Home > Blog

2010 (1)

December (1)

2008 (1)

December (1)

2006 (1)

December (1)

2003 (1)

December (1)

2002 (1)

September (1)

CONTINUED GATE SERVICE TILL END OF 2019

27. January 2017, Veronika Sax - GATE

 

The GATE system will continue its operation until end of 2019. A corresponding contract has been awarded to IFEN GmbH through the German Aerospace Agency (DLR). Currently the Galileo test bed gets adjusted for its operation in combination with the recently started Galileo Initial Service Phase.

The GATE system has been reduced from eight to three transmitter stations and is currently upgraded with the latest signal generator capabilities. These three transmit stations will be operating solely in combination with the Galileo system in orbit and will provide a wide range of error simulation possibilities to be incorporated as virtual satellites within the Galileo constellation.

GATE will provide continuously valuable services to Galileo research and development community for testing their navigation receivers and applications, mainly focused on robustness against various malfunctions which possibly occur in a navigation system. These incidents include wrong navigation data content, satellite clock failures (feared events) and signal deformations (evil waveforms).

For robustness tests of navigation receivers and applications, GATE offers for static tests an office within the test area as well as a full equipped measurement vehicle for land mobile tests. The possibility for UAV tests will be available mid of 2017.


EUROPEAN COMMISSION DECLARES GALILEO INITIAL SERVICES AVAILABLE FOR USE

01. January 2017, Veronika Sax - Galileo

On December 15, 2016 the European Commission (EC), owner of Europe's GNSS system, Galileo, formally announced the start of Galileo Initial Services, the first step towards full operational capability. Further launches will continue to build the satellite constellation, which will gradually improve the system performance and availability worldwide.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has overseen the design and deployment of Galileo on behalf of the Commission, with system operations and service provision due to be entrusted to the European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency next year.

"Galileo offering initial services is a major achievement for Europe and a first delivery of our recent Space Strategy," said European Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROWTH). "This is the result of a concerted effort to design and build the most accurate satellite navigation system in the world. It demonstrates the technological excellence of Europe, its know-how, and its commitment to delivering space-based services and applications. No single European country could have done it alone."

Paul Verhoef, ESA's Director of the Galileo Program and Navigation-related Activities, added, "Today's announcement marks the transition from a test system to one that is operational. We are proud to be a partner in the Galileo program. Still, much work remains to be done. The entire constellation needs to be deployed, the ground infrastructure needs to be completed and the overall system needs to be tested and verified. In addition, together with the Commission we have started work on the second generation, and this is likely to be a long but rewarding adventure."

Initial Services

Galileo is now providing three service types, the availability of which will continue to be improved. "Service definition documents" have been completed for all three.

The Open Service (OS) is a free mass-market service for users with enabled chipsets in, for instance, smartphones and car navigation systems. Fully interoperable with GPS, combined coverage will deliver more accurate and reliable positioning for users.

Galileo's Public Regulated Service (PRS) is an encrypted, robust service for government-authorised users such as civil protection, fire brigades and the police.

The Search and Rescue (SAR) service is Europe's contribution to the long-running Cospas-Sarsat international emergency beacon location. With Galileo and other GNSS-based SAR services, the time between someone locating a distress beacon when lost at sea or in the wilderness will be reduced from up to three hours to just 10 minutes, with its location determined to within 5 kilometers, rather than the previous 10 kilometers.

After five years of launches, 18 Galileo satellites are now in orbit, but only 11 will be available for the Open Service and PRS and 12 for SAR services. The most recent four, launched last month, are undergoing testing ahead of joining the constellation next spring. Two satellites are in incorrect orbits due to a 2014 launch anomaly, although the ESA engineers subsequently regained control of the spacecraft and were able to improve the orbits. As a result, one of those satellites can be used for the SAR service. Another spacecraft is currently out of service.

With the declaration of Initial Services Galileo will deliver, in conjunction with GPS, the following capabilities free of charge:

Support to emergency operations: Today it can take hours to detect a person lost at sea or in the mountains. With the Search and Rescue Service (SAR), people placing a distress call from a Galileo-enabled beacon can now be found and rescued more quickly, since the detection time will be reduced to only 10 minutes. This service should be later improved by notifying the sender of the emergency call that he/she has been located and help is underway.

More accurate navigation for citizens: The Galileo Open Service will offer a free mass-market service for positioning, navigation and timing that can be used by Galileo-enabled chipsets in smartphones or in car navigation systems. A number of such smartphones have been on the market since autumn 2016 and they can now use the signals to provide more accurate positions.

By 2018, Galileo will also be found in every new model of vehicle sold in Europe, providing enhanced navigation services to a range of devices as well as enabling the eCall emergency response system. People using navigation devices in cities, where satellite signals can often be blocked by tall buildings, will particularly benefit from the increase in positioning accuracy provided by Galileo.

Better time synchronization for critical infrastructures: Galileo will, through its high precision clocks, enable more resilient time synchronization of banking and financial transactions, telecommunications and energy distribution networks such as smart-grids. This will help them operate more efficiently.

Secure services for public authorities: Galileo will also support public authorities such as civil protection services, humanitarian aid services, customs officers and the police through the Public Regulated Service. It will offer a particularly robust and fully encrypted service for government users during national emergencies or crisis situations, such as terrorist attacks, to ensure continuity of services.

 

More Yet to Come

The declaration of Galileo Initial Services means that the Galileo satellites and ground infrastructure are now operationally ready. However, because the satellite constellation not complete, stand-alone positioning using only Galileo signals will not available all the time. That's why, during the initial phase, the first Galileo signals will be used in combination with other satellite navigation systems, such as the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS).

The full Galileo constellation will consist of 24 satellites plus orbital spares, intended to prevent any interruption in service.

ESA Director general Jan Woerner noted, "For ESA, this is a very important moment in the program. We know that the performance of the system is excellent. The announcement of Initial Services is the recognition that the effort, time, and money invested by ESA and the Commission has succeeded, that the work of our engineers and other staff has paid off, that European industry can be proud of having delivered this fantastic system."

In the coming years, new satellites will be launched to enlarge the Galileo constellation, which will gradually improve Galileo availability worldwide. The constellation is expected to be complete by 2020 when Galileo will reach full operational capacity.

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) will manage Galileo Initial Services on behalf of the EC, which runs the overall Galileo program. GSA signed a services contract today with SpaceOpal to handle day-to-day operations of Galileo. The EC has handed over the responsibility for deployment of the system and technical support to operational tasks to ESA.

In a congratulatory media announcement today, NovAtel President and CEO Michael Ritter stated, "Today's declaration of the availability of the first three Galileo services - the Open Service, Public Regulated Service, and Search and Rescue Service - confirms the stalwart and persevering leadership that this trio of agencies has provided over the years of the system's development. It also validates the confidence of the program's supporters that Europe would join the world's operators of global navigation satellite systems."

NovAtel's high precision GNSS receivers, antennas, and certified ground-reference station receivers have supported Galileo signals in anticipation of the complete constellation. Moreover, NovAtel is now broadcasting Galileo Precise Point Positioning (PPP) corrections through its TerraStar correction services.

Copyright © 2016 Gibbons Media & Research LLC, all rights reserved.

Source: Inside GNSS

 

 

 


GSA SIGNS GALILEO SERVICE OPERATOR CONTRACT

01. January 2017, Veronika Sax - Galileo

 

Following a complex tendering process that began in January 2015, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) awarded the Galileo Service Operator (GSOp) contract, with a value of up to €1.5 billion (US$1.56 billion), to Spaceopal at a special event in Brussels on December 15, 2016.

The ceremony was featured in an event organized on the occasion of the European Commission's declaration of Galileo Initial Services.

The 10-year contract covers the operation and maintenance of the Galileo satellite system and its committed performance level: in particular, the operations and control of the system, the logistics and maintenance of the systems, and infrastructureas well as the user support services. Spaceopal is a joint venture between Telespazio and the German Space Agency (DLR).

"With its emphasis on service performance, this contract will shape the future of Galileo," said GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. "We look forward to building a strong partnership with Spaceopal as Galileo moves towards full operational capability under the responsibility of the GSA from January 2017."

Specifically, under GSA oversight, the contract awarded to Spaceopal includes the following responsibilities:

  • Secure operations of Galileo from two mission control centers (GCC), located in Germany and Italy, and the European GNSS Service Center (GSC) in Spain for user support services
  • management of the Galileo Data Distribution Network (GDDN)
  • integrated logistics support and maintenance for the entire space and ground infrastructure;
  • monitoring ofthe system performance;
  • support the completion of the Galileo infrastructure and associated launches. To ensure a balance between ongoing deployment needs and the priority of the service provision, the contract includes clear and tangible performance indicators (KPIs).

Spaceopal has served as the contractor for Galileo operations since 2010 under the Galileo Full Operational Capability (FOC) Operations Framework Contract.

"Spaceopal is committed to continuing to support the deployment and completion of the Galileo system," says Spaceopal CEOGiuseppe Lenzo. "We are proud that the GSA has selected us to further contribute by bringing the Galileo signal in space to users and providing best-in-class satellite navigation services."

The contract was signed by des Dorides, Spaceopal's CEO Giuseppe Lenzo, and Simon Plum, the company's COO, at an official ceremony held today in Brussels.

Copyright © 2016 Gibbons Media & Research LLC, all rights reserved.

Source: Inside GNSS

 

 


REAL WORLD DIRECTION OF ARRIVAL ESTIMATION AND MITIGATION OF SPOOFING SIGNALS WITH A SYNTHETIC APERTURE ANTENNA

15. December 2016, Veronika Sax - Publications Press & Media


REAL WORLD DIRECTION OF ARRIVAL ESTIMATION AND MITIGATION OF SPOOFING SIGNALS WITH A SYNTHETIC APERTURE ANTENNA

A contribution to the navitec 2016, ESA-ESTEC, 14-16 December 2016, December 2016

by IFEN GmbH, Igaspin GmbH, Department of Geomatics and ESA/ESTEC.

Read more


LEAP SECOND ON DECEMBER 31, 2016

05. December 2016, Veronika Sax - Miscellaneous

The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) has announced the introduction of a leap second to occur at the end of December 2016.

Coordinated universal time (UTC) will sequence as follows:

  1. 31 Dec 2016 23 hours 59 minutes 59 seconds
  2. 31 Dec 2016 23 hours 59 minutes 60 seconds
  3. 01 Jan 2017 00 hours 00 minutes 00 seconds

Users are advised that the UTC data in the Galileo navigation message will change in accordance with OS SIS ICD (Section 5.1.7)

Before the leap second:

GST-UTC is 17 (GST is ahead of UTC by 17 seconds)

After the leap second:

GST-UTC will be 18 (GST will be ahead of UTC by 18 seconds)

Text source Earth Orientation Center of IERS, Observatoire de Paris, France

 


ARIANESPACE’S FIRST ARIANE 5 LAUNCH FOR GALILEO CONSTELLATION AND EUROPE

09. November 2016, Veronika Sax - Galileo

 

For its ninth launch of the year, and the sixth Ariane 5 liftoff from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in French Guiana during 2016, Arianespace will orbit four more satellites for the Galileo constellation. This mission is being performed on behalf of the European Commission under a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA).

For the first time, an Ariane 5 ES version will be used to orbit satellites in Europe's own satellite navigation system. At the completion of this mission, designated Flight VA233 in Arianespace's launcher family numbering system, 18 Galileo spacecraft will have been launched by Arianespace.

 Arianespace is proud to deploy its entire family of launch vehicles to address Europe's needs and guarantee its independent access to space.

The launch will be performed from Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA 3) in Kourou, French Guiana. The Launch Readiness Review (LRR) will take place on Monday, November 14, 2016 in Kourou, to authorize the start of operations for the final countdown.

Galileo, an emblematic European program

The new Galileo global satellite navigation system is an emblematic European Union program - led by its Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROWTH); with ESA assigned the responsibility for design and procurement.

The Galileo FOC (Full Operational Capacity) satellites are built in Europe by OHB System of Bremen, Germany as prime contractor, with all payloads supplied by SSTL (Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.), a British subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space.

For further information, download the launch kit here.

To watch a live, high-speed online transmission of the launch (including commentary from the launch site in French and English), go to arianespace.com on November 17, 2016, starting 20 minutes before liftoff.

Text source arianespace.com

 

 


IFEN GMBH ATTENDING INTERGEO 2016 WITH PARADISE

13. October 2016, Veronika Sax - IFEN Company, Events, Shows & Trade Fairs

 

INTERGEO, which consists of a conference and a trade fair, is the world's largest event for geodesy, geoinformation and land management. It is held every year at different venues in Germany. The conference deals with current issues from politics, administration, science and industry, and had around 1,300 participants. At this year's leading trade fair, more than 17,000 visitors discovered the latest innovations from 531 companies from 37 different countries.

IFEN GmbH attended these years INTERGEO in Hamburg from 11- 13 October as part of the common booth of ESA BIC/Sat Nav-Forum/GSA to represent the PARADISE project.

The primary objective of the PARADISE project is to develop innovative signal processing and navigationalgorithms bringing precise GNSS positioning and IMU attitude available to applications where to date GNSS could not be adopted due to prohibitively bad signal conditions, such as urban canyon and forest environment. These new PARADISE algorithms will be validated using a newly developed 'Proof-of-Concept' breadboard. Furthermore several user applications will be demonstrated with a prototype receiver within the scope of the project.

This project has received funding from the European GNSS Agency under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 641629.

The project partners in PARADISE are:

 

  • IFEN GmbH (coordinator)
  • GRINTEC Gesellschaft für graphische Informations-Technologie mbH
  • Vermessung Dr. Günther Abwerzger
  • Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Geomatics
  • HSM Hohenloher Spezial-Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG

PRESS RELEASE: IFEN’S NEW NCS TITAN GNSS SIMULATOR - THE MOST POWERFUL AND FLEXIBLE GNSS SIMULATOR, IN A COST EFFECTIVE PACKAGE

13. September 2016, Veronika Sax - IFEN Products

 

Poing, Germany - IFEN GmbH, the leading manufacturer of GNSS navigation test and development products and services, today announced the launch of its new NCS TITAN GNSS Simulator.

The unique flexibility and outstanding performance of the NCS TITAN GNSS Simulator is beyond the capabilities of any other simulator currently on the market. With up to 256 channels (and 1024 multipath channels) and up to 4 RF outputs per chassis, the extra complexity and cost of using multiple signal generators is avoided, improving reliability without compromising on functionality.

The innovative design of the NCS TITAN allows users configure channels for any GNSS signals and allocate those channels to any of the RF outputs fitted. This flexibility enables the same Simulator hardware to be used for an extensive range of tests, for all types of GNSS applications. The NCS TITAN sets new standards in the field of GNSS Simulation, in terms of fidelity, accuracy, dynamics, iteration rates and reliability.

"The launch of our brand new NCS TITAN GNSS Simulator represents another milestone for our NCS GNSS simulator products", explains Dr. Günter Heinrichs, Head of Customer Applications. "This shows clearly once again our commitment to ongoing product enhancement and dedication to providing our customers with best GNSS test equipment on the Market". The NCS TITAN GNSS Simulator has been developed in cooperation with WORK Microwave GmbH, Germany.


SLAB HELPS PUSH GLIDERS TO THE EDGE OF SPACE - STANFORD`S SPACE RENDEZVOUS LAB USING IFEN NAVX-NCS PROFESSIONAL GNSS SIMULATOR

08. July 2016, Veronika Sax - IFEN Products

For over 17 years the scientists, engineers, and pilots of the Perlan Project have pushed the edge of manned glider flight, using South American mountain winds to surf the air to ever higher altitudes. This July they will attempt to set the world record for high altitude unpowered flight, soaring to the edge of space at 90,000 feet-almost double the previous record of 50,721 feet. The world of competitive gliding is regulated by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) - The World Air Sports Federation, which oversees all aspects of glider flight record attempts and their certification. Specifically, the FAI's Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Flight Recorder Approval Committee determines which GNSS-based flight recorders can be used for high-altitude record attempts. Currently, the LX-9000 is the only approved flight recorder for high-altitude glider record attempts, but it has never been tested above 40,000 ft, that is until SLAB's PhD student Duncan Eddy and GPS Lab's Researcher Todd Walter started helping under the supervision of Prof. Simone D'Amico.

Eddy and Walter used SLAB's high-fidelity IFEN GNSS signal simulator to test Perlan's dual LX-9000 flight recorders with simulated Global Positioning System (GPS) signals similar to those the receivers will see on the day of their world-record-attempt flight late this July. Since the only known winds that can propel a glider to the stratosphere occur in the remote mountains of southern Argentina, the GNSS signal simulator represents the only way to verify the functionality and performance of the flight recorders at that location, before the actual flight. The testing set-up (pictured left) and the rigorous scenario definition, which reproduces the planned climbing trajectory, helped uncover information regarding the behavior of the flight recorders that is crucial for the successful validation of any record setting attempt. This was only possible thanks to the experience gained by Duncan Eddy with the IFEN GNSS signal simulator in the frame of his PhD on advanced algorithms and hardware for precision GNSS navigation in space.

Text Source Space Rendezvous Laboratory / Stanford