Author Archives: Galileo GNSS

Septentrio GNSS technology guarantees DEME’s operations in areas of interference

Septentrio_AsteRxThe Belgian dredging, environmental and engineering group DEME relies on the accuracy and reliability of the AsteRx family of precise GNSS positioning solutions from Septentrio.

DEME is using Septentrio’s AsteRx GNSS receivers to obtain centimetre-level accuracy for all their dredging and marine construction operations worldwide. These receivers are specifically designed to operate in difficult conditions: from ice-covered Arctic ports
to the tropical climates of Southeast Asia; whether dredging a few metres from the coast line to constructing wind turbines kilometres out at sea. Read more…

FCC seeks comments on Galileo use in US

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is inviting public comments on the European Commission’s request for a waiver of licensing requirements applicable to Galileo receivers in the United States. Comments are due Feb. 21. Read the notice here.

If the waiver is approved, Galileo-capable receivers won’t need to be licensed in the U.S. At present, FCC rules require that receivers operating with non-U.S.-licensed space stations obtain a license. Read more…

Galileo Commercial Service

Welcoming the adoption of the Galileo Commercial Service Implementing Decision, the European Commission and the GSA confirm that the first generation of Galileo will provide users with High Accuracy and Authentication services. The Commercial Service will complement the Galileo Open Service by providing an additional navigation signal and added-value services in a different frequency band. Unlike the Open Service, the Commercial Service signal can be encrypted in order to control access to Galileo Commercial Services.

“The Commercial Service is unique in that its services are not provided by any other GNSS programme and thus represents a unique opportunity for Galileo to differentiate itself from other systems and offer users an added value to the standard positioning services already available,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. Read more…

Do winter weather conditions have an effect on the accuracy of GNSS devices?

GPS receiver at Concordia Research Station, AntarcticaAlthough most of us won’t be navigating through such extreme conditions, to find out, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) asked the experts working in Antarctica.

The holidays are over and all we are left with is another couple of months of cold, wet and foggy winter weather. And there’s nothing worse than having to travel in winter weather conditions. Whether it’s walking to a meeting or driving across town, at least you can depend on global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), including Galileo, to help guide you to your destination along the most efficient route possible. All you have to do is plug the coordinates into your smartphone or in-vehicle navigation device, bundle up and head out – letting GNSS take care of the rest. Read more…

Timing service based on Galileo

The timing services supplied by global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) are an increasingly important, but often unrecognised, part of today’s modern infrastructure.

This is because the vital role of space-based timing is only exposed when it fails – something that became abundantly clear in January 2016, when a software upload to US GPS satellites induced a 13-microsecond misalignment.

Although this might seem like a small difference, it had a big impact. Read more…

u-blox launches ultra-small multi-GNSS module

ZOE-M8Gu‑blox (SIX:UBXN), a global leader in wireless and positioning modules and chips, announced the launch of ZOE‑M8G, an ultra‑compact GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) receiver module, especially designed for markets where small size, minimal weight and high location precision are essential.

ZOE‑M8G offers exceptionally high location accuracy by concurrently connecting to GPS, Galileo and either GLONASS or BeiDou. It also provides industry‑leading -167 dBm navigation sensitivity. This makes the ultra‑small ZOE‑M8G perfect for wearable devices, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and asset tracker applications. Read more…

Gradual deployment of Galileo to benefit citizens and business

By Carlo des Dorides*:
Since December, users around the world are being guided using the positioning, navigation and timing information provided by Galileo’s global satellite constellation. In 2017, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) officially takes over responsibility for Galileo operations and service provision.

Our main job is to ensure a return on investment from Galileo in the form of clear, across-the-board services and applications for end users. The first step was the awarding of the Galileo service operator (GSOp) contract to Spaceopal, a joint venture between the German Aerospace Agency (DLR) and Italy’s Telespazio. With an emphasis on service performance, this €1.5bn contract will shape the future of Galileo. Read more…

Galileo clock anomalies under investigation

Galileo_rubidium_clock

Galileo Rubidium Clock (RAFS)

As first reported last November, anomalies have been noted in the atomic clocks serving Europe’s Galileo satellites.

Anomalies have occurred on five out of 18 Galileo satellites in orbit, although all satellites continue to operate well and the provision of Galileo Initial Services has not been affected.

Highly accurate timing is core to satellite navigation. Each Galileo carries four atomic clocks to ensure strong, quadruple redundancy of the timing subsystem: two Rubidium Atomic Frequency Standard (RAFS) clocks and two Passive Hydrogen Maser (PHM) clocks. Read more…

Father of GPS meets Europe’s Galileo team

Brad ParkinsonBrad Parkinson, hailed as the father of GPS, has visited ESA’s technical heart to meet the team behind Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system.

Brad Parkinson was awarded the 2016 Marconi Prize for his part in developing satellite navigation. In 1972, then a US Air Force Colonel, he was put in charge of “Program 621B”, which became the Global Positioning System. Over one long September weekend in 1973 he and his team decided all key GPS elements. The first satellite was launched in February 1978.

Paul Verhoef, ESA’s Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related Activities, invited Prof. Parkinson to ESA’s facility in the Netherlands to address the Directorate’s annual gathering on 11 January. Also present were members of the European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency – set to oversee newly operational Galileo services – and the European Commission. Read more…

Atomic clocks failures onboard Galileo satellites

SSTL_PHMAcross the 18 satellites now in orbit, nine clocks out of 72 have stopped operating. Three are traditional rubidium devices; six are the more precise hydrogen maser instruments that were designed to give Galileo superior performance to the American GPS network.

Galileo was declared up and running in December. However, it is still short of the number of satellites considered to represent a fully functioning constellation, and a decision must now be made about whether to suspend the launch of further spacecraft while the issue is investigated. Read more…