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Galileo OS SIS ICD V2.0 now Supported by IFEN’s NCS NOVA GNSS Simulator

05. March 2021, admin - Publications Press & Media


A new key enhancement to the NCS NOVA GNSS Simulator is comprehensive support of new Galileo OS signal message improvements on E1B. By enabling real-time simulation of the Galileo OS message improvements, the NCS NOVA GNSS Simulator expands a user’s Galileo signal capability.

The NCS NOVA GNSS Simulator will in future also fully support the new Galileo E1B OS-Navigation Message Authentication (OS-NMA) and Galileo E6B High Accuracy Service (HAS) capabilities.

The GNSS simulator enhancements are developed through ESA’s ‘Navigation Innovation and Support Programme’ (NAIVSP) Element 2, within the project ‘STX2G’.

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Dual-RF Output now Supported by IFEN’s NCS NOVA GNSS Simulator

27. July 2020, admin - Publications Press & Media

An enhanced version of its new NCS NOVA GNSS Simulator, a high-end, powerful but easy to use satellite navigation testing and R&D device for a wide range of GNSS applications, with dual-RF output capability will be available soon.

By adding new features to the new NCS NOVA GNSS Simulator, IFEN now provide the most flexible and capable GNSS software defined RF signal generator on the market

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12. July 2018, admin - Miscellaneous, Galileo


In June 2018, ESA ran an internal competition for its young graduate and national trainees to develop an app capable of making positioning fixes using only Galileo satellites. As part of this competition an augmented reality app was created, with which users can ‘see’ the satellites their smartphone is using as they hold it up to the sky.

The positioning calculations and assistance data functions for the app were developed by Paolo Crosta of ESA’s Radio Navigation Systems and Technology section, with telecom engineer Tim Watterton contributing the main structure of the app, together with how it looks and its UI.

Tim Watterton explaines, that the satellites are overlaid in real time on the camera view in their predicted positions in the sky, based on ‘ephemeris’ information, assistance data that describes the current satellite orbits with high precision. “When a signal is being received, the satellite is shown in green, overlaying the predicted position. The satellite shown in red is one of the two placed in elongated orbits, but these satellites are expected to be used soon in the operational constellation. Satellites coloured orange are transmitting, but the signal is not detected, which may be due to obstruction by terrain or buildings.”

Panning the phone around to position the crosshair over a green coloured satellite adds additional information about it, such as its signal status, ‘pseudo-range’ (the uncorrected distance the signal has travelled to reach the receiver) plus the satellite’s manufacturer, launch date among other items.

The reference app is currently being tested with the goal to make it publicly available on the Android Play Store. The competitors Apps are also being tested and will also be published after the competition has ended.

Currently, similar apps are available for smartphones like the GPS Satellites Viewer for tracking GPS satellite, but to the current status they don't offer an augmented reality function.

At present, there are 22 Galileo satellites in orbit, with four more satellites set for launch on 25 July.

Source: ESA

China: Two more BeiDou-3 satellites launched

04. April 2018, admin - Beidou

The BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) is a Chinese satellite navigation system.
In 2015, China started the build-up of the third generation BeiDou system (BeiDou-3) in the global coverage constellation. The first BDS-3 satellite was launched on 30 March 2015. As of January 2018, nine BeiDou-3 satellites have been launched. BeiDou-3 will eventually consist of 35 satellites and is expected to provide global services upon completion in 2020. 

China launched two more Beidou-3 satellites March 30, the seventh and eighth of the third phase of the Beidou system.

Launch via Long March 3B rocket took place at 01:56 Beijing time Friday (17:56 UTC Thursday) from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre, reports gbtimes.com.

The satellites join six others orbiting at 21,000 kilometers above the Earth. BeiDou-3 is designed to expand Beidou navigation, positioning and timing services from regional to global coverage by 2020.

The satellites were inserted into medium Earth orbits by a Yuanzheng-1 upper stage more than three hours after launch, with CASC, China’s main aerospace contractor, then confirming success.

The satellites were developed by the Innovation Academy for Microsatellites at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), while the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) under CASC provided the Long March 3B launch vehicle.

source: GPSworld.com


China's Tiangong-1 Finally Crashes Back to Earth

02. April 2018, admin - Miscellaneous

After much anticipation, China’s high-profile space project, Tiangong-1 has finally come crashing down to Earth.

As Mike Wall writes for Space.com, the U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Force Space Component Command (JFSCC) reported that the prototype space station broke apart and is thought to have largely burned above the southern Pacific Ocean as it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere Sunday at about 8:16 p.m. E.D.T.

It’s not clear if and how much of the spacecraft landed on the Earth’s surface, with officials only saying it landed “above the South Pacific,” according to BBC News.

But astrophysicist Brad Tucker, of Australian National University, tells Reuters that small remnants of the defunct lab — about 10 percent — probably landed about about 60 miles from Tahiti. That amount would be equal to around 1,600 pounds.

“Most likely the debris is in the ocean, and even if people stumbled over it, it would just look like rubbish in the ocean and be spread over a huge area of thousands of square kilometers,” he says.

Former U.S. astronaut Leroy Chiao tells CNN, however, that major pieces are unlikely to have made it to Earth’s surface. If they did, they are at the bottom of the ocean by now, he says.

For months, experts had been trying to predict where and when the lab would come back down to Earth. Before the crash, China’s space agency had suggested it would land close to Sao Paulo, Brazil, Reuters reports.

As reported by Smithsonian.com last month, the 9.5-ton Tiangong-1 launched in 2011 and was never meant to be a permanent fixture in the sky. It had only a two-year operational lifespan with a mission of preparing China’s space agency to assemble and operate a much larger space station in the early 2020s. The agency also plans to put a man on the moon and send a mission to Mars, according to CNN.

China has not been allowed to participate in the International Space Station for political reasons.

China first announced Tiangong-1 had ceased to function in March 2016, without further explanation, CNN reports, and it’s been on international agencies’ radar since then.

Despite lots of media attention around the de-orbiting, such re-entries are fairly common. As Smithsonian.com reported, SkyLab, the United States’ first manned space station, fell back to Earth in 1978 after eight years in space. The entry was largely uncontrolled and its debris landed in an unpopulated area of Western Australia.

But these days, uncontrolled re-entries like that of Tiangong-1 are against international best practice, according to CNN. As Wall reports, China’s space agency contends they had “control” over the craft since they could provide location information at all times. “But for other space-faring nations, a ‘controlled’ re-entry is one performed under the guidance of a spacecraft’s handlers,” Wall writes.

Source: www.smithsonianmag.com


13. February 2018, admin - Miscellaneous

Building its own Navigation Satellite System by 2034, Korean will start ground testing the KPS in 2021. 
The System will comprise  seven navigation satellites with three of them geostationary above the Korean Peninsula.

Since Korea is currently relying on the US GPS system, which has suffered repeated local area jamming emanating from North Korea, they aim to have regional and independent positioning and navigation signals to prevent nationwide chaos.

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