Performance Monitoring Facility





Galileo Payload Test System - The Receiver Subsystem


Consortium PTS IOV: Prime: Astrium UK, Partners: Siemens Austria, IFEN GmbH

Consortium PTS IOV: Prime: OHB, Partners: Siemens Austria, IFEN GmbH


Before Galileo satellites are sent into orbit, they must be thoroughly tested.


IFEN provides the Payload Test Receiver for both, the Galileo IOV as well as the FOC phase. A similar receiver platform has been used for In-Orbit Testing once the satellites have been launched.


Main contractor FOC: OHB

Main contractor IOV: Astrium UK


Siemens has provided the PTS for both projects and IFEN was responsible to provide the Payload Test Receiver. For IOV/IOT the second generation of the IFEN platform has been used. The Full Operational Capability (FOC) phase has worked with the third generation as basis for FOC PTR.


Astrium UK is the main contractor for the payload Electrical Ground Support Equipment (EGSE) and Siemens Austria is implementing the Payload Test System (PTS) part of the system, which is focusing on the RF payload measurements. IFEN delivers the test receiver to the overall system. The test receiver itself is one of the core components of the PTS as a highly specialized version of IFEN's GNSS receiver technology. Technological wise the receiver is based on the Artus platform, which is a further development of the GATE receiver.


The PTS receiver is a fully featured Galileo L1, E6 and E5a and E5b receiver and the signal level from the payload within the PTS is very high. Amplification within the RF section was reduced by about 30 dB. In order to optimize the frequency response of the receiver within the useful band, the RF-bandwidth was increased significantly (100+ MHz).






Galileo is the future European satellite navigation system. The system has been developed by the European Space Agency as a system prime and an industrial consortium. 


An important point of the system is, of course, its performance. This performance depends on many different parameters of the system and needs to be assessed from an independent point of view. To verify the Galileo system's performances a set of independent tools are being developed, which are not linked to the core system.


One of these is the UERE/UERRE Monitoring Facility (UMF) for In-Orbit-Validation (IOV) phase. The objective of the UMF is the determination of the UERE/UERRE budget on Galileo signals as well as the characterization and verification of Galileo receivers. The main purpose of the UMF is to allow analysis of the Galileo user's User Equivalent Range Error (UERE) budget. Furthermore User Equivalent Range Rate Errors (UERRE) will also be computed for assessment. The UMF consists of a series of environmental sensors and of Galileo receivers. This will allow gaining insight on the one hand into the signal-in-space characteristics, but also in the environmental characteristics and in the quality of the test receivers.


The UMF has been developed by IFEN under contract from Thales Alenia Space Italy (TAS-I) in the framework of the System Support activities of the ESA Galileo project.


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