Handbook on GNSS published by Springer

Springer Handbook of Global Navigation Satellite Systems

Springer Handbook of Global Navigation Satellite Systems

The Springer Handbook of Global Navigation Satellite Systems is now available.

Described as “A state-of-the-art description of GNSS as a key technology for science and society at large,” the 1,327-page tome is edited by Peter J.G. Teunissen and Oliver Montenbruck.

Teunissen is a professor of Geodesy and Satellite Navigation at Curtin University, Australia, and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), the Netherlands.

Montenbruck is head of the GNSS Technology and Navigation Group at the DLR’s German Space Operations Center, Oberpfaffenhofen, and chair of the Multi-GNSS Working Group of the International GNSS Service. Read more…

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Consortium records scintillation on Galileo signals in Antarctica

Septentrio PolaRx5

Septentrio PolaRx5

At the end of 2016, the DemoGRAPE consortium observed, for the first time ever, ionospheric scintillations on Galileo signals in Antarctica, using Septentrio’s PolaRx5S GNSS reference receiver.

DemoGRAPE investigates improvement of high-precision satellite positioning with a view to developing scientific and technological applications in Antarctica. At higher latitudes, GNSS signal degradation due to ionospheric activity is more pronounced.

The more precise phase-based positioning modes are particularly vulnerable to ionosphere disturbance such as scintillations. Elevated ionospheric activity can cause a loss of precise-positioning mode or, in more extreme cases, a total loss of signal lock. Read more…

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The GSA takes up its responsibilities for Galileo

GSA HQ in Prague

GSA HQ in Prague

By Carlo des Dorides*:

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…

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GNSS Receivers

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…

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First GPS signal received 40 years ago

Fist GPS receiver station (1977) at Rockwell Collins

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…

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Galileo arrives on the Space Station

SCaN Testbed on ISS

SCaN Testbed on ISS

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…

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[vid] Ariane 6, the next generation launch vehicle for Galileo

Artist's view of the two configurations of Ariane 6

Ariane 6 two configurations

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.

Read more…

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Orolia Announces Global Distress Safety System

Through its McMurdo brand, Orolia announced its global aeronautical distress safety system (GADSS)-compliant distress tracking emergency locator transmitter (ELTDT). The product, known as the GADSS ELTDT, 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…

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Problem behind failing clocks identified

Galileo launch 8 (17-11-2016)

Galileo launch 8 (17-11-2016)

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…

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Another eight Galileo satellites for Europe

Signing the contract to build another 8 Galileo satellites

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.

Read more…

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