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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Europe’s New Satellite System Will Improve Your Phone

By Lucas Laursen*:
Galileo, a global navigation satellite system that will reach more places and work more precisely than today’s GPS services, is now available for free public use. When it is complete, expected by 2020, Galileo will have taken two decades and an estimated $10 billion to build. But the system, created by the European Union, will make your phone run better and offer new possibilities for both corporate and government users. Read more…

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Galileo Science Office

Galileo_EUGNSSGalileo’s initial services declaration is a boon not just for people worldwide but also the scientific community. A precise yardstick is now freely available to study Earth and everything on it, along with the laws of physics.

The Galileo satnav system began operating on 15 December 2016, offering positioning, navigation and timing services to everyone with a receiver. Service availability is based on a minimum of four satellites being visible in the local sky, set to improve as the number of satellites increases from the current 18 to a planned 24 plus orbital spares. Read more…

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The path towards the autonomous vehicles passes through the European satellites

The future of the autonomous driving is “made-in-Europe”. The European Agency for the global navigation satellite systems (GSA) has kicked-off ESCAPE, a three-year and 5.4 M€ project to exploit the services offered by Galileo in the field of the automated driving. ESCAPE will coordinate some of the most relevant industrial and research institutions in Europe to create a positioning engine for safety-critical applications on the road, namely- the applications involving highly automated driving. Read more…

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[vid] Galileo initial services declaration

galileo-goes-liveAt a Thursday morning, Dec. 15, ceremony in Brussels titled “Galileo Goes Live,” two high officials of the European Commission issued the Galileo Initial Services Declaration.

The Declaration of Initial Services means that the Galileo satellites and ground infrastructure are now operationally ready. These signals will be highly accurate but not available all the time, since the constellation is not yet complete and users cannot always count on four satellites being visible at one time at all points on the Earth.

A series of notice advisory to Galileo users or NAGUs describe the flag status of each satellite. USABINIT NAGUs were issued for 11 satellites: 0101, 0102, 0103, 0203, 0204, 0205, 0206, 0208, 0209, 0210, and 0211. USABINIT, or Initially Usable, notifies users that a satellite is set healthy for the first time. 0104 had a power problem and is operating on E1 only. 0201 and 0202 were launched into lower orbits. 0207 and 0212-0214 are still undergoing commissioning and drifting to their designated orbital slots. Read more…

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