News & Events

18. October 2012

Helicopter-Test in the Galileo Test Environment GATE, Berchtesgaden


Between Monday, 24th of September and Wednesday, the 26th of September 2012, the first tests with an aeronautical application for the “High Integrity Safety critical regional augmentation Test-Bed” (HISTB) took place in the IFEN-operated GATE Testbed. At this occasion, the testbed itself, its function and its infrastructure were showcased to representatives of the HISTB-originator ESA and other HISTB project partners, notably from Thales Alenia Space – France, prime contractor of HISTB project. Gathered navigation data resulting from the heli-flights through the scenic GATE-valley were promising and are currently being analysed. The GATE testbed was developed under contract of the DLR  (German Aerospace Center, Bonn-Oberkassel) on behalf of BMWi (German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology).


IFEN GmbH in its role as a partner in the HISTB project, which was launched under ESA’s European GNSS Evolution Programme, has performed an upgrade of the GATE infrastructure with the aim to extend its functionality for testing of developments and applications related to user-integrity. The new functionality further improves the capability of GATE to simulate different so-called “feared events”, i.e. failures on the Galileo satellite signals such as satellite clock drift or jump events. With the ability to intentionally generate such errors for one or several Galileo-like signals transmitted from the GATE stations, GPS/Galileo receivers can be effectively evaluated regarding the quality of their failure detection features implemented. Furthermore the HISTB upgrade of the Galileo Test Environment includes the dissemination of navigation augmentation data via the GATE transmitters. The dedicated dual-frequency correction data for the GPS and Galileo measurements were successfully received and processed onboard the test helicopter in the Berchtesgaden valley. To this end the GATE system was connected via an online link to the “Support Platform for EGNOS Evolutions & Demonstrations” (SPEED), located in TASF premises providing the augmentation data stream in near-real-time.


IFEN Engineers Wolfgang Bär and Elmar Wittmann executed the successful test series from inside the air vessel in cooperation with the ground based operations team consisting of Heiko Mundle, Theodor Zink and Georg Kern.

The attendees were impressed not only by the beautiful scenery of the German Alps in perfect weather but especially with the distinguished possibilities of Galileo-simulation in many different scenarios and applications that are offered by GATE improved with the HISTB-Upgrade.