News & Events

22. May 2014

Unmanned Aerial System Test in the Galileo Test- and Development Environment GATE in Berchtesgaden


On 15th and 16th of October 2013, a joint team of members of the Portuguese Air Force Academy and DEIMOS Engineering Portugal visited the Galileo Test Range GATE in Berchtesgaden. The two organizations are connected in the project PITVANT. This acronym originates from “Projecto de Investigação e Tecnologia em Veículos Aéreos Não Tripulados”, meaning project to research and develop technologies for unmanned aerial vehicles"). Therefore, they are researching undiscovered possibilities and applications of unmanned aircrafts (Unmanned Aerial Systems, UAS). The team consisted of six people who were supported by three engineers of IFEN GmbH, the company that operates GATE.

The visit to Berchtesgaden GATE served the testing of Galileo-based satellite navigation. Therefore, the navigation receiver that had been developed within the PITVANT-project itself was initially based at the GATE office in Schoenau and tested statically for its function. The GATE signals were received and properly recorded, after which the receiver was attached to a large model aircraft. The aircraft with the impressive wingspread of 3.80 meters was remotely piloted from the ground. For its starting and landing, Storchenstraße road in Schoenau was temporarily blocked for traffic as a provisional airfield. During flight operations the Galileo navigation data were recorded as intended. The results will empower the involved scientists to further push forward their research and development.

Thanks to the municipal administration of Schoenau for the approvals that were granted to us and for the set-up of the diversion route. Also we thank all residents for their tolerance towards the short-term aircraft noise.