfolios for smartphone, computing and automotive applications. The addition of Galileo to the company’s growing number of location-based applications and services will reduce time-to-first-fix, improve robustness and increase accuracy (particularly in challenging urban environments) ultimately providing the end user with an improved location performance. Read more…

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Galileo’s Ariane 5 dispenser ready at spaceport

Four-satellite Galileo dispenserFollowing rigorous testing in France and Germany, a new type of dispenser designed to carry four navigation satellites into orbit at once is now in French Guiana, in place for Galileo’s first Ariane 5 launch later this year.

The dispenser is an essential element of launch success, with a double role to play. Firstly it must hold the quartet of satellites securely in place during the stresses of liftoff, and then the nearly four-hour long flight to medium-Earth orbit.

Then, once the Ariane 5 EPS upper stage reaches its target 23 222 km altitude, the dispenser has to release the four Galileo satellites smoothly Read more…

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European satellite systems in service of European security

The European Parliament adopted a report on Space capabilities for European security and defence drafted by MEP Bogdan Zdrojewski. The document underlines the possibilities that have been gained by the Member States thanks to the EU programs, Copernicus and Galileo, in the areas of adequate positioning, border monitoring, air and maritime travel control, as well as the analysis of climate change.

“Positioning services and Earth observation capabilities, offered by the EU programs, Galileo and Copernicus respectively, should be used in order to assure the security of EU citizens” Read more…

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EU Space Policy: Industry, Security And Defence

Written by Vincent Reillon and Patryk Pawlak

climate change mapAutonomous space capabilities play a key role for in enhancing situational awareness, response to complex crises (natural disasters), management of natural resources (water, forests), delivery of services (health, energy, transport, communication, weather forecasting), and national security. With an increasing number of countries gaining access to outer space, the EU has intensified its efforts towards adopting a space strategy for Europe. Read more…

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Galileo PRS signal accessible via the cloud

Galileo drone at ordnance surveyIn what is being described as a “world first” the Public Regulated Service (PRS) of the new European satellite network Galileo has been delivered via the “cloud”, paving the way for its automated use by emergency and security services and critical national infrastructure (CNI) as the secure position and timing service of choice across Europe.

The ability to access the PRS via the cloud overcomes a major problem for some potential PRS users due to the security protocols that are required when managing the cryptographic keys needed to access the signals. Read more…

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14 Galileo satellites now in orbit

Galileo launch 7 liftoffNamed for the astronomer who pinpointed Earth’s true position in the Solar System, the Galileo satellite navigation system that will help Europe find its way in the 21st century now has 14 satellites in orbit after 24th May double launch.

Galileos 13 and 14 lifted off together at 08:48 GMT (10:48 CEST, 05:48 local time) atop a Soyuz rocket from French Guiana.

This seventh Galileo launch went by the book: the first three Soyuz stages placed the satellites safely into low orbit, after which their Fregat upper stage hauled them the rest of the way into their target medium-altitude orbit. Read more…

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Galileo liftoff replay – Soyuz VS15

Arianespace has successfully launched the 13th and 14th satellites of the Galileo constellation. The company’s second Soyuz launch of the year took place on May 24 at 5:48 am local time  (10:48 UTC) from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in Kourou, French Guiana.

Today’s Soyuz success marks the 250th launch from the Guiana Space Center with its family of launchers. This total, composed of 229 Ariane flights, 15 with Soyuz and six liftoffs of Vega, confirms Arianespace’s operational performance over time for the benefit of all its clients.


 

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Soyuz Flight VS15. Countdown and flight events

Liftoff is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at exactly:
05:48:43 a.m., Local time (French Guiana)
04:48:43 a.m., Washington, D.C.
08:48:43 a.m., UTC
10:48:43 a.m., Central European Time
11:48:43 p.m., Moscow

The 15th Soyuz launch from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) will place two new satellites for Europe’s Galileo satellites navigation System into circular orbit. The launcher will be carrying a total payload of 1,599 kg.

Countdown and flight
- 05H: Beginning of the meeting for launcher fueling authorization (BTR)
– 04H 30MN: Launch vehicle fueling begins
– 01H 35MN: End of fueling operations
– 01H 10MN: Mobile gantry withdrawal
– 00H 5MN 10S: Key on start
– 00H 5MN: Fregat transfer to onboard power supply
– 00H 2MN 25S: Upper composite umbilical drop-off command
– 00H 40S: Ground-onboard power transfer
– 00H 28S: Lower stage umbilical mast retraction
– 00H 16S: Ignition
– 00H 14S: Preliminary thrust level
– 00H 1S: Full thrust level
- 00:00: LIFTOFF
+ 00H 1MN 58S: Jettisoning of boosters
+ 00H 3MN 39S: Jettisoning of fairing
+ 00H 4MN 48S: Separation of central core (second stage)
+ 00H 9MN 24S: Separation of 3rd stage
+ 00H 10MN 24S: First Fregat burn
+ 00H 23MN 32S: Fregat shut down and beginning of ballistic phase
+ 03H 38MN 35S: Second Fregat burn
+ 03H 47MN 57S: Fregat shut down
+ 03H 47MN 57S: Galileo FOC-M5 SAT 13-14 separation (in Orbit Plane A)

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Galileo Soyuz VS15 countdown

Spacecraft Operations Engineer at ESOCThe launch campaign is complete, the systems and teams at ESOC are ready. At Europe’s Spaceport, in Kourou, French Guyana, the satellite sits on top of its launcher, ready for the command that will send it soaring into space, watched intently by the experts at ESOC.

Ready to go to Space
With just hours to go before lift-off, the Mission Control Team at ESOC holds the final pre-launch briefing to review (one more time!) every detail of the mission plan.

At the briefing, team leaders and functional experts from the Mission Control Team are joined by the satellite’s Project Team from ESTEC as well as representatives from the launch service provider (in addition to the Agency’s own Spaceport at Kourou, ESA launches some satellites using commercial providers) and from the industrial contractor that built the satellite. Read more…

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