July 1, 2017 is an important date for both the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and for the Galileo programme. Following a six-month handover phase that began on January 1st, as of July 1st the GSA officially takes responsibility for overseeing the operations and service provision for Galileo – a responsibility that includes ensuring a return on investment from Galileo in the form of across-the-board services and applications.
Our journey began three years ago when the European Commission issued Regulation 1285, stating that the Galileo exploitation phase was to start in 2016 and delegating the responsibility for overseeing this key phase to the GSA. Last year’s Declaration of Initial Services and the awarding of the Galileo Service Operator (GSOp) contract marked the official transition of Galileo from a testing phase to a system in service – and were the first concrete steps taken by the GSA in our new role. Read more…
GNSS Receivers process the Signals In Space (SIS) transmitted by the satellites, being the user interface to any Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). Even though the information provided by a generic GNSS receiver can be used by a wide range of applications, most of them rely on the receiver’s navigation solution – i.e. receiver computed Position, Velocity and Time (PVT).
GNSS receivers determine the user position, velocity, and precise time (PVT) by processing the signals broadcasted by satellites. Because the satellites are always in motion, the receiver has to continuously acquire and track the signals from the satellites in view, in order to compute an uninterrupted solution, as desired in most applications. Read more…
Fist GPS receiver station (1977) at Rockwell Collins
Working well after midnight on July 19, 1977, a Rockwell Collins engineer named David Van Dusseldorp sat on the rooftop of a company building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, adjusting an antenna every five minutes to receive a signal from the world’s first Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite, known as NTS-2.
Within a small window of time, the satellite was turned on and the message was successfully received and decoded by the team working the GPS receiver below.
Since then, the technology has grown to be the standard of navigation around the world and touches nearly every part of our daily lives. To commemorate the 40-year anniversary, Rockwell Collins invited retirees involved in the project to share their firsthand stories at an event held in Cedar Rapids today. Read more…
If one’s good, two are better, and this is especially true when it comes to developing new applications for navsat systems like Galileo and GPS. That’s why an experiment on the International Space Station will start receiving signals from both simultaneously.
Satellites of America’s GPS provide signals for navigation and timing services in an enormous variety of applications worldwide – on smartphones, in automobile navigation systems and in economically vital services like aviation, maritime traffic and banking.
Today, GPS is synonymous with satnav, but after years of development and regular launches, Europe’s Galileo navigation system has come of age: its 18 satellites – soon to be 24 plus in-orbit spares – are now transmitting the highly accurate signals necessary to deliver navigation services across a wide range of activities. Read more…
ESA and European industry are currently developing a new-generation launcher: Ariane 6. This follows the decision taken at the ESA Council meeting at Ministerial level in December 2014, to maintain Europe’s leadership in the fast-changing commercial launch service market while responding to the needs of European institutional missions.
This move is associated with a change in the governance of the European launcher sector, based on a sharing of responsibility, cost and risk by ESA and industry.
The participating states are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Through its McMurdo brand, Orolia announced its global aeronautical distress safety system (GADSS)-compliant distress tracking emergency locator transmitter (ELT–DT). The product, known as the GADSSELT–DT, performs autonomous tracking of commercial aircraft in distress through processes such as trigger-in-flight capability. This allows for the beacon to automatically transmit a distress signal with the aircraft’s accurate position. Read more…
Investigators have uncovered the problems behind the failure of atomic clocks onboard Galileo satellites, the European Commission said.
For months, the European Space Agency has been investigating the reasons behind failing clocks onboard some of the 18 Galileo navigation satellites.
Each Galileo satellite has four ultra-accurate atomic timekeepers, two that use rubidium and two hydrogen maser. But a satellite needs just one working clock for the satnav to wor, the rest are spares. Read more…
Signing the contract to build another 8 Galileo satellites
Europe’s Galileo navigation constellation will gain an additional eight satellites, bringing it to completion, thanks to a contract signed at the Paris Air and Space Show.
The contract to build and test another eight Galileo satellites was awarded to a consortium led by prime contractor OHB, with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd overseeing their navigation platforms.
This is the third such satellite signing: the first four In Orbit Validation satellites were built by a consortium led by Airbus Defence and Space, while production of the next 22 Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites was led by OHB.
These new batch satellites are based on the already qualified design of the previous Galileo FOC satellites, except for changes on the unit level – such as improvements based on lessons learned and reacting to obsolescence of parts.
SISE of the Galileo constellation from 2014 to the present.
Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system has undergone its first performance report since it started work at the end of last year, and it passed with flying colors.
The European GNSS Agency, GSA has published the first of its regular quarterly performance reports on Galileo. This European GNSS (Galileo) Initial Services Open Service report, now available online, covers the first three months of 2017 and documents the good performance of Galileo Initial Services to date.
The report shows the 11 satellites then operating in the Galileo constellation were able to provide healthy signals 97.33 percent of the time on a per satellite basis, with a ranging accuracy better than 1.07 m and disseminating global UTC time within its signal to within 30 billionths of a second on a 95 percentile monthly basis. Read more…
The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has published its first Galileo Initial Services Open Service (IS OS) quarterly performance report.
Following the Declaration of Initial Services in December 2016, the GSA will publish a new Galileo IS OS report after each quarter. These quarterly reports aim to provide the public with the latest information on the Galileo Open Service’s performance. Read more…