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Superlatives abound for Galileo Hackathon 2017

29.5.2017 10:42  
Published: 
29 May 2017

Satisfaction was in evidence as participants, experts and judges had good things to say about the second Galileo Hackathon in Gdynia.

Speaking at the Galileo Hackathon awards ceremony at the infoShare 2017 conference in Gdansk, Nottingham University Professor Lukasz Bonenberg said, "We started on Monday and finished on Tuesday, just 24 hours, and it was really a great competition."

Bonenberg's presentation at the beginning of the Hackathon, introducing participants to GNSS raw measurements in smartphones, was crucial to getting the ball rolling. He was joined by fellow academician Professor Roland Wagner of Berlin's Beuth University of Technology and representatives of the GSA; ESA, Airbus, Samsung and HyperTrack, in providing direct one-on-one coaching throughout the event.

The GSA's Justyna Redelkievicz explained, "We decided that this should be a very selective Hackathon, because we wanted to be able to work with and assist each and every one of the participants. For what we wanted to do, seven teams was really the maximum, to be able to help them to do their coding and then listen to and evaluate every presentation, these were things we really chose to focus on."

Also read: Hackathon 2017 expands Galileo community

"We managed to have a very lively discussion about how to use Galileo," Bonenberg said, "and we got to look at and talk about several important new Galileo-based applications created by the teams during the Hackathon."

The specific task of the participants was to come up with innovative applications able to bring an added commercial or societal value by using Galileo services. Suggested topics or areas included:

  • Augmented Reality and Games
  • Geo marketing and advertising
  • Mapping and GIS
  • Fitness, sport and mHealth
  • Smart mobility
  • Enterprise applications
  • Social networking

Winners' words

After a gruelling 24 hours, three prizes were awarded, starting with the Galileo Impact Award, which went to Pola Mierzejewska, Jakub Jastrzębski, Mikołaj Pęcak and Maciej Burchardt from team CDV.

As Jastrzębski explained, the winning project, called 'Awesome City', is an app that helps users make their cities better. "This means that you can actually do something yourself for the betterment of your city," he said. "It can start simple, with for example picking up garbage in your street." The Awesome City app allows users to get positions for places where they have undertaken positive actions.

"With the more people who use the app, with everybody making a small difference, the end result can be something really great, a great experience, a better city experience for everybody."

Jastrzębski said he and his teammates were impressed by the competition. "We got some really great insights into raw Galileo measurements. Everybody did a good job using GNSS positioning for their apps. The GSA team and the HyperTrack team did a truly good job helping us out. We appreciated their efforts to help us make our app better."

Unique approach

Next up were the winners of the Galileo Innovate Award, which went to Rayan Ouzeri, Xiao Liu and David Hriadel from team ENAC (Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile).

ENAC took a different approach to most of the other contestants. "We wanted to go deeper," said Hriadel, "to make use of the newest technologies available, that is Android Nougat raw measurements and online Galileo data, and we tried to merge these two new technologies together and create something that everybody could gain from."

Read this: GNSS mobile apps – using Nougat to access raw GNSS measurements

What they did was essentially to increase the positioning performance of a smartphone by enabling differential GNSS capabilities, and then they created an app allowing users to share their improved performance with social network friends.

Team ENAC hard at work building their CoGeo project during this year’s MyGalileo hackathon. You can find their project presentation here.

Finally, a special prize was awarded by Galileo Hackathon partner HyperTrack, the prize going to Jeffrey Wallace, Angelica Marques Valdivia and Spencer Depas, alias the Midnight Coders, for their project “Safewayz”.

Jeffrey Wallace explained: "It's a safety app whose main feature is its ability to send out an SOS from your phone to the HyperTrack back end, but then allows you to be tracked and get a more accurate location for first responders, whether it's police or other help."

Wallace, who happens to be American, said the competition was very tough. "You know, Europe is a very interesting technical community. I think the world focuses too much on Silicon Valley and what goes on in the USA, because in my opinion, scientifically, Europe is where it's at."

No stopping now

The winning teams each took home a cash prize of 1000 Euros and Samsung also gave away several Gear S3 watches to lucky hackers, but for all of the participants, winners or not, the experience gained and the new friends and contacts made far outweighed the material reward.

Again speaking at the awards ceremony in Gdansk, Professor Bonenberg said, "We had a very hard time choosing the winners, and this is an indication of just how good all of the applications were. It was an amazing experience and I for one would like to do it again in the future."

And with that, we look forward to the next Galileo Hackathon. Keep watching this space for further announcements.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Team ENAC hard at work building their CoGeo project during this year’s MyGalileo hackathon!

First GNSS IS OS quarterly performance report now available

26.5.2017 11:22  
Published: 
19 May 2017

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has published its first European GNSS (Galileo) Initial Services Open Service (IS OS) quarterly performance report. The report, which covers the first three months of 2017, is available online in the GSC Electronic Library.

Following the Declaration of Initial Services in December 2016, the GSA will publish a new Galileo IS OS report after each quarter. These quarterly reports aim to provide the public with the latest information on the Galileo Open Service’s performance.

The document reports on such parameters as: 

  • Galileo Initial Open Service Ranging Performance
  • Galileo Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) Dissemination and Galileo to GPS Time Offset (GGTO) Determination Performance
  • Galileo Positioning Performance
  • Timely Publication of Notice Advisory to Galileo Users (NAGUs)

Each of these parameters is examined with respect to their Minimum Performance Levels (MPLs), as declared in the European GNSS (Galileo) Open Service Definition Document [OS-SDD].

Highlights from Q1 2017

In the first quarterly reporting period after the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services, the measured Galileo Initial Open Service performance figures generally exceeded the MPL targets specified in the OS-SDD by significant margins.

Some highlights from the report:

  • Availability of the Galileo Ranging Service at the Worst User Location (WUL), with monthly values of 100%, is significantly above expectations, where the MPL is 87%.
  • The Signal in Space Ranging Accuracy shows a 95th percentile monthly accuracy better than 1.07 [m] for individual space vehicles.
  • Availability of the Galileo UTC Time Determination Service was achieved, with a monthly value of 100%, compared to the [OS-SDD] MPL target of 87%.
  • Availability of GGTO Determination (not declared as a Service in this phase) was 100% in January and March. February showed a slightly lower figure of 96.44%, although still well above the [OS-SDD] MPL target of 80%.
  • Excellent values were achieved for UTC Time Dissemination Service Accuracy. The measured Galileo Initial Open Service performance figures generally exceeded the MPL targets specified in the OS-SDD by significant margins.

For the most up-to-date information, check the European GNSS Service Centre (GSC) website. For all support related to Galileo, contact the Galileo Help Desk. The Help Desk allows close interaction with users, both to support the exploitation of Galileo services and to collect relevant information on signal performance as observed by the users themselves.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

GSA published its first European GNSS (Galileo) Initial Services Open Service (IS OS) quarterly performance report.

Hackathon 2017 expands Galileo community

24.5.2017 10:58  
Published: 
24 May 2017

This year's Galileo Hackathon in Gdynia, Poland, brought together students, graduates, entrepreneurs and a handful of helpful high-level GNSS experts to develop innovative LBS applications exploiting the new level of accuracy made possible by Galileo.

As part of its effort to achieve the highest return on European GNSS investment, in terms of benefits to users and economic growth and competitiveness, the GSA has worked very hard to get Galileo into smartphones.

It's an effort that has paid off.

The first European smartphones incorporating Galileo were launched in 2016, starting with the BQ Aquaris x5 and followed by the Huawei Mate 9. Three more, the Huawei P10, Sony Xperia XZ premium and Samsung S8, joined the ranks of the Galileo-ready this year.

Also read: European GNSS highlighted at global tech shows

"We have the consumer devices, now it is time to take the next step and enable actual applications,” said GSA Market Development Officer Justyna Redelkievicz, speaking at the 2017 Galileo Hackathon in Gdynia, Poland. “That is why we are here at the second Galileo Hackathon, to work with developers to create applications that bring real benefits to European users."

Ready, set, hack!

Participants had approximately 22 hours to come up with innovative applications using Galileo services that brought added commercial or societal value. Thanks to Hackathon technology partner Samsung, each team was provided with a Galileo-enabled Samsung S8+ Android smartphone to use during the contest. The phones feature Android 7.0 (i.e. Nougat), which gives application developers access to raw GNSS measurements directly from the Samsung phone, and hence higher accuracy.

Although these measurements are beneficial, the average application developer doesn’t necessarily know how to use them. “They might not know what a pseudorange is because they simply have not been trained in this area, not in the way, for example, that today's surveyors are trained,” said Redelkievicz.

Read this: GNSS mobile apps – using Nougat to access raw GNSS measurements

To help make life easier for the Hackathoners, teams also had access to a plug-and-play stack, provided courtesy of Hackathon partner HyperTrack. “Hypertrack is a location stack that enables developers to add live location features into their app in a short period of time," explained HyperTrack Community Manager Jeremy Meiss. “With just a few lines of code, developers can completely avoid the pain of having to build their own location services with the back end, the front end and the GPS logic.”

In addition to this support, throughout the event, support staff, experts and organisers circulated among the hacking teams, providing advice, technical support and moral encouragement – not to mention vital food and drink. "At the very beginning, people were a little bit lost, but after having spoken with them and been given some guidelines, I think we ended up having some really nice ideas,” said Navarro-Gallardo. “It's just 24 hours, but we have ideas, maybe one of which will lead to something important in the future."

And the winners are…

Following the final presentations and after some tough deliberation among the jury, three winning teams – 'ENAC Team', 'CDV' and 'Midnight Coders' – were chosen to receive EUR 1,000 cash prizes and a chance to shine at a special awards ceremony on the InfoShare 2017 mainstage.

“There were a lot of terrific concepts and it was great to be a part of what the GSA is doing as they enable Galileo access for developers,” said Meiss.

"Coming from tech side, where the focus is on developing satellites, it's very exciting and very rewarding for me to also see what the application developers can do with the Galileo signal," added Sirikan.

Building awareness

With the second Galileo Hackathon now officially in the books, it’s safe to say the event succeeded at what it set out to do: expand the Galileo user community. After all, the more apps utilising the full power of Galileo there are, the more people buying new phones will realise and understand the importance of precise location.

"We hope that one day people will know what it means to choose a phone that uses two or four GNSS constellations versus just one,” added Redelkievicz. “Instead of just looking at the size of the screen, the brand name and the camera quality, they will also have an awareness of the location quality. Getting to this point, however, requires education – which is exactly what we are doing here at the Galileo Hackathon."

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Hackathon 2017 expands Galileo community

24.5.2017 10:58  
Published: 
24 May 2017

This year's Galileo Hackathon in Gdynia, Poland, brought together students, graduates, entrepreneurs and a handful of helpful high-level GNSS experts to develop innovative LBS applications exploiting the new level of accuracy made possible by Galileo.

As part of its effort to achieve the highest return on European GNSS investment, in terms of benefits to users and economic growth and competitiveness, the GSA has worked very hard to get Galileo into smartphones.

It's an effort that has paid off.

The first European smartphones incorporating Galileo were launched in 2016, starting with the BQ Aquaris x5 and followed by the Huawei Mate 9. Three more, the Huawei P10, Sony Xperia XZ premium and Samsung S8, joined the ranks of the Galileo-ready this year.

Also read: European GNSS highlighted at global tech shows

"We have the consumer devices, now it is time to take the next step and enable actual applications,” said GSA Market Development Officer Justyna Redelkievicz, speaking at the 2017 Galileo Hackathon in Gdynia, Poland. “That is why we are here at the second Galileo Hackathon, to work with developers to create applications that bring real benefits to European users."

Students, graduates, entrepreneurs and GNSS experts at the Galileo Hackathon, ready to develop innovative applications using Galileo services.

Students, graduates, entrepreneurs and GNSS experts at the Galileo Hackathon, ready to develop innovative applications using Galileo services.

Ready, set, hack!

Participants had approximately 22 hours to come up with innovative applications using Galileo services that brought added commercial or societal value. Thanks to Hackathon technology partner Samsung, each team was provided with a Galileo-enabled Samsung S8+ Android smartphone to use during the contest. The phones feature Android 7.0 (i.e. Nougat), which gives application developers access to raw GNSS measurements directly from the Samsung phone, and hence higher accuracy.

Although these measurements are beneficial, the average application developer doesn’t necessarily know how to use them. “They might not know what a pseudorange is because they simply have not been trained in this area, not in the way, for example, that today's surveyors are trained,” said Redelkievicz.

Read this: GNSS mobile apps – using Nougat to access raw GNSS measurements

To help make life easier for the Hackathoners, teams also had access to a plug-and-play stack, provided courtesy of Hackathon partner HyperTrack. “Hypertrack is a location stack that enables developers to add live location features into their app in a short period of time," explained HyperTrack Community Manager Jeremy Meiss. “With just a few lines of code, developers can completely avoid the pain of having to build their own location services with the back end, the front end and the GPS logic.”

In addition to this support, throughout the event, support staff, experts and organisers circulated among the hacking teams, providing advice, technical support and moral encouragement – not to mention vital food and drink. "At the very beginning, people were a little bit lost, but after having spoken with them and been given some guidelines, I think we ended up having some really nice ideas,” said Navarro-Gallardo. “It's just 24 hours, but we have ideas, maybe one of which will lead to something important in the future."

And the winners are…

Following the final presentations and after some tough deliberation among the jury, three winning teams – 'ENAC Team', 'CDV' and 'Midnight Coders' – were chosen to receive EUR 1,000 cash prizes and a chance to shine at a special awards ceremony on the InfoShare 2017 mainstage.

“There were a lot of terrific concepts and it was great to be a part of what the GSA is doing as they enable Galileo access for developers,” said Meiss.

"Coming from tech side, where the focus is on developing satellites, it's very exciting and very rewarding for me to also see what the application developers can do with the Galileo signal," added Sirikan.

Building awareness

With the second Galileo Hackathon now officially in the books, it’s safe to say the event succeeded at what it set out to do: expand the Galileo user community. After all, the more apps utilising the full power of Galileo there are, the more people buying new phones will realise and understand the importance of precise location.

"We hope that one day people will know what it means to choose a phone that uses two or four GNSS constellations versus just one,” added Redelkievicz. “Instead of just looking at the size of the screen, the brand name and the camera quality, they will also have an awareness of the location quality. Getting to this point, however, requires education – which is exactly what we are doing here at the Galileo Hackathon."

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The second Galileo Hackathon expands the Galileo user community, with many interesting concepts tested.

Galileo helps cities mobility company expand

23.5.2017 14:31  
Published: 
23 May 2017

Thanks to the market insight and funding provided by the European GNSS Agency (GSA), G-MOTIT, an electric scooter sharing service, is rapidly expanding its market share in both Barcelona and Europe – with its eyes set on Latin America.

Traffic jams and, more specifically, the pollution, noise and congestion they cause, are one of the greatest mobility challenges that today’s cities face. To overcome this problem, cities across the world are looking at innovative and environmentally sustainable urban mobility solutions that lower CO2 emissions and ease traffic congestion. 

In Barcelona, this challenge is being answered in part by MOTIT – a unique, electric scooter sharing service that lets users pick up and drop off vehicles wherever and whenever they want. After reserving a scooter via their smartphone, the user receives a notification showing the location of the assigned vehicle.

Also read: I want to ride my (GNSS-enabled) bicycle

Although this feature of being able to drop off the scooter wherever you want (as opposed to using a fixed docking station) is popular, it also creates new problems – namely, finding the reserved scooter. This is because the scooter’s embedded GPS receiver lacks the robust positioning performance required to fully function in the narrow streets and dense urban canyons of Barcelona. As a result, scooters are shown to be available when they are not and MOTIT users looking to pick up their ride are sent in the wrong direction.

As MOTIT was planning to expand their service to other cities in both Europe and Latin America, they knew they needed to come up with a solution to their positioning problem.

This is where the GSA came in as part of their mission.

Positioning European companies to succeed

G-MOTIT received grant through Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation. The project’s objective is to design and develop a Galileo-enabled device that significantly improves vehicle positioning, availability and reliability for such vehicle sharing initiatives as MOTIT.

As is made clear in the recently published GSA GNSS Market Report, the business opportunities within the GNSS market are huge and growing. To ensure European companies are well-positioned to take full advantage of these opportunities, the GSA is committed to providing support through different tools: e.g. Horizon 2020, Fundamental Elements, Aviation Grants.

Use Galileo: Find a Galileo-enabled device to use today

“Galileo, when used in combination with GPS and other GNSS systems, provides increased availability of satellites and new signals,” says G-MOTIT Project Coordinator Martí Jofre. “All in all, its use has resulted in improved availability, accuracy and reliability and has given us the precise positioning we need to take MOTIT to the next level.”

Growing potential

The G-MOTIT project also aims to support the commercialisation and expansion of the service. Along with the market insight and support of the GSA, the project has equipped 20 scooters with its Galileo-enabled receiver, providing users the improved positioning they need to quickly and accurately reserve and find their scooter.

Currently, the G-MOTIT technology is being tested with other mobility services, including electric bike and vehicle sharing initiatives.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

G-MOTIT project designed and developed a Galileo-enabled device that significantly improves vehicle positioning, availability and reliability for such urban vehicle sharing initiatives as MOTIT.

GRICAS successfully triggers second generation in-flight distress beacon

17.5.2017 9:30  
Published: 
17 May 2017

After months of development and validation, the first GRICAS in-flight demonstration of an Autonomous Distress Tracking system was successfully completed from 24 to 26 April 2017.

Following 15 months of operational concept definition, solution design and demonstrator development – including three months of integration, verification and validation – a GRICAS end-to-end demonstrator of an Autonomous Distress Tracking system based on a COSPAS-SARSAT space segment distress beacon was successfully triggered for the first time. The demonstrator successfully completes a Test Case Plan developed by the GRICAS project engineering team aimed at demonstrating the system’s compliance with ICAO recommendations and EUROCAE specifications. GRICAS is funded by the European GNSS Agency (GSA) under the Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and development.

On 24 April, the GRICAS engineering team met at the Sabadell flight club, located outside Barcelona, Spain, to finalise the system’s integration on-board a Cessna 182 test aircraft and prepare the in-flight demonstration. Thanks to the excellent results of a prior dry-run and non-regression tests and very good weather conditions, the team and test pilot decided to do the first flight test one day earlier than initially planned. During this first flight, the GRICAS ELT-DT was successfully activated in-flight and transmitted a distress signal, which was well received and processed by the French MEOLUTs.

“We are very lucky right now with 6 Galileo satellites in co-view between Barcelona and Toulouse [where the MEOLUTs used for the tests are located], so the independent localisation should be excellent,” said MEOLUT engineer Nicolas Rey.

Watch this: Reaching you faster when every minute matters video

Tests with automatic activation of the beacon based on commands transmitted by the Beacon Activation Logic to the ELT-DT were conducted on 25 April. Thanks to the excellent results achieved here, the GRICAS team was able to complete the Test Case Plan within a single day of testing.

On the third and final day, the pilot and flight team performed a set of touch-and-go tests to collect data at MEOLUT levels with significant variation of vertical speeds. This allowed them to assess the performance of independent localisation, used to complement the horizontal curves that were tested in the previous days.

Unique demonstration with impressive results

Project manager and GRICAS technical manager Pauline Martin noted the unique aspects of the GRICAS demonstration and the excellent results received. “It was the first time a prototype of a real ELT-DT SGB was automatically triggered in-flight and the first time an independent localisation of an SGB was computed during a transmission on board a flying airplane, and this was done using only the Galileo Search and Rescue (SAR) service,” she said. “It was also the first time FGB and SGB modulated distress messages transmitted on board a flying airplane were recorded.”

  

The GRICAS end-to-end demonstrator consists of:

  • An ELT-DT prototype (distress tracking) based on a Second Generation COSPAS-SARSAT distress beacon, representing what a real ELT-DT could be (in terms of electronic components, mechanical and functional interfaces and functions implemented) integrating a Galileo and GPS-compatible GNSS chipset;
  • A remote control panel for the ELT-DT, based on the existing remote control panels for ELT present in the cockpits;
  • An on-board demonstration platform emulating the Beacon Activation Logic (based on avionics) and sending the automatic triggering commands to the beacon and the avionics’ GNSS receiver (GPS only). The ODP also provides the logging functions and the GNSS reference trajectory; and
  • An L-band MEOLUT Next from Thales Alenia Space implementing real-time SGB processing software.
  

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

GRICAS test aircraft: a CESSNA 182 owned by the Aeroclub de Barcelona Sabadell.

Galileo Service Provision takes the spotlight at 2017 European Navigation Conference

15.5.2017 11:00  
Published: 
15 May 2017

The benefits that space technology bring to European citizens and how these benefits can be maximized was one of the key topics discussed at the European Navigation Conference (ENC) in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 10 May.

Users were very much the centre of attention at the opening Navigation Science and Strategy session at this year’s European Navigation Conference (ENC). In his opening speech, GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides stressed the importance of service delivery. He noted that, as of the first of July this year, the GSA will take the lead in the operations and service provision of Galileo.  “This is an important time for Galileo and the GSA, following the Declaration of Initial Services in December, and the award of the Galileo Service Operator contract,” he said. Looking to the future, des Dorides highlighted that two important strategic pillars are underpinning the work of the Agency: the new European Space Strategy, announced by the Commission at the end of last year, and the GSA’s 2017 GNSS Market Report.

Also read: GSA Signs Galileo Service Operator Contract

5th GSA GNSS Market Report

The latest edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report was officially launched during the ENC! According to des Dorides, over the past five years the report has become an internationally recognised document downloaded by many thousands of GNSS users. The GSA GNSS Market Report is coupled with the GSA’s GNSS User Technology Report, which the GSA published for the first time last year. From now on, the GSA will publish their GNSS Market Report and the Technology Report on alternate years.

Download now: 5th GSA GNSS Market Report 2017

  

Highlights from the 2017 GNSS Market Report:

  • The global GNSS market is expected to grow from 5.8 billion devices in use in 2017 to an estimated 8 billion by 2020.
  • The GNSS downstream market is expected to produce over €70 billion in revenue annually in 2025. When the revenue created by added-value services is included, this number could more than double.
  • The global GNSS downstream market is forecast to grow by more than 6 % annually between 2015 and 2020.
  • Following the declaration of Galileo Initial Services in 2016, chipset and receiver manufacturers and application developers are leveraging Galileo signals, and a number of Galileo-ready devices are already on the market.
  • By 2025, the installed base of GNSS devices in drones will reach 70 mln, more than twice the sum of other professional market segments combined.
  

 

As there will be more GNSS devices in the world than people by 2020, des Dorides said that growth for applications and services will be even more impressive. “European GNSS is ready to face the major technology trends that lie ahead,” he said.

Miguel Mantiega Bautista, GNSS Evolutions Programme Manager at the European Space Agency (ESA), concurred. He said that companies are starting to believe in the business and, as a result, navigation will soon be at the centre of a huge number of business development models. To capitalise on this, GNSS must be able to rapidly adapt to market trends and be committed to providing consumers with value-added services. “GNSS has to adapt or it will become irrelevant,” he said.

“We are very lucky to be arriving at this point at a time when the system is reaching maturity,” Bautista noted, adding that the ESA, the European Commission, Member States and the European GNSS Agency (GSA), were undertaking a huge joint effort to set the path for the next generation of GNSS systems.

Paving the way for Galileo and EGNOS

To ensure Europe is positioned to answer the opportunities and challenges that come with these major technological trends, last year the European Commission launched the European Space Strategy. Des Dorides highlighted five key elements of the Strategy, the first of which is to maximize the benefits of space for society. According to des Dorides, this will require strong action on market uptake. He noted that this is particularly important because, with EGNOS and Galileo, Europe is building the infrastructure highway on which applications and services will transit. “It is through these applications and services that Europe is expecting to receive a return on its investment,” he said.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides announces the launch of the Agency’s 5th GNSS Market Report at ENC 2017.

GAGA project boosts LPV procedures for general aviation community

11.5.2017 10:53  
Published: 
11 May 2017

Implementing EGNOS-enabled Localizer Performance with Vertical guidance (LPV) approaches at small and medium size aerodromes across Europe will bring big benefits for general aviation and other aircraft users. However, each runway approach requires an individual design and gaining regulatory approval can be complex. Now the GSA co-funded project GAGA is using its work to implement LPV approaches at three UK aerodromes to provide a template that could accelerate the implementation  process for general aviation aerodromes in the UK and other Member States.

The GSA co-funded project ‘GNSS Approaches for General Aviation’ (GAGA) was presented at the AERO 2017 trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany as part of a series of GSA-organised ‘mini conferences’. Martin Robinson, CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) in the UK, presented the GAGA project, which is fostering  the  design,  development  and  implementation  of  EGNOS-based  operations, including  approach  procedures, at  three small aerodromes.
Specifically, the project is designing and implementing LPV approaches for three UK aerodromes: Gloucester, Haverford West in Wales and Stapleford just north of London.

CAA involved

Initially the team plans what is required to implement the procedure, develops the safety case, collects relevant data and examines any airfield-specific issues for the approaches. This is then sent to the actual approach designers and the designed approach is flight validated before the paperwork is delivered to the regulatory authority: the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

“One of the unique aspects of GAGA is that we involve the CAA in the process from the start to finish,” says Robinson. “This means there are no surprises, no show-stoppers and any issues are addressed early. This makes for a much more efficient process.”

The CAA has nominated case officers for each aerodrome and the GAGA team has worked closely with them at every stage of the design and implementation of the LPV procedures. In particular, this close cooperation with the CAA has helped the regulator to understand better how implementing such approaches can be undertaken within the spirit of the current regulatory structure – in particular the CAA regulation CAP 1122. This describes the application of instrument approach procedures to aerodromes without an instrumented runway and/or approach control.

This should enable a wider deployment of EGNOS-enabled approaches not only  at UK aerodromes but at other non-instrument aerodromes  in Europe  whilst providing continuing assurance in terms of safety and adhering to current policy through the adoption of a risk-based approach.

“This is the future already,” says Robinson. “We will be producing a guidance document developed from our experience in the projects – a kind of ‘how you can do it’ guide – that can be used by stakeholders in other Member States to work with their regulators to achieve successful LPV implementation.”

EGNOS service

“EGNOS and LPVs really provide a great service for the general aviation community,” says Robinson. “Cost for larger airports such as Heathrow and Gatwick is huge, and smaller aerodromes like Stapleford are ideal alternatives.”

And having LPV capability is good news for business aviation operators and air ambulances, as this means that they can now operate from the aerodromes even in low visibility.

Martin Robinson cites other business opportunities that arise following LPV implementation. “Instrument flight training can be done in situ at the airfield, which improves safety training,” he explains. “For example, at Gloucester trainee pilots will be able to experience flying approaches to city airports in a real aircraft under real conditions rather than in a simulator. Training is a very good side business for smaller airports.”

“And with LPV at both Gloucester and Stapleford suddenly it becomes economically viable to operate a daily business service between the two airfields that is cost comparable with the train,” he continues.

“The major advantage for the Haverford West aerodrome is that business jets now have a guaranteed approach in all weathers,” Robinson concludes. “The field is close to a major oil and gas facility and many US business jets use the field. US pilots understand SBAS-based procedures like EGNOS and are used to flying these types of approaches.”

More information:

EGNOS 

EGNOS for Aviation

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The GAGA project could accelerate adoption of LPV procedures across Europe.

GAGA project boosts LPV procedures for general aviation community

11.5.2017 10:53  
Published: 
11 May 2017

Implementing EGNOS-enabled Localizer Performance with Vertical guidance (LPV) approaches at small and medium size aerodromes across Europe will bring big benefits for general aviation and other aircraft users. However, each runway approach requires an individual design and gaining regulatory approval can be complex. Now the GSA co-funded project GAGA is using its work to implement LPV approaches at three UK aerodromes to provide a template that could accelerate the implementation  process for general aviation aerodromes in the UK and other Member States.

The GSA co-funded project ‘GNSS Approaches for General Aviation’ (GAGA) was presented at the AERO 2017 trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany as part of a series of GSA-organised ‘mini conferences’. Martin Robinson, CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) in the UK, presented the GAGA project, which is fostering  the  design,  development  and  implementation  of  EGNOS-based  operations, including  approach  procedures, at  three small aerodromes.
Specifically, the project is designing and implementing LPV approaches for three UK aerodromes: Gloucester, Haverford West in Wales and Stapleford just north of London.

CAA involved

Initially the team plans what is required to implement the procedure, develops the safety case, collects relevant data and examines any airfield-specific issues for the approaches. This is then sent to the actual approach designers and the designed approach is flight validated before the paperwork is delivered to the regulatory authority: the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

“One of the unique aspects of GAGA is that we involve the CAA in the process from the start to finish,” says Robinson. “This means there are no surprises, no show-stoppers and any issues are addressed early. This makes for a much more efficient process.”

The CAA has nominated case officers for each aerodrome and the GAGA team has worked closely with them at every stage of the design and implementation of the LPV procedures. In particular, this close cooperation with the CAA has helped the regulator to understand better how implementing such approaches can be undertaken within the spirit of the current regulatory structure – in particular the CAA regulation CAP 1122. This describes the application of instrument approach procedures to aerodromes without an instrumented runway and/or approach control.

This should enable a wider deployment of EGNOS-enabled approaches not only  at UK aerodromes but at other non-instrument aerodromes  in Europe  whilst providing continuing assurance in terms of safety and adhering to current policy through the adoption of a risk-based approach.

“This is the future already,” says Robinson. “We will be producing a guidance document developed from our experience in the projects – a kind of ‘how you can do it’ guide – that can be used by stakeholders in other Member States to work with their regulators to achieve successful LPV implementation.”

EGNOS service

“EGNOS and LPVs really provide a great service for the general aviation community,” says Robinson. “Cost for larger airports such as Heathrow and Gatwick is huge, and smaller aerodromes like Stapleford are ideal alternatives.”

And having LPV capability is good news for business aviation operators and air ambulances, as this means that they can now operate from the aerodromes even in low visibility.

Martin Robinson cites other business opportunities that arise following LPV implementation. “Instrument flight training can be done in situ at the airfield, which improves safety training,” he explains. “For example, at Gloucester trainee pilots will be able to experience flying approaches to city airports in a real aircraft under real conditions rather than in a simulator. Training is a very good side business for smaller airports.”

“And with LPV at both Gloucester and Stapleford suddenly it becomes economically viable to operate a daily business service between the two airfields that is cost comparable with the train,” he continues.

“The major advantage for the Haverford West aerodrome is that business jets now have a guaranteed approach in all weathers,” Robinson concludes. “The field is close to a major oil and gas facility and many US business jets use the field. US pilots understand SBAS-based procedures like EGNOS and are used to flying these types of approaches.”

More information:

EGNOS 

EGNOS for Aviation

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The GAGA project could accelerate adoption of LPV procedures across Europe.

European GNSS Agency (GSA) launches 2017 GNSS Market Report

10.5.2017 11:27  
GNSS Market Report 2017 - just released.
Published: 
10 May 2017

In the fast evolving world of satellite navigation technology and GNSS applications, monitoring the landscape and having the latest information is essential. With its in-depth look at market opportunities and trends across eight market segments, the GSA’s 2017 GNSS Market Report is a key resource for successfully navigating this exciting market.

The growing demand for precise location information, in combination with the ongoing evolution of GNSS technology, means that today’s GNSS market is bigger than ever. According to the 5th edition of the GSA’s popular GNSS Market Report:  

  • The global GNSS market is expected to grow from 5.8 billion devices in use in 2017 to an estimated 8 billion by 2020. 
  • The GNSS downstream market is expected to produce over € 70 billion in revenue annually in 2025. When the revenue created by added-value services is included, this number could more than double.  
  • The global GNSS downstream market is forecast to grow by more than 6 % annually between 2015 and 2020.
  • Following the declaration of Galileo Initial Services in 2016, chipset and receiver manufacturers and application developers are leveraging Galileo signals, and a number of Galileo-ready devices are already on the market. 
  • By 2025, the installed base of GNSS devices in drones will reach 70 mln, more than twice the sum of other professional market segments combined.

A go-to resource

Regularly referenced by policy-makers and business leaders around the world, the GNSS Market Report serves as the go-to resource for an in-depth look at GNSS market opportunities and trends across an array of essential market segments.  

“Providing in-depth information on today’s GNSS market opportunities and a data-driven forecast of its evolution through to 2025, this edition is a must-read for anyone looking to successfully navigate this promising market,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides.

New edition, new additions

The GNSS Market Report takes a comprehensive look at the global GNSS market, providing a thorough analysis per market segment (Location-Based Services (LBS), Road Transportation, Aviation, Maritime, Rail, Agriculture, Surveying and Timing & Synchronisation), region and application type, including information on shipments, revenues and installed device base. This edition includes such new features as:

  • An expanded section on macro-trends like the Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Cities and Big Data.
  • Segment-specific user perspectives, with an emphasis on the increasingly stringent demands of today’s GNSS users.  
  • The unique added-value that European GNSS (EGNOS and Galileo) brings to each segment and how Galileo is already enhancing the functioning of many applications.
  • A special feature on the important role that GNSS plays in the growing market of drones (i.e., UAVs/Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems).

The full 100-page report is available for download free of charge below.

Methodology

The GSA GNSS Market Report is compiled by the GSA and the European Commission and was produced using the GSA’s systematic Marketing Monitoring and Forecasting Process.

The underlying market model uses advanced forecasting techniques applied to a wide range of input data, assumptions, and scenarios to forecast the size of the GNSS market in terms of shipments, revenue, and installed base of receivers.

Historical values are anchored to actual data in order to ensure a high level of accuracy. Assumptions are confronted with expert opinions in each market segment and application and model results are cross-checked against the most recent market research reports from independent sources before being validated through an iterative consultation process involving pertinent sector experts and stakeholders

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

European GNSS Agency (GSA) launches 2017 GNSS Market Report

10.5.2017 11:27  
GNSS Market Report 2017 - just released.
Published: 
10 May 2017

In the fast evolving world of satellite navigation technology and GNSS applications, monitoring the landscape and having the latest information is essential. With its in-depth look at market opportunities and trends across eight market segments, the GSA’s 2017 GNSS Market Report is a key resource for successfully navigating this exciting market.

The growing demand for precise location information, in combination with the ongoing evolution of GNSS technology, means that today’s GNSS market is bigger than ever. According to the 5th edition of the GSA’s popular GNSS Market Report:  

  • The global GNSS market is expected to grow from 5.8 billion devices in use in 2017 to an estimated 8 billion by 2020. 
  • The GNSS downstream market is expected to produce over € 70 billion in revenue annually in 2025. When the revenue created by added-value services is included, this number could more than double.  
  • The global GNSS downstream market is forecast to grow by more than 6 % annually between 2015 and 2020.
  • Following the declaration of Galileo Initial Services in 2016, chipset and receiver manufacturers and application developers are leveraging Galileo signals, and a number of Galileo-ready devices are already on the market. 
  • By 2025, the installed base of GNSS devices in drones will reach 70 mln, more than twice the sum of other professional market segments combined.

A go-to resource

Regularly referenced by policy-makers and business leaders around the world, the GNSS Market Report serves as the go-to resource for an in-depth look at GNSS market opportunities and trends across an array of essential market segments.  

“Providing in-depth information on today’s GNSS market opportunities and a data-driven forecast of its evolution through to 2025, this edition is a must-read for anyone looking to successfully navigate this promising market,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides.

New edition, new additions

The GNSS Market Report takes a comprehensive look at the global GNSS market, providing a thorough analysis per market segment (Location-Based Services (LBS), Road Transportation, Aviation, Maritime, Rail, Agriculture, Surveying and Timing & Synchronisation), region and application type, including information on shipments, revenues and installed device base. This edition includes such new features as:

  • An expanded section on macro-trends like the Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Cities and Big Data.
  • Segment-specific user perspectives, with an emphasis on the increasingly stringent demands of today’s GNSS users.  
  • The unique added-value that European GNSS (EGNOS and Galileo) brings to each segment and how Galileo is already enhancing the functioning of many applications.
  • A special feature on the important role that GNSS plays in the growing market of drones (i.e., UAVs/Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems).

The full 100-page report is available for download free of charge at: www.gsa.europa.eu/market/market-report.

About the European GNSS Agency

As an official European Union Regulatory Agency, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) manages public interests related to European GNSS programmes. The GSA’s mission is to support European Union objectives and achieve the highest return on European GNSS investment, in terms of benefits to users and economic growth and competitiveness.

Methodology

The GSA GNSS Market Report is compiled by the GSA and the European Commission and was produced using the GSA’s systematic Marketing Monitoring and Forecasting Process.

The underlying market model uses advanced forecasting techniques applied to a wide range of input data, assumptions, and scenarios to forecast the size of the GNSS market in terms of shipments, revenue, and installed base of receivers.

Historical values are anchored to actual data in order to ensure a high level of accuracy. Assumptions are confronted with expert opinions in each market segment and application and model results are cross-checked against the most recent market research reports from independent sources before being validated through an iterative consultation process involving pertinent sector experts and stakeholders

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

European GNSS Agency (GSA) launches 2017 GNSS Market Report

10.5.2017 11:27  
GNSS Market Report 2017 - just released.
Published: 
10 May 2017

In the fast evolving world of satellite navigation technology and GNSS applications, monitoring the landscape and having the latest information is essential. With its in-depth look at market opportunities and trends across eight market segments, the GSA’s 2017 GNSS Market Report is a key resource for successfully navigating this exciting market.

The growing demand for precise location information, in combination with the ongoing evolution of GNSS technology, means that today’s GNSS market is bigger than ever. According to the 5th edition of the GSA’s popular GNSS Market Report:  

  • The global GNSS market is expected to grow from 5.8 billion devices in use in 2017 to an estimated 8 billion by 2020. 
  • The GNSS downstream market is expected to produce over € 70 billion in revenue annually in 2025. When the revenue created by added-value services is included, this number could more than double.  
  • The global GNSS downstream market is forecast to grow by more than 6 % annually between 2015 and 2020.
  • Following the declaration of Galileo Initial Services in 2016, chipset and receiver manufacturers and application developers are leveraging Galileo signals, and a number of Galileo-ready devices are already on the market. 
  • By 2025, the installed base of GNSS devices in drones will reach 70 mln, more than twice the sum of other professional market segments combined.

A go-to resource

Regularly referenced by policy-makers and business leaders around the world, the GNSS Market Report serves as the go-to resource for an in-depth look at GNSS market opportunities and trends across an array of essential market segments.  

“Providing in-depth information on today’s GNSS market opportunities and a data-driven forecast of its evolution through to 2025, this edition is a must-read for anyone looking to successfully navigate this promising market,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides.

New edition, new additions

The GNSS Market Report takes a comprehensive look at the global GNSS market, providing a thorough analysis per market segment (Location-Based Services (LBS), Road Transportation, Aviation, Maritime, Rail, Agriculture, Surveying and Timing & Synchronisation), region and application type, including information on shipments, revenues and installed device base. This edition includes such new features as:

  • An expanded section on macro-trends like the Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Cities and Big Data.
  • Segment-specific user perspectives, with an emphasis on the increasingly stringent demands of today’s GNSS users.  
  • The unique added-value that European GNSS (EGNOS and Galileo) brings to each segment and how Galileo is already enhancing the functioning of many applications.
  • A special feature on the important role that GNSS plays in the growing market of drones (i.e., UAVs/Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems).

The full 100-page report is available for download free of charge below.

Methodology

The GSA GNSS Market Report is compiled by the GSA and the European Commission and was produced using the GSA’s systematic Marketing Monitoring and Forecasting Process.

The underlying market model uses advanced forecasting techniques applied to a wide range of input data, assumptions, and scenarios to forecast the size of the GNSS market in terms of shipments, revenue, and installed base of receivers.

Historical values are anchored to actual data in order to ensure a high level of accuracy. Assumptions are confronted with expert opinions in each market segment and application and model results are cross-checked against the most recent market research reports from independent sources before being validated through an iterative consultation process involving pertinent sector experts and stakeholders

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Network providers enthusiastic about Galileo at CLGE General Assembly

9.5.2017 9:18  
Published: 
09 May 2017

At the GSA workshop “Galileo best practices”, held during the CLGE General Assembly in Lausanne, private and public network providers are enthusiastic and show remarkable progress in offering Galileo to their end-customers.

Setting the context at this year’s CLGE (Council of European Geodetic Surveyors) General Assembly, held in Lausanne on 22 April 2017, the GSA noted that Galileo had reached an important milestone by declaring the Initial Services and that over 50% of professional grade receivers on the market were already Galileo enabled. However, for surveyors to fully benefit from Galileo in the high precision market, where real-time sub-decimeter level accuracy is desirable, it was noted that augmentation service providers (RTK, PPP, etc.) would need to enhance their service by adding Galileo into their networks.

The workshop, which was attended by over 50 participants from both public and private RTK (real-time kinematic) network providers and representatives from surveyor organisations, focused on two examples of Galileo integration in RTK networks and surveyors’ expectations from Galileo.

RTK providers start Galileo upgrade

The first hands-on experience of Galileo’s inclusion into RTK networks was presented by Mattias Eriksson from Swedish public RTK provider SWEPOS and Hugo Toll from Estonian private RTK provider Geosoft. Both speakers described the technicalities and challenges they experienced with Galileo integration in the RTK network, underpinned by receiver field-tests to show the first results of using Galileo for RTK measurements.

The conclusion is that the majority of RTK providers have already started with the Galileo upgrade of their antennas and receivers, but the update of the functional RTK network software is still lacking.

End-users requesting Galileo

The general findings of the first field tests presented by speakers was similar – as you get additional Galileo satellites, the final RTK measurements exhibit better performance, especially when it comes to reliability and availability, resulting in better operation in difficult environments. The reference network providers are receiving requests for Galileo from many customers and, based on the test results, they will recommend using Galileo to their users. More tests are to be performed to draw further conclusions.

Both presenters received many questions from the audience, as the theme of the workshop is very topical for the surveying community. “The RTK reference network providers are determined to deliver Galileo-based corrections to their customers and therefore willing to overcome the remaining impediments to achieve full Galileo-update. The numerous discussions prove that the topic is very topical for the surveying community,” CLGE President Maurice Barbieri said.

The GSA is taking this valuable feedback on board, with the goal of supporting the next developments of Galileo among its stakeholders.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Surveying using a GNSS device with EGNOS and Galileo satellites

Nextjet moves closer to LPV capability

3.5.2017 9:25  
Published: 
03 May 2017

Thanks to funding provided by the European GNSS Agency (GSA), NextJet’s fleet of SAAB 340 regional aircraft will soon be able to utilise EGNOS-based LPV landing procedures.

On 20 April 2017, a SAAB 340 aircraft equipped with a new EGNOS-based navigation system successfully completed a series of EGNOS-enabled localiser performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches and related tests. The flight, which took off from and landed at Denmark’s Billund Airport (BLL), was conducted by a NextJet crew, who were joined by two engineers from Scandinavian Avionics. NextJet is one of Sweden’s largest regional airlines. Scandinavian Avionics are the designers behind the installation of the EGNOS-capable Universal Avionics UNS-1Lw FMS with LPV monitor in the SAAB 340 aircraft.

The 3 hour and 23 minute flight included a series of LPV approaches at Denmark’s Aarhus Airport (AAR), along with testing PRNAV (precision area navigation) with SID (standard instrument departure route) and STARs (standard arrival route) at Norway’s Kristiansand Airport (KRS).

Watch this: A playback of the Nextjet test flight

The test flight was performed without incident. The NextJet crew reported that they were very happy with how the system performed, noting that they can already see how NextJet’s operations will benefit from LPV approaches. A second plane will undergo an avionics upgrade in May, and the airline plans to have its entire fleet of 10 SAAB 340 aircraft upgraded by the end of 2018.

The benefits of EGNOS

EGNOS, which was designed for aviation, creates more access to small and regional airports such as BLL, AAR and KRS – increasing safety and facilitating business across Europe. For airports like these, EGNOS serves as a suitable alternative to traditional Instrument Landing Systems (ILS). Unlike ILS, which depend on expensive ground-based equipment, EGNOS utilises geostationary satellites and a network of ground stations to receive, analyse and augment GPS signals. With EGNOS, these satellite signals become suitable for such safety-critical applications as aircraft landings.

Read more: AERO 2017 show EGNOS benefits

The currently available EGNOS LPV 200 service level provides vertical guidance that enables reaching a decision height as low as 200 feet. This is a capability similar to what is provided by ILS, but without the same financial burden of installing, maintaining and calibrating the ground equipment.

“We are proud to receive GSA funding and excited to introduce the EGNOS LPV into our operation. NextJet operation is mainly concentrated at small airports where ILS usually isn’t available on multiple runways. The SAAB 340 fleet will be much more flexible and the number of weather-related delays and cancellations will decrease dramatically at those destinations”, NextJet Engineering Manager Jonas Malmqvist confirmed.

Fostering EGNOS adoption

Of course having these procedures isn’t very useful if nobody can use them. Hence the GSA’s commitment to working with aircraft operators and avionics manufacturers like NextJet and Scandinavian Avionics to ensure the availability of EGNOS-based solutions for the most common aircraft models.

NextJet received GSA funding in order to gain the required Supplemental Type Certification (STC) to upgrade the avionics on its fleet of 10 SAAB 340 aircraft with EGNOS capability. STC is a national aviation authority-approved major modification or repair to an existing type certified aircraft, engine or propeller. Since it is adding to an existing type certificate, it is considered to be supplemental. Thus, before an older aircraft like the SAAB 340 can have its avionics upgraded to EGNOS capability, that particular upgrade must first receive STC.

Read this: EGNOS to get bigger footprint in Eastern Europe

NextJet was funded under the GSA’s Aviation Call 2015. The GSA Aviation Calls aim to foster EGNOS adoption in the European civil aviation sector. Grants are given to support projects that enable users to equip and use their aircraft fleet with GPS/SBAS-enabled avionics and to allow Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) and aerodromes/heliports to implement EGNOS-based operations in Europe.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Nextjet received GSA funding in order to gain the required STC to upgrade the avionics on its fleet of 10 SAAB 340 aircraft with EGNOS capability.

Nextjet moves closer to LPV capability

3.5.2017 9:25  
Published: 
03 May 2017

Thanks to funding provided by the European GNSS Agency (GSA), NextJet’s fleet of SAAB 340 regional aircraft will soon be able to utilise EGNOS-based LPV landing procedures.

On 20 April 2017, a SAAB 340 aircraft equipped with a new EGNOS-based navigation system successfully completed a series of EGNOS-enabled localiser performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches and related tests. The flight, which took off from and landed at Denmark’s Billund Airport (BLL), was conducted by a NextJet crew, who were joined by two engineers from Scandinavian Avionics. NextJet is one of Sweden’s largest regional airlines. Scandinavian Avionics are the designers behind the installation of the EGNOS-capable Universal Avionics UNS-1Lw FMS with LPV monitor in the SAAB 340 aircraft.

The 3 hour and 23 minute flight included a series of LPV approaches at Denmark’s Aarhus Airport (AAR), along with testing PRNAV (precision area navigation) with SID (standard instrument departure route) and STARs (standard arrival route) at Norway’s Kristiansand Airport (KRS).

Watch this: A playback of the Nextjet test flight

The test flight was performed without incident. The NextJet crew reported that they were very happy with how the system performed, noting that they can already see how NextJet’s operations will benefit from LPV approaches. A second plane will undergo an avionics upgrade in May, and the airline plans to have its entire fleet of 10 SAAB 340 aircraft upgraded by the end of 2018.

The benefits of EGNOS

EGNOS, which was designed for aviation, creates more access to small and regional airports such as BLL, AAR and KRS – increasing safety and facilitating business across Europe. For airports like these, EGNOS serves as a suitable alternative to traditional Instrument Landing Systems (ILS). Unlike ILS, which depend on expensive ground-based equipment, EGNOS utilises geostationary satellites and a network of ground stations to receive, analyse and augment GPS signals. With EGNOS, these satellite signals become suitable for such safety-critical applications as aircraft landings.

Read more: AERO 2017 show EGNOS benefits

The currently available EGNOS LPV 200 service level provides vertical guidance that enables reaching a decision height as low as 200 feet. This is a capability similar to what is provided by ILS, but without the  financial burden of financing,  installing, maintaining and calibrating the ground equipment.

“We are proud to receive GSA funding and excited to introduce the EGNOS LPV into our operation. NextJet operation is mainly concentrated at small airports where ILS usually isn’t available on multiple runways. The SAAB 340 fleet will be much more flexible and the number of weather-related delays and cancellations will decrease dramatically at those destinations”, NextJet Engineering Manager Jonas Malmqvist confirmed.

Fostering EGNOS adoption

Of course having these procedures isn’t very useful if nobody can use them. Hence the GSA’s commitment to working with aircraft operators and avionics manufacturers like NextJet and Scandinavian to ensure the availability of EGNOS-based solutions for the most common aircraft models.

NextJet received GSA funding in order to gain the required Supplemental Type Certification (STC) to upgrade the avionics on its fleet of 10 SAAB 340 aircraft with EGNOS capability. STC is an aviation authority-approved major modification or repair to an existing type certified aircraft, engine or propeller. Since it is adding to an existing type certificate, it is considered to be supplemental. Thus, before an older aircraft like the SAAB 340 can have its avionics upgraded to EGNOS capability, that particular upgrade must first receive STC.

Read this: EGNOS to get bigger footprint in Eastern Europe

NextJet was funded under the GSA’s Aviation Call 2015. The GSA Aviation Calls aim to foster EGNOS adoption in the European civil aviation sector. Grants are given to support projects that enable users to equip and use their aircraft fleet with GPS/SBAS-enabled avionics and to allow Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) and aerodromes/heliports to implement EGNOS-based operations in Europe.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Nextjet received GSA funding in order to gain the required STC to upgrade the avionics on its fleet of 10 SAAB 340 aircraft with EGNOS capability.

LPV capability boosts avionic simulators sales

2.5.2017 8:48  
Published: 
02 May 2017

The GSA showcased the benefits of EGNOS to pilots from across Europe at the AERO 2017 show in early April at Friedrichshafen, Germany. A crucial element in raising awareness and widening the use of EGNOS for Aviation is integrating the system into training for both new and experienced pilots. The integration of EGNOS and LPV capability in ALSIM simulators boost their sales.

AERO 2017 visitors were able to ‘fly’ with EGNOS on the ALSIM simulator AL250, which is configurable for a wide range of general aviation and other aircraft.

ALSIM has been developing and manufacturing certified flight simulators since 1994 and today has more than 260 devices installed worldwide with more than 160 global customers in 45 countries.

Since 2014 ALSIM had noticed an increasing interest from Air Training Organisations (ATOs) in GNSS-enabled approach training. In 2015, ALSIM was supported by the GSA to implement Localizer Performance with Vertical guidance (LPV) landing procedures in its simulators/ devices within the Aviation grant programme with a co-funding of 60%.

The two-year GSA co-funded project enabled ALSIM to equip three simulator models with LPV approach ability, the main objective being to offer new training capability to existing or new ALSIM clients.

Now, in 2017, ALSIM is offering three LPV-enabled simulators: the ALX which is a state-of-the-art generic simulator that helps students to train on several aircraft classes in one simulator; the AL42 – a specific simulator replicating the Diamond DA42 aircraft; and the AL250, which is the company’s latest generic reconfigurable simulator in a compact design. LPV has been implemented and approved by civil aviation authorities on all three models.

EGNOS opportunity

Mickaël Hérard, Flight Simulator Qualification Manager at ALSIM, was a member of the ALSIM team at AERO 2017 and participated as a key speaker in one of the GSA organised seminars on EGNOS for general aviation and also on the panel discussion on Saturday.

“The ALX was our first EGNOS-enabled device and the AL42 was the first to fully implement LPV procedures thanks to the support of the GSA,” said Mickaël Hérard. “Being able to implement LPV training has been a big benefit for ALSIM, enabling us to offer new capability to existing clients. The use of LPV is growing very fast, especially in France, and the authorities are pushing air training organisations to get their simulators equipped – in fact this will be mandatory by 2020.”

“This is becoming a really big issue in Europe,” he continued. “Every ATO will need to offer their existing clients a solution for LPV training.” So far, since the beginning of 2016, ALSIM has upgraded or sold over 40 LPV-enabled simulators and sales are accelerating. “LPV capability has been a big boost to our business,” says Mickaël Hérard.

The first challenge to implement LPV was to upgrade the avionics in the simulators using actual GNSS receiver manufacturer equipment and the second was to seek approval from the aviation authorities. “We got approval from the French authority for one year initially, and now other authorities across Europe have also approved our devices,” Hérard says. “All our existing clients are now asking for upgrades. The LPV implementation has given ALSIM a real competitive advantage.”

The ALSIM presentation at AERO 2017 is available here.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The ALSIM stand at the AERO 2017 Trade Show in Friedrichafen

E-GNSS helps eastern Europe go multimodal

28.4.2017 9:57  
Published: 
28 April 2017

To help eastern European countries prepare for the optimal adoption of European GNSS (E-GNSS) applications in the multimodal domains, the GSA-funded BEYOND project organised an array of events and training aimed at building the region’s E-GNSS capacity.

Efficient multimodal transportation is an essential component to the free movement of goods and to the European Union’s internal market. To ensure that all Member States have the means to optimise their access to the open market, such GSA-funded initiatives as the BEYOND project are advocating for the adoption of E-GNSS applications for use in the multimodal domains in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Turkey and their neighbouring countries.

Watch this: European Space Programmes – Strengthening Internal Markets

Multimodal transport is the transportation of goods under a single contract but performed using at least two different means of transport, such as rail, sea and road. In such an arrangement, the carrier remains responsible for the entire transport process, although the actual transportation is typically done by individual sub-carriers.

A key component to successful multimodal transport is e-freight – also the area where E-GNSS comes into play. E-freight is a paperless freight transport system that attaches an electronic flow of information to the actual physical flow of goods. This in turn allows for intelligent, or automated, cargo shipping. As positioning services are an integral part of this concept, multimodal logistics represent a significant market for E-GNSS. With E-GNSS, one can utilise such vital applications as container ‘corridoring’ and geo-fencing or providing geo-referenced cargo status monitoring, seamlessly integrated across transport modes and geographies.

Going BEYOND borders with E-GNSS

Launched in 2015, the Horizon 2020 BEYOND project supports the competitiveness of EU industry by developing new market opportunities in eastern European and Euromed countries. In the case of multimodal transportation, the project’s activities focused on building awareness about the use and added value offered by such E-GNSS programmes as Galileo and EGNOS. Led by Telespazio and with a focus on Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and such neighbouring countries as Turkey, the project held a range of dissemination events and activities to help prepare these countries for optimal adoption of E-GNSS applications within the multimodal domain.

Key outcomes of the project include:

  • creation and analysis of a database on existing GNSS sources in Euromed countries;
  • stakeholder survey identifying specific needs and showing how GNSS-based applications can help address such needs;
  • promoting wider use of E-GNSS in Turkey – a promising market for E-GNSS applications – and adopting an enhanced roadmap to prepare the country for integrating E-GNSS technologies, services and applications.

“Based on this work, we can say with confidence that all involved countries stand to benefit greatly from making investments in developing and upgrading their E-GNSS networks,” says Gian Gherardo Calini, GSA Head of Market development.

The BEYOND Final User Forum is scheduled for the 14th-15th June 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia. More information can be found http://www.beyondproject.eu/.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

GSA-funded initiatives like the BEYOND project are advocating for the adoption of E-GNSS applications in the multimodal domains in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and their neighbouring countries.

E-GNSS helps eastern Europe go multimodal

28.4.2017 9:57  
Published: 
28 April 2017

To help eastern European countries prepare for the optimal adoption of European GNSS (E-GNSS) applications in the multimodal domains, the GSA-funded BEYOND project organised an array of events and training aimed at building the region’s E-GNSS capacity.

Efficient multimodal transportation is an essential component to the free movement of goods and to the European Union’s internal market. To ensure that all Member States have the means to optimise their access to the open market, such GSA-funded initiatives as the BEYOND project are advocating for the adoption of E-GNSS applications for use in the multimodal domains in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Turkey and their neighbouring countries.

Watch this: European Space Programmes – Strengthening Internal Markets

Multimodal transport is the transportation of goods under a single contract but performed using at least two different means of transport, such as rail, sea and road. In such an arrangement, the carrier remains responsible for the entire transport process, although the actual transportation is typically done by individual sub-carriers.

A key component to successful multimodal transport is e-freight – also the area where E-GNSS comes into play. E-freight is a paperless freight transport system that attaches an electronic flow of information to the actual physical flow of goods. This in turn allows for intelligent, or automated, cargo shipping. As positioning services are an integral part of this concept, multimodal logistics represent a significant market for E-GNSS. With E-GNSS, one can utilise such vital applications as container ‘corridoring’ and geo-fencing or providing geo-referenced cargo status monitoring, seamlessly integrated across transport modes and geographies.

Going BEYOND borders with E-GNSS

Launched in 2015, the Horizon 2020 BEYOND project supports the competitiveness of EU industry by developing new market opportunities in eastern European and Euromed countries. In the case of multimodal transportation, the project’s activities focused on building awareness about the use and added value offered by such E-GNSS programmes as Galileo and EGNOS. Led by Telespazio and with a focus on Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and such neighbouring countries as Turkey, the project held a range of dissemination events and activities to help prepare these countries for optimal adoption of E-GNSS applications within the multimodal domain.

Key outcomes of the project include:

  • creation and analysis of a database on existing GNSS sources in Euromed countries;
  • stakeholder survey identifying specific needs and showing how GNSS-based applications can help address such needs;
  • promoting wider use of E-GNSS in Turkey – a promising market for E-GNSS applications – and adopting an enhanced roadmap to prepare the country for integrating E-GNSS technologies, services and applications.

“Based on this work, we can say with confidence that all involved countries stand to benefit greatly from making investments in developing and upgrading their E-GNSS networks,” says Gian Gherardo Calini, GSA Head of Market development.

The BEYOND Final User Forum is scheduled for the 14th-15th June 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia. More information can be found http://www.beyondproject.eu/.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

GSA-funded initiatives like the BEYOND project are advocating for the adoption of E-GNSS applications in the multimodal domains in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and their neighbouring countries.

New funding opportunities for GNSS chipsets, receivers and antennas manufacturers

26.4.2017 14:04  
Published: 
27 April 2017

Four funding opportunities currently open within the Fundamental Elements: a research and development funding mechanism to development of GNSS chipsets, receivers and antennas building on Galileo and EGNOS differentiators.

In 2015, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) launched Fundamental Elements, a research and development (R&D) funding mechanism supporting the development of innovative GNSS chipsets, receivers and antennas technology building on Galileo and EGNOS differentiators.

To accelerate the integration of Galileo and EGNOS into market-ready devices,  in February 2017 GSA has launched four new funding opportunities across all market segments:

Road, Smart Tachograph

Galileo will provide a Navigation Message Authentication feature over its Open Service (OS). By means of this feature, known as Open Service Navigation Message Authentication (OS-NMA), the user will be able to know that the source of the navigation message is authentic, namely it is the Galileo satellites and not any other potentially malicious source.

Tenders should aim at developing a robust “close to market” OS-NMA User Terminal implementing an adequate level of anti-spoofing capability and meeting Smart Tachograph application requirements, together with an end-to-end validation platform to assess the achieved performance.

Aviation

Integrity is essential for safety critical applications. The Advanced RAIM (Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring, - ARAIM), concept is aimed at providing global integrity based on multiple GNSS constellations, at least Galileo and GPS.

GSA is launching a call for proposals with the main objective to develop an ARAIM prototype for aviation applications, including Horizontal as well as Vertical ARAIM concepts and threat allocation and mitigation, as well as testing the performance in real scenarios.

Maritime

Nowadays, the majority of sea ships use GNSS as the primary means for obtaining Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) information at sea.  However, to date there is no maritime standard or guidelines for the implementation of SBAS in shipborne receivers and the majority of these implementations do not take into account the information related to the system integrity messages that is already broadcasted by the SBAS systems.

GSA is launching a call for proposals to develop SBAS L1 receivers for maritime use compliant with IMO Resolution A.1046(27), including demonstration activities,  and the preparation of a guideline for receiver manufacturers for the implementation of the solution developed and to the standardisation process at RTCM and IEC.

Search and rescue

Galileo Search and Rescue (SAR) service contributes to MEOSAR COSPAS-SARSAT system. The integration of Galileo enables nearly real-time detection and localisation of the distress alarm. 

GSA is launching a call for proposals to secure the availability of commercial products from European manufacturers of MEOSAR Beacons including the Return Link Service capabilities implemented by Galileo, thus increasing the European industry’s innovation capacity and investing on E-GNSS differentiators for MEOSAR.

Proposals should aim at developing MEOSAR beacons and its technology building blocks and shall include testing and demonstrating the product capabilities (ELT, EPIRB and PLB) and obtaining the type approval.

On March 29th 2017, in support of the companies interested to bid, the GSA organised four webinars, each dedicated to the open calls/tender. If you missed the webinars, you can find all the relevant information in the resource page, including the presentations, tips on how to prepare proposals/tenders, and Q&As. 

About Fundamental Elements

The GSA’s Fundamental Elements programme is an R&D funding mechanism supporting the development of chipsets and receivers. The programme runs through 2020 and has a projected budget of EUR 111.5 million. The main objective of the initiative is to facilitate the development of applications across different sectors of the economy and promote such fundamental elements as Galileo-enabled chipsets and receivers. 

The programme offers two types of financing:

  • Grants: with financing for up to 70 % of the total value of the grant agreement, with intellectual property rights staying with the beneficiary (with conditions).
  • Procurement: used only in cases where keeping intellectual property rights allow for the better fulfilment of the programme’s objectives. These are 100 % financed.

Fundamental Elements is in addition to, and complements, the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research programme, which aims to foster adoption of Galileo via content and application development, and thus focuses on the integration of services provided by Galileo into devices and their commercialisation.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

If you missed the recent Receiver Manufacturers’ Workshop, you can find all the relevant information at the new Fundamental Elements resource centre.

New funding opportunities for GNSS chipsets, receivers and antennas manufacturers

26.4.2017 14:04  
Published: 
27 April 2017

Four funding opportunities currently open within the Fundamental Elements: a research and development funding mechanism to development of GNSS chipsets, receivers and antennas building on Galileo and EGNOS differentiators.

In 2015, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) launched Fundamental Elements, a research and development (R&D) funding mechanism supporting the development of innovative GNSS chipsets, receivers and antennas technology building on Galileo and EGNOS differentiators.

To accelerate the integration of Galileo and EGNOS into market-ready devices,  in February 2017 GSA has launched four new funding opportunities across all market segments:

Road, Smart Tachograph

Galileo will provide a Navigation Message Authentication feature over its Open Service (OS). By means of this feature, known as Open Service Navigation Message Authentication (OS-NMA), the user will be able to know that the source of the navigation message is authentic, namely it is the Galileo satellites and not any other potentially malicious source.

Tenders should aim at developing a robust “close to market” OS-NMA User Terminal implementing an adequate level of anti-spoofing capability and meeting Smart Tachograph application requirements, together with an end-to-end validation platform to assess the achieved performance.

Aviation

Integrity is essential for safety critical applications. The Advanced RAIM (Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring, - ARAIM), concept is aimed at providing global integrity based on multiple GNSS constellations, at least Galileo and GPS.

GSA is launching a call for proposals with the main objective to develop an ARAIM prototype for aviation applications, including Horizontal as well as Vertical ARAIM concepts and threat allocation and mitigation, as well as testing the performance in real scenarios.

Maritime

Nowadays, the majority of sea ships use GNSS as the primary means for obtaining Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) information at sea.  However, to date there is no maritime standard or guidelines for the implementation of SBAS in shipborne receivers and the majority of these implementations do not take into account the information related to the system integrity messages that is already broadcasted by the SBAS systems.

GSA is launching a call for proposals to develop SBAS L1 receivers for maritime use compliant with IMO Resolution A.1046(27), including demonstration activities,  and the preparation of a guideline for receiver manufacturers for the implementation of the solution developed and to the standardisation process at RTCM and IEC.

Search and rescue

Galileo Search and Rescue (SAR) service contributes to MEOSAR COSPAS-SARSAT system. The integration of Galileo enables nearly real-time detection and localisation of the distress alarm. 

GSA is launching a call for proposals to secure the availability of commercial products from European manufacturers of MEOSAR Beacons including the Return Link Service capabilities implemented by Galileo, thus increasing the European industry’s innovation capacity and investing on E-GNSS differentiators for MEOSAR.

Proposals should aim at developing MEOSAR beacons and its technology building blocks and shall include testing and demonstrating the product capabilities (ELT, EPIRB and PLB) and obtaining the type approval.

On March 29th 2017, in support of the companies interested to bid, the GSA organised four webinars, each dedicated to the open calls/tender. If you missed the webinars, you can find all the relevant information in the resource page, including the presentations, tips on how to prepare proposals/tenders, and Q&As. 

About Fundamental Elements

The GSA’s Fundamental Elements programme is an R&D funding mechanism supporting the development of chipsets and receivers. The programme runs through 2020 and has a projected budget of EUR 111.5 million. The main objective of the initiative is to facilitate the development of applications across different sectors of the economy and promote such fundamental elements as Galileo-enabled chipsets and receivers. 

The programme offers two types of financing:

  • Grants: with financing for up to 70 % of the total value of the grant agreement, with intellectual property rights staying with the beneficiary (with conditions).
  • Procurement: used only in cases where keeping intellectual property rights allow for the better fulfilment of the programme’s objectives. These are 100 % financed.

Fundamental Elements is in addition to, and complements, the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research programme, which aims to foster adoption of Galileo via content and application development, and thus focuses on the integration of services provided by Galileo into devices and their commercialisation.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

New funding opportunities to accelerate the integration of Galileo and EGNOS into market-ready devices, across all market segments.

AERO 2017 shows EGNOS benefits

26.4.2017 11:19  
Published: 
26 April 2017

AERO is the largest Europe-based trade show for general aviation. The show takes place annually in early April at the Friedrichshafen Messe in southern Germany. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, AERO 2017 was a record breaker with over 700 exhibitors featuring a wealth of flying machines and services, from business jets and gyrocopters to drones and gliders. GSA was there showcasing the benefits of EGNOS for aviation on a dedicated stand and through a series of ‘targeted conferences.’

The AERO 2017 show ran from 5 to 8 April. The GSA shared its stand with the Horizon 2020 project CaBilAvi (Capacity building in Aviation) and adjacent to aircraft simulator company ALSIM, who were featuring their unique GSA-co-funded and EGNOS-equipped aircraft training simulator (see separate article).

GSA and CaBilAvi also organized a series of morning seminars for pilots, airport and aircraft owners, aircraft and avionics manufactures, aviation organization representatives, delegates and other aviation and GNSS enthusiasts during the week, outlining the latest news on satellite navigation for general aviation, followed by a more general panel discussion on the Saturday morning.

GNSS benefits

On the Friday morning, the GSA conference was opened by Katerina Strelcova , GSA Market Development Innovation officer, who outlined the development and current infrastructure for EGNOS across Europe, its benefits and future plans.

Katerina Strelcova , GSA Market Development Innovation officer, outlines the benefits of EGNOS at AERO 2017.

Katerina Strelcova , GSA Market Development Innovation officer, outlines the benefits of EGNOS at AERO 2017.

“There are big benefits for the general aviation community, including safer landings and wider accessibility to smaller airports, even in bad weather, without the need to invest in expensive ground infrastructure.” she said. “The GSA fully supports EGNOS implementation for the general aviation community, including co-funding of pilot projects for implementation on non-instrument runways without air traffic control, retrofit of aircraft and development of pilot training materials." She also highlighted the importance of cooperation with EASA and pilot organizations.

In a presentation held as part of the CaBilAvi project, Zilina University in Slovakia shared their observations regarding the impact of GNSS use on younger, inexperienced pilots as well as older, experienced pilots. They found that less experienced and younger pilots tended to rely more on GNSS navigation aids, often to the detriment of their overall situational awareness – i.e. focusing on the instrument screens rather than looking out of the windscreen. In contrast, the more experienced pilots were very aware of their surroundings, but often struggled to navigate the GNSS screens. Clearly these are issues that training needs to address.

EASA keynote

The keynote speech on the Friday was given by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Head of General Aviation Dominique Roland. Mr Roland highlighted the importance that EASA  gives to general aviation and the Agency’s approach to achieving “simpler, lighter and better rules for general aviation” to underpin the continuing development of the sector in Europe. This means introducing new regulation only when it is really needed.

EASA’s Head of General Aviation Dominique Roland speaking at AERO 2017.

EASA’s Head of General Aviation Dominique Roland speaking at AERO 2017.

Of specific interest to GNSS and EGNOS is the EASA’s initiative to embrace new technology with the launch of the Technology for Safety (T4S) Task Force. T4S is chaired by a passionate general aviation pilot and will look into the options for how to quickly authorize use of new technologies. “Your safety is our mission,” said Mr Roland. However he cautioned that: “We will need to convince people involved of the benefit of new technology.” This meant developing methods that balance benefits with any new risks that new technology may bring.

Following his presentation, a lively question and answer session extended well beyond the seminar’s official endpoint, covering topics from drones to GNSS backup and how to accelerate the adoption of EGNOS procedures at local and regional level. Also, Mr. Roland mentioned that you can achieve a more stable approach with LPV procedures.

Other morning conferences during AERO 2017 included more on the CaBilAvi (Capacity building in Aviation) project (see below) and included contributions from European Satellite Services Provider (ESSP), ALSIM and a presentation by the CEO of AOPA UK on the GSA-co-funded GAGA project (see separate article) amongst others. The presentations can be found on the GSA slideshare and the Cabilavi website.

Capacity Building in Aviation

The GSA-funded CaBilAvi project has three main pillars of activity: first to develop a brand new training syllabus for pilots on preparing to fly using GNSS equipment; secondly, to promote opportunities to implement GNSS landing procedures in Balkan countries; and, thirdly, to provide general dissemination and communication activities on GNSS to the public and specific aviation stakeholders across Europe.

Pavel Dobeš, leading the CaBilavi consortium, confirmed that AERO gives him the opportunity  to discuss with pilots and other aviation stakeholders about the experience and insights gained during the project. “We have engaged with experienced instructors and examiners from flying schools during the project,” he said. “Most pilots don’t have this experience and we realized the proper education and training that is needed”.

The new training syllabus developed by the project shows how any potential risks can be mitigated in basic pilot training. The CaBilAvi website is a significant source of educational materials on GNSS for general aviation pilots and the project is publishing a series of training videos. The series will eventually contain 20 short episodes with a new video added every Tuesday.

“The video series is an important asset,” says the project coordinator. “They make the experience of our flight examiners and instructors available to all, each episode highlights an aspect of the limitations and risks of using GNSS to navigate for the average pilot. The videos show how to prepare and what you need to think about to be safe in the sky.”

On the Saturday morning, the GSA held a roundtable discussion in the largest theatre at the air show and screened the first four videos from the CaBilAvi Channel.

Learn more about EGNOS

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

GSA demonstrated the benefits of EGNOS for general aviation at AERO 2017.

Final countdown to the 2nd Galileo Hackathon

25.4.2017 11:17  
Published: 
25 April 2017

The Galileo Hackathon is less than one month away – are you ready to show off your coding skills?

The second GSA Galileo Hackathon is right around the corner, and passionate coders across Europe are already fine-tuning their innovative ideas. If you haven’t already done so, don’t delay – register today!

Scheduled for 15 to 17 May in Gdańsk, Poland, the Galileo Hackathon is a unique opportunity to be among the first to work with Galileo-enabled mobile phones. The objective: to develop an innovative application that makes full use of Galileo’s capabilities and provides an added commercial or societal value.

Thanks to our technology partner Samsung, teams will be provided with a Galileo-enabled Samsung S8+ Android smartphone to use during the Hackathon. The phones feature Android 7.0 (i.e. Nougat), which gives application developers access to raw GNSS measurements directly from the Samsung phone. This unique feature opens up the possibility for higher accuracy and the development of algorithms traditionally restricted to more advanced GNSS receivers. 

Hackathon teams will also have access to a plug-and-play location stack, provided courtesy of our partner HyperTrack. Onsite mentoring will be provided by the University of Nottingham’s GRACE, Nottingham Geospatial Institute’s business engagement unit.

A panel of experts

Participants will compete for one of three EUR 1 000 cash prizes, which will be awarded on the Infoshare mainstage on 17 May. A panel of GNSS and mobility experts from Nottingham Geospatial Institute, the GSA, Beuth University of Technology Berlin, the European Space Agency (ESA), Samsung, Airbus, Hypertrack and Blue Dot Solutions will evaluate solutions based on innovation, market potential, Galileo-relevance, level of completion and progress.

Join us @infoShare too!

The Hackathon is being held in conjunction with infoShare 2017, scheduled for 17 to 19 May in Gdańsk. All Hackathon participants get free registration to the event, where they can join in on an array of discussions and learning opportunities – including the GSA’s session Look inside your smartphone and learn why accuracy matters!. This session takes place on 17 May from 15:15 – 15:45 and will feature representatives from Broadcom, Samsung and Android.

Also of interest  to the GEO-IoT/ location-based community, are a series of sessions on 15 May from 13:00-15:00 featuring:

  • Overview of Galileo and its added value in location-based services by the GSA
  • An update on the Galileo system status by the ESA
  • A presentation of the Samsung S8 smartphone by Samsung
  • Test results of Galileo integration in handsets by Airbus
  • How to boost your location-aware app using HyperTrack
  • An introduction to GNSS raw measurements in smartphones by Nottingham University

Register for the event here.

  

Prepare for the Galileo Hackathon with a pre-event webinar

In preparation for the upcoming 2nd Galileo Hackathon, the GSA is organising a one hour webinar on 28 April from 14:00 – 15:00 CET. Topics include an introduction to Galileo, an overview of Hackathon rules and prizes and a special presentation on GNSS raw measurements and how to use them in your location-based apps.

Registration is free, and more information can be found here.

 

  

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Thanks to our technology partner Samsung, all participants will be provided with a Galileo-enabled Samsung S8+ Android smartphone to use during the Hackathon. You can learn more in our Webinar!

Final countdown to the 2nd Galileo Hackathon

25.4.2017 11:17  
Published: 
25 April 2017

The Galileo Hackathon is less than one month away – are you ready to show off your coding skills?

The second GSA Galileo Hackathon is right around the corner, and passionate coders across Europe are already fine-tuning their innovative ideas. If you haven’t already done so, don’t delay – register today!

Scheduled for 15 to 17 May in Gdańsk, Poland, the Galileo Hackathon is a unique opportunity to be among the first to work with Galileo-enabled mobile phones. The objective: to develop an innovative application that makes full use of Galileo’s capabilities and provides an added commercial or societal value.

Thanks to our technology partner Samsung, teams will be provided with a Galileo-enabled Samsung S8+ Android smartphone to use during the Hackathon. The phones feature Android 7.0 (i.e. Nougat), which gives application developers access to raw GNSS measurements directly from the Samsung phone. This unique feature opens up the possibility for higher accuracy and the development of algorithms traditionally restricted to more advanced GNSS receivers. 

Hackathon teams will also have access to a plug-and-play location stack, provided courtesy of our partner HyperTrack. Onsite mentoring will be provided by the University of Nottingham’s GRACE, Nottingham Geospatial Institute’s business engagement unit.

A panel of experts

Participants will compete for one of three EUR 1 000 cash prizes, which will be awarded on the Infoshare mainstage on 17 May. A panel of GNSS and mobility experts from Nottingham Geospatial Institute, the GSA, Beuth University of Technology Berlin, the European Space Agency (ESA), Samsung, Airbus, Hypertrack and Blue Dot Solutions will evaluate solutions based on innovation, market potential, Galileo-relevance, level of completion and progress.

Join us @infoShare too!

The Hackathon is being held in conjunction with infoShare 2017, scheduled for 17 to 19 May in Gdańsk. All Hackathon participants get free registration to the event, where they can join in on an array of discussions and learning opportunities – including the GSA’s session Look inside your smartphone and learn why accuracy matters!. This session takes place on 17 May from 15:15 – 15:45 and will feature representatives from Broadcom, Samsung and Android.

Also of interest  to the GEO-IoT/ location-based community, are a series of sessions on 15 May from 13:00-15:00 featuring:

  • Overview of Galileo and its added value in location-based services by the GSA
  • An update on the Galileo system status by the ESA
  • A presentation of the Samsung S8 smartphone by Samsung
  • Test results of Galileo integration in handsets by Airbus
  • How to boost your location-aware app using HyperTrack
  • An introduction to GNSS raw measurements in smartphones by Nottingham University

Register for the event here.

  

Prepare for the Galileo Hackathon with a pre-event webinar

In preparation for the upcoming 2nd Galileo Hackathon, the GSA is organising a one hour webinar on 28 April from 14:00 – 15:00 CET. Topics include an introduction to Galileo, an overview of Hackathon rules and prizes and a special presentation on GNSS raw measurements and how to use them in your location-based apps.

Registration is free, and more information can be found here.

 

  

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Thanks to our technology partner Samsung, teams will be provided with a Galileo-enabled Samsung S8+ Android smartphone to use during the Hackathon. You can learn more in our Webinar!

Final countdown to the 2nd Galileo Hackathon

25.4.2017 11:17  
Published: 
25 April 2017

The Galileo Hackathon is less than one month away – are you ready to show off your coding skills?

The second GSA Galileo Hackathon is right around the corner, and passionate coders across Europe are already fine-tuning their innovative ideas. If you haven’t already done so, don’t delay – register today!

Scheduled for 15 to 17 May in Gdańsk, Poland, the Galileo Hackathon is a unique opportunity to be among the first to work with Galileo-enabled mobile phones. The objective: to develop an innovative application that makes full use of Galileo’s capabilities and provides an added commercial or societal value.

Thanks to our technology partner Samsung, teams will be provided with a Galileo-enabled Samsung S8+ Android smartphone to use during the Hackathon. The phones feature Android 7.0 (i.e. Nougat), which gives application developers access to raw GNSS measurements directly from the Samsung phone. This unique feature opens up the possibility for higher accuracy and the development of algorithms traditionally restricted to more advanced GNSS receivers. 

Hackathon teams will also have access to a plug-and-play location stack, provided courtesy of our partner HyperTrack. Onsite mentoring will be provided by the University of Nottingham’s GRACE, Nottingham Geospatial Institute’s business engagement unit.

A panel of experts

Participants will compete for one of three EUR 1 000 cash prizes, which will be awarded on the Infoshare mainstage on 17 May. A panel of GNSS and mobility experts from Nottingham Geospatial Institute, the GSA, Beuth University of Technology Berlin, the European Space Agency (ESA), Samsung, Airbus, Hypertrack and Blue Dot Solutions will evaluate solutions based on innovation, market potential, Galileo-relevance, level of completion and progress.

Join us @infoShare too!

The Hackathon is being held in conjunction with infoShare 2017, scheduled for 17 to 19 May in Gdańsk. All Hackathon participants get free registration to the event, where they can join in on an array of discussions and learning opportunities – including the GSA’s session Look inside your smartphone and learn why accuracy matters!. This session takes place on 17 May from 15:15 – 15:45 and will feature representatives from Broadcom, Samsung and Android.

Also of interest  to the GEO-IoT/ location-based community, are a series of sessions on 15 May from 13:00-15:00 featuring:

  • Overview of Galileo and its added value in location-based services by the GSA
  • An update on the Galileo system status by the ESA
  • A presentation of the Samsung S8 smartphone by Samsung
  • Test results of Galileo integration in handsets by Airbus
  • How to boost your location-aware app using HyperTrack
  • An introduction to GNSS raw measurements in smartphones by Nottingham University

Register for the event here.

  

Prepare for the Galileo Hackathon with a pre-event webinar

In preparation for the upcoming 2nd Galileo Hackathon, the GSA is organising a one hour webinar on 28 April from 14:00 – 15:00 CET. Topics include an introduction to Galileo, an overview of Hackathon rules and prizes and a special presentation on GNSS raw measurements and how to use them in your location-based apps.

Registration is free, and more information can be found here.

 

  

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Thanks to our technology partner Samsung, all participants will be provided with a Galileo-enabled Samsung S8+ Android smartphone to use during the Hackathon.

Applications Open for Special Prize Celebrating 60 Years of Europe

24.4.2017 15:55  
Published: 
24 April 2017

Within the context of the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC), a ‘60 Years of EU Special Prize’ focuses on the contribution that Europe’s space programmes make to European integration. The prize will award the very best ideas that use European GNSS to bring Europe closer together. Potential applications could address, for example, such EU political priorities as traffic and transport management for the efficient cross-border transportation of goods, travel platforms that encourage people to travel from one country to another, and so on.

Watch this: Europe for Space, Space for Europe

2017 is a significant year for both the European Union and Europe’s space programmes. This year Europe celebrates the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which, by establishing ‘an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe’, laid the foundation for building the EU. For 60 years, European nations have worked together towards a common goal: a peaceful, united and prosperous Europe. Together, they created something that no single European nation could do on their own, thus strengthening and growing European integration in many important areas – including the EU’s flagship space programmes: Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus.

Eligibility criteria

All proposals for the Prize must use European GNSS as the primary means of positioning. Moreover, all ideas should be technically operative, innovative, demonstrate market potential and contribute to the adoption of Galileo. Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Innovative approach over existing solutions
  • Commercial feasibility
  • Use of European GNSS signals and services
  • Contribution to the market uptake of Galileo
  • Technical/operational feasibility, including maturity of the idea
  • Demonstrations/market trials for technology validation
  • Contribution to European integration

The winners will have the opportunity to develop their idea at a suitable incubation centre of their choice within the EU28 for six months, with the option of a six-month extension based on an evaluation after the first six-month period (a total value of up to EUR 40,000). In addition, the winning idea will benefit from extensive promotion through the GSA’s many marketing channels and at relevant industry events.

Previous winners

The 2016 GSA Special Prize was won by Space Geomatica for the project Drones2GNSS - the Future of Surveying: UAV-assisted GNSS Positioning in Obstructed Environments. This project uses a drone equipped with a highly accurate GNSS receiver and a camera/laser measuring system to overcome obstacles to GNSS positioning accuracy caused by buildings, vegetation and other interference.

You can check out all previous GSA special prize winners here.

How to apply

Applications for the GSA prize and other ESNC special prizes and regional prizes can be submitted via the ESNC website. To find out what you need to do to take part, please follow the link to How to Participate. For more information about related events, visit the Events section on the site.

The ESNC overall winner is selected from all regional and special prize winners by an international panel of high-ranking experts. All of this year’s winners will be announced at a ceremony held during Estonian Space Week in Tallinn, Estonia, in November.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The ENSC looks forward to receiving your projects. Applications should be submitted by 11:59 a.m. on 30 June 2017.

2017 European Satellite Navigation Competition kicks off in Brussels

21.4.2017 10:38  
Published: 
21 April 2017

From 1 April to 30 June 2017, the European Satellite Navigation Competition (‘known as the ‘Galileo Masters’), the largest international competition for the innovative use of satellite navigation, will be scouting for outstanding ideas and business models to put on the fast track.

The European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) was launched, along with the Copernicus Masters, the leading innovation platform for commercial Earth observation applications, at a joint international kick-off event hosted by the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the EU in Brussels, on 5 April 2017.

From now until June 30, ESNC will be searching for the most forward‐thinking applications based on satellite navigation. The winners, which will be announced at a ceremony as part of the Estonian Space Week in Tallinn, Estonia, in November, will share in this year’s prize pool of more than EUR 1 million and will benefit from the ESNC’s unparalleled support network, including the ESA Business Incubation Centres and the brand new E-GNSS Accelerator, co-funded by the European Commission.

GSA Market Development Officer Reinhard Blasi introduces the GSA Prize.

Speaking at the kick-off ceremony, Andreas Veispak, Head of the European Commission’s Space Data for Societal Challenges and Growth Unit, noted that the EU had invested a lot of money in satellites, and now stakeholders, including Member States, were looking for a return on this investment. “This can only be yielded through satellite applications that are of use to end users in the public and private sectors,” he said.

Return on investment

This is where the ESNC plays a key role. Since 2004, the Competition has been fast-tracking the most ground-breaking ideas for Galileo-related applications across Europe and beyond and transforming them into market-ready products and new ventures. Each year, the Competition helps promote over 400 business ideas and has already awarded prizes to more than 300 winners over the years, which represent just a fraction of the more than 3,700 innovative concepts submitted by over 11,000 participants.

Also read: KYNEO project moves closer to commercialisation

With an impressive prize pool of over EUR 1 million, the 2017 edition of Competition will give entrepreneurs and start-ups with services, products or business ideas that use satellite navigation in everyday life access to more than 160 space-related stakeholders and allow them to benefit from support from over 40 incubators and the expertise of more than 250 experts.

The EU at 60: Special 2017 Prize for Space & Europe!

As a special focus, this year GSA will present a prize for the most promising application idea focussing on how Galileo and EGNOS help support European Integration. Now that Galileo is delivering Initial Services, Reinhard Blasi, Market Development Officer at the European GNSS Agency (GSA), noted at the ceremony, the focus is shifting from not only embracing EGNOS on a European level, but Galileo on a global level. “Since December 2016 we have gone from deployment to delivering services, which means that today users can benefit from Galileo now,” he said. “In light of the 60th anniversary of the EU, and a milestone year when Galileo is operational, following the December 2016 Declaration of Initial Services, we want to raise the awareness of how EU investment in space is concretely benefiting Europeans and will continue to in untold ways for many years to come.”

Watch this: Europe for space, space for Europe

E-GNSS Accelerator

The ESNC winners can also benefit from the new ‘E-GNSS Accelerator’. This programme is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs and start-ups to boost their business case on a broad scale and bring their products and services to market. The E-GNSS Accelerator will run for three years and will directly support the winners of the ESNC 2017, 2018 and 2019. As a result, the participants will receive even more prizes and services worth an additional EUR 500,000.

For more information on the ESNC, including all relevant information on prizes, partners, and terms of participation, visit the Competition’s official website: www.esnc.eu. Information on the Copernicus Masters can be found here: www.copernicus-masters.com.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

2017 European Satellite Navigation Competition kicks off in Brussels

21.4.2017 10:38  
Published: 
21 April 2017

From 1 April to 30 June 2017, the European Satellite Navigation Competition (known as the ‘Galileo Masters’), the largest international competition for the innovative use of satellite navigation, will be scouting for outstanding ideas and business models to put on the fast track.

The European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) was launched, along with the Copernicus Masters, the leading innovation platform for commercial Earth observation applications, at a joint international kick-off event hosted by the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the EU in Brussels, on 5 April 2017.

From now until June 30, ESNC will be searching for the most forward‐thinking applications based on satellite navigation. The winners, which will be announced at a ceremony as part of the Estonian Space Week in Tallinn, Estonia, in November, will share in this year’s prize pool of more than EUR 1 million and will benefit from the ESNC’s unparalleled support network, including the ESA Business Incubation Centres and the brand new E-GNSS Accelerator, co-funded by the European Commission.

GSA Market Development Officer Reinhard Blasi introduces the GSA Prize.

GSA Market Development Officer Reinhard Blasi introduces the GSA Prize.

Speaking at the kick-off ceremony, Andreas Veispak, Head of the European Commission’s Space Data for Societal Challenges and Growth Unit, noted that the EU had invested a lot of money in satellites, and now stakeholders, including Member States, were looking for a return on this investment. “This can only be yielded through satellite applications that are of use to end users in the public and private sectors,” he said.

Return on investment

This is where the ESNC plays a key role. Since 2004, the Competition has been fast-tracking the most ground-breaking ideas for Galileo-related applications across Europe and beyond and transforming them into market-ready products and new ventures. Each year, the Competition helps promote over 400 business ideas and has already awarded prizes to more than 300 winners over the years, which represent just a fraction of the more than 3,700 innovative concepts submitted by over 11,000 participants.

Also read: KYNEO project moves closer to commercialisation

With an impressive prize pool of over EUR 1 million, the 2017 edition of Competition will give entrepreneurs and start-ups with services, products or business ideas that use satellite navigation in everyday life access to more than 160 space-related stakeholders and allow them to benefit from support from over 40 incubators and the expertise of more than 250 experts.

The EU at 60: Special 2017 Prize for Space & Europe!

As a special focus, this year GSA will present a prize for the most promising application idea focussing on how Galileo and EGNOS help support European Integration. Now that Galileo is delivering Initial Services, Reinhard Blasi, Market Development Officer at the European GNSS Agency (GSA), noted at the ceremony, the focus is shifting from not only embracing EGNOS on a European level, but Galileo on a global level. “Since December 2016 we have gone from deployment to delivering services, which means that today users can benefit from Galileo now,” he said. “In light of the 60th anniversary of the EU, and a milestone year when Galileo is operational, following the December 2016 Declaration of Initial Services, we want to raise the awareness of how EU investment in space is concretely benefiting Europeans and will continue to in untold ways for many years to come.”

Watch this: Europe for space, space for Europe

E-GNSS Accelerator

The ESNC winners can also benefit from the new ‘E-GNSS Accelerator’. This programme is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs and start-ups to boost their business case on a broad scale and bring their products and services to market. The E-GNSS Accelerator will run for three years and will directly support the winners of the ESNC 2017, 2018 and 2019. As a result, the participants will receive even more prizes and services worth an additional EUR 500,000.

For more information on the ESNC, including all relevant information on prizes, partners, and terms of participation, visit the Competition’s official website: www.esnc.eu. Information on the Copernicus Masters can be found here: www.copernicus-masters.com.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

2017 European Satellite Navigation Competition kicks off in Brussels

21.4.2017 10:38  
Published: 
21 April 2017

From 1 April to 30 June 2017, the European Satellite Navigation Competition (known as the ‘Galileo Masters’), the largest international competition for the innovative use of satellite navigation, will be scouting for outstanding ideas and business models to put on the fast track.

The European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) was launched, along with the Copernicus Masters, the leading innovation platform for commercial Earth observation applications, at a joint international kick-off event hosted by the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the EU in Brussels, on 5 April 2017.

From now until June 30, ESNC will be searching for the most forward‐thinking applications based on satellite navigation. The winners, which will be announced at a ceremony as part of the Estonian Space Week in Tallinn, Estonia, in November, will share in this year’s prize pool of more than EUR 1 million and will benefit from the ESNC’s unparalleled support network, including the ESA Business Incubation Centres and the brand new E-GNSS Accelerator, co-funded by the European Commission.

GSA Market Development Officer, Reinhard Blasi (right), at the 2017 Satellite Masters opening event panel with Thomas Beer, from the ESA Copernicus Space Office.

GSA Market Development Officer, Reinhard Blasi (right), at the 2017 Satellite Masters opening event panel with Thomas Beer, from the ESA Copernicus Space Office.

Speaking at the kick-off ceremony, Andreas Veispak, Head of the European Commission’s Space Data for Societal Challenges and Growth Unit, noted that the EU had invested a lot of money in satellites, and now stakeholders, including Member States, were looking for a return on this investment. “This can only be yielded through satellite applications that are of use to end users in the public and private sectors,” he said.

Return on investment

This is where the ESNC plays a key role. Since 2004, the Competition has been fast-tracking the most ground-breaking ideas for Galileo-related applications across Europe and beyond and transforming them into market-ready products and new ventures. Each year, the Competition helps promote over 400 business ideas and has already awarded prizes to more than 300 winners over the years, which represent just a fraction of the more than 3,700 innovative concepts submitted by over 11,000 participants.

Also read: KYNEO project moves closer to commercialisation

With an impressive prize pool of over EUR 1 million, the 2017 edition of Competition will give entrepreneurs and start-ups with services, products or business ideas that use satellite navigation in everyday life access to more than 160 space-related stakeholders and allow them to benefit from support from over 40 incubators and the expertise of more than 250 experts.

The EU at 60: Special 2017 Prize for Space & Europe!

As a special focus, this year GSA will present a prize for the most promising application idea focussing on how Galileo and EGNOS help support European Integration. Now that Galileo is delivering Initial Services, Reinhard Blasi, Market Development Officer at the European GNSS Agency (GSA), noted at the ceremony, the focus is shifting from not only embracing EGNOS on a European level, but Galileo on a global level. “Since December 2016 we have gone from deployment to delivering services, which means that today users can benefit from Galileo now,” he said. “In light of the 60th anniversary of the EU, and a milestone year when Galileo is operational, following the December 2016 Declaration of Initial Services, we want to raise the awareness of how EU investment in space is concretely benefiting Europeans and will continue to in untold ways for many years to come.”

Watch this: Europe for space, space for Europe

E-GNSS Accelerator

The ESNC winners can also benefit from the new ‘E-GNSS Accelerator’. This programme is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs and start-ups to boost their business case on a broad scale and bring their products and services to market. The E-GNSS Accelerator will run for three years and will directly support the winners of the ESNC 2017, 2018 and 2019. As a result, the participants will receive even more prizes and services worth an additional EUR 500,000.

For more information on the ESNC, including all relevant information on prizes, partners, and terms of participation, visit the Competition’s official website: www.esnc.eu. Information on the Copernicus Masters can be found here: www.copernicus-masters.com.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

EGNOS to get bigger footprint in eastern Europe

20.4.2017 9:42  
Published: 
20 April 2017

To help eastern European countries implement EGNOS-based LPV procedures, the GSA-funded BEYOND project organised an array of workshops and training aimed at building the region’s European GNSS capacity.

There are currently over 430 EGNOS-enabled procedures available at more than 300 different European airports – with an additional 500 procedures planned. Many of these planned procedures are set to happen in eastern European countries, including the Balkans. Before they can take full advantage of the many benefits that the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) provides, they first need to have the capacity to implement such procedures. And this is where the Horizon 2020 funded BEYOND project comes in.

Launched in 2015, BEYOND supports the competitiveness of EU industry by developing new market opportunities in eastern European and Euromed countries. “These countries represent an important market for European GNSS,” says Carmen Aguilera, GSA Market Development Officer in charge of the Aviation segment-. “In order to take advantage of this potential, it is essential that we work to increase the visibility of EGNOS and assist with its implementation – especially as it pertains to aviation.”

The region is characterised by an abundance of often remote small and regional airports, many of which cannot afford the high cost of installing and maintaining ground-based instrument landing systems (ILS). EGNOS-enabled localiser performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches provide a suitable alternative to ILS, all the while making these airports more accessible and safer. EGNOS works by using geostationary satellites and a network of ground stations to receive, analyse and augment GPS signals, making them suitable for such safety-critical applications as aircraft landings. As a result, the EGNOS LPV 200 service provides vertical guidance that enables reaching a decision height of as low as 200 feet – a capability similar to what is provided by ground-based navigational aids, but without the steep financial burden of installing, maintaining and calibrating ground equipment.

A full view of the implementation process

To pave the way for implementing EGNOS-based procedures across eastern Europe and the Euromed countries, the BEYOND project worked directly with air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs) from Hungary, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Albania – among others. Training, technical workshops and flight trials were provided by the European Satellite Services Provider (ESSP), in coordination with GMV, INECO and ENAV.

The aim of these initiatives was to provide the ANSPs and CAAs with a comprehensive overview of the subject, from pre-implementation to operation. “Instead of providing itemised training on a specific component of the process, the BEYOND workshops delivered a full view of the LPV procedure implementation process,” says Peter Lubrani, Beyond project coordinator.

These capacity-building efforts have resulted in achieving several important milestones, including:

  • each ANSP developed a precision-based navigation (PBN) strategy, which will serve as the roadmap toward implementation;
  • flight trials occurred at Debrecen (Hungary) Airport, with additional trials planned at Tirana (Albania) Airport;
  • preliminary LPV procedures designed for four airports  – Debrecen, Chisinau (Moldova), Podgorica (Montenegro) and Tirana (Albania);
  • research on detecting GNSS interference was launched.

“The BEYOND exercises and workshops provided practical training on implementing EGNOS, training that will be put into action as we move toward improving PBN and implementing EGNOS in Montenegro,” says CAA Montenegro.

As this feeling was shared by all involved, one can expect to soon see some new dots added to the EGNOS map.

The BEYOND Final User Forum is scheduled for June 14th-15th 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia. More information can be found here.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Launched in 2015, BEYOND supports the competitiveness of EU industry by developing new market opportunities in eastern European and Euromed countries.

Coming soon: the 2017 GSA GNSS Market Report

19.4.2017 9:03  
Published: 
19 April 2017

The all-new 2017 GSA GNSS Market Report will be launched in May, and here’s a sneak peek at the market intelligence and insight you’ll find inside.

When it comes to GNSS market intelligence and insight, the GSA’s GNSS Market Report sets the standard. Regularly referenced by policy-makers and business leaders around the world, the publication has earned its reputation as the go-to resource for an in-depth look at GNSS market opportunities and trends across an array of essential market segments.  

Since its launch in 2015, the 4th Issue of the GNSS Market Report has been downloaded over 43 000 times. Covering location-based services (LBS), road transportation, aviation, maritime, rail, agriculture, mapping and surveying, and timing and synchronisation, the report served a wide variety of industries, private businesses, institutions and public stakeholders.

New features ahead!

Building on this success, the 5th Issue of the GNSS Market Report will be launched during the European Navigation Conference (ENC), scheduled for 9 to 12 May in Lausanne, Switzerland. In addition to the information on shipments, revenues and installed receiver bases that you have come to expect from the report, this edition has some exciting new features, including:

  • an expanded section on such macro-trends as the Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Cities and Big Data, where GNSS has become an essential element;
  • segment-specific user perspectives, with an emphasis on the increasingly stringent demands of today’s GNSS users;  
  • the unique added value that EGNOS and Galileo brings to each segment and how, with the recent Declaration of Galileo Initial Services, Galileo is already enhancing the functioning of many applications;
  • a special feature on the important role that GNSS plays in the growing market of drones.

“Providing in-depth information on today’s GNSS market opportunities and a data-driven forecast of its evolution through to 2025, this edition will be a must-read for anyone looking to successfully navigate this exciting market,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “I am confident that using this report in your day-to-day planning and strategic decision-making will give your business the competitive edge it needs to succeed.”

To make sure you don’t miss out, register today to be automatically notified when Issue 5 of the GSA GNSS Market Report is available for download.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

As a teaser of what’s to come, the GSA has released the newly designed cover for Issue Five of its GNSS Market Report. But to find out what’s inside, you have to register – and wait!

GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides outlines the GNSS Technology landscape of tomorrow at 33rd Annual Space Symposium

18.4.2017 14:04  
Published: 
18 April 2017

Technology keynote outlines how the rapid development of mass market consumer devices will only increase the demand for higher accuracy and dual frequency GNSS transmission solutions, such as those offered by Galileo.

The European Union Space Programme’s notable presence at the 33rd Space Symposium (April 3-6) – the world’s premier space event – included a keynote address presented by Carlo des Dorides, Executive Director of the European GNSS Agency (GSA). As part of the conference’s popular Tech Track session, des Dorides framed for the audience the findings of the GSA’s recently issued and first GNSS User Technology Report, specifically what lies ahead in the GNSS chipset and receiver domain and the trends transforming the GNSS landscape of tomorrow.

His remarks outlined how the application of GNSS technology toward mass market of consumer devices, transport and public safety, and accurate asset management timing for business will only increase the demand for higher accuracy and adoption of dual frequency transmission solutions, such as those offered by Galileo (E1/L1 + E5/L5).

“In recent years, GNSS technology has experienced a period of rapid development – both on the side of global constellations and user receivers,” explained des Dorides “With this development, EGNOS and Galileo are becoming increasingly present in GNSS receivers, providing enhanced performance to users both in Europe and worldwide. Even with the increased deployment of other positioning technologies, because it is the most widespread and cost-effective source of location information, GNSS will remain at the core of all positioning technology.”

Other GNSS technology projections offered during the keynote:

  • Nearly 65% of all chipsets and modules currently on the market support multiple constellations.
  • Within the next few years it is expected that 100% of all new devices will be multi-constellation capable.
  • The leaders in multi-constellation capability are mass market receivers and high accuracy professional receivers, with nearly 30% already capable of using the four available global constellations.
  • Receivers targeting such safety-critical applications as aviation must wait for new technologies to be proven and new standards or regulations to become available prior to implementing them.
  • In terms of supported frequencies, 30% of all receivers implement more than one frequency, mostly in high precision.
  • In the mass market, the chipset supply chain is extremely consolidated, with a few players worldwide driving innovation.
  • For liability and safety critical transport solutions, a consolidated industry with an important European presence dominates innovation in automotive, maritime and aviation, while new players are expected to emerge in such new applications as autonomous vehicles.
  • In high precision, timing and asset management, the suppliers are specialised in various professional fields, although their products are based on a relatively low number of GNSS chipsets.

“GNSS user technology is, now more than ever, answering the needs of ubiquity, automation and secure positioning,” concluded des Dorides. “Further innovations and new developments in continuous location service will only continue to provide the opportunity for a better quality of life, as well as economic and commercial benefits.”

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides delivers his keynote speech, “The next big thing! Exploring the latest technology trends shaping the positioning solutions of the future,” at the 33rd Annual Space Symposium.

EU Takes the Stage at the 33rd annual Space Symposium

12.4.2017 14:06  
Published: 
12 April 2017

For the first time, European Union officials presented keynote addresses at the world’s premier space conference as progress of the EU’s flagship space programmes – Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus – puts the EU firmly in the club of global space service providers.

The premier space event in the world was held last week and, for the first time, the European Union (EU) Space Programmes were an important part of the agenda. Held in Colorado Springs, U.S.A. (3-6 April), the four-day space conference featured more than 10,000 attendees, 180 exhibitors and space, government and defence officials from more than 30 countries. In addition to EU member states, notable countries outside of the United States attending the international event included China, Russia, South Korea and Japan.

On behalf of the EU, the European Commission and the European GNSS Agency (GSA) took centre stage to communicate the progress and next steps of Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus. In addition to notable presence throughout the speaker agenda, the EU was represented at the Symposium with an exhibition stand where it hosted a well-attended ‘meet and greet reception’ on 4 April. EU Commissioner responsible for space, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, was present to officially welcome the many visitors.

The European Union: a new strong player in the global space club

On Wednesday morning, 5 April, EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, become the first European Commissioner to address the Space Symposium. In her remarks, Bieńkowska declared that space matters for Europe, as it is now the second space power in the world.

“We are delivering on clear priorities,” said Bieńkowska. “Galileo went live last December and Europe has now joined the club of providers of global navigation services. In 2016, we launched six Galileo satellites that built on the six the year before. Today, 17 leading chipset companies that represent more than the 95% of global supply produce Galileo-compatible products. We are ready to grasp the full opportunity of space, not only for economic returns, but also for a better world.”

An open house ‘meet-and-greet’ reception at the EU Space Programmes exhibition stand reinforced the message that Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus are operational and open for business.

An open house ‘meet-and-greet’ reception at the EU Space Programmes exhibition stand reinforced the message that Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus are operational and open for business. 

A Space Strategy for Europe

Bieńkowska noted that Galileo’s significant 2016 milestones were a turning point toward its full operational status by 2020 – making now the right time to launch a Space Strategy for Europe. “First, we want to maximise the benefit of space for our society and the economy, by creating a dynamic and attractive market for space base applications and services,” she said. “Second, we want to foster a competitive and innovative European space sector, a ‘European new space’ approach. We want to embrace a new way of thinking, technological innovation and promote the emergence of dynamic European eco-systems of space start-ups. And third, we, for the first time recognise that space is a strategic asset and a central element of Europe's strategic autonomy. Europe must ensure its own security.”

In support of the Space Strategy for Europe, Bieńkowska announced that 350 million euro will be invested over two years in R&D projects that contribute to developing Europe's excellence and expertise.

Galileo: Helping to save lives

As one of four panellists invited to discuss maritime domain awareness on 6 April, European Commission Galileo Program Director, Matthias Petschke conveyed both the technological progress and subsequent human life benefits surrounding Galileo’s search and rescue service (SAR). SAR comprises two components: an automatic forward link distress alert, plus a unique return link alert (available end of 2018) that informs the sender that their message has been received.

European Commission Galileo Program Director, Matthias Petschke reviewed how the Galileo Search and Rescue service (SAR) is saving lives and making maritime search and rescue operations more efficient.

European Commission Galileo Program Director, Matthias Petschke reviewed how the Galileo Search and Rescue service (SAR) is saving lives and making maritime search and rescue operations more efficient. 

“The increased positioning accuracy provided by Galileo has reduced the time it takes to detect a person lost at sea or in the mountains from three hours to just 10 minutes after the distress beacon is activated. Meanwhile, localisation of the distress beacon has improved from 10 km to less than 5 km,” said Petschke. “The net result of the SAR improvements is that more lives are saved and it’s making  search and rescue operations more efficient for emergency responders thanks to the reduced time to acquire a signal.”

In addition to Bieńkowska and Petschke, on 4 April, GSA Executive Director, Carlo des Dorides presented a Tech Track keynote address on the latest technology trends effecting the use global navigation satellite system information. European Commission (DG GROW) Deputy Director General, Pierre Delsaux also provided the closing keynote address on 3 April, at the Space Generation – Fusion Forum, a two-day event held just prior to the Space Symposium that offered university students and young space professionals the opportunity to engage and learn from today's industry leaders.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

EU Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, became the first European Commissioner to address the Space Symposium declaring that ‘space matters for Europe’ and it is delivering on clear priorities.

GSA highlights the benefits of a multi-GNSS world at the 7th Space Generation Fusion Forum

11.4.2017 9:36  
GSA Executive Director Carlos des Dorides presents prize to Andreas Winther Rousing, the winner of the newly founded GSA scholarship “Young GSA – New Navigation Horizons at the 2017 Space Generation Fusion Forum.
Published: 
11 April 2017

With the recent influx of new public and private players into the operational space arena, including Europe’s own Galileo, young space professionals review the economic, policy and technology innovation possibilities that space is enabling for the future.  

“Embrace collaboration within the growing space community”. That was the underlying theme at the 7th Space Generation Fusion Forum (SGFF), a two-day event held April 1-2, just prior to the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, U.S.A. (April 3-6).

Each year SGFF selects an international group of approximately 50 top university students and young professionals to give them the opportunity to engage and learn from today's global space leaders.  The event is held by the Space Generation Advisory Council in support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications.

Carlo des Dorides, Executive Director of the GSA, was among the key note speakers and moderated the ‘Space for Earth’ focus session. In his remarks, des Dorides provided an overview of Europe’s GNSS programmes and explained how the new accuracy and availability society is gaining from a multi-GNSS world will power a whole new generation of innovative applications and services.

“Entering space is quite recent history for the EU, less than 15 years, but it is already enabling unprecedented business opportunities for Europe because GNSS plays an increasing role in our daily life,” said des Dorides. “By 2020 there will be one GNSS device for every person on the planet and the expanded positioning, navigation and timing capabilities have untold business applications, especially within four major macro trends: the internet of things, smart cities, multimodal logistics and big data.”

Citing a few application examples of connected cars, smart suitcases and real estate sites that offer virtual reality tour capabilities, des Dorides concluded by encouraging the young professionals to perceive space not as its own system, but rather a contributor to a larger system of systems. “Space is a fascinating journey that touches Earth everywhere you look. By 2020, there will be 50 billion objects connected through the internet of things. Of these objects, 90% will use positioning information, and 50% of those objects will get it from GNSS.”

Collaboration – the Only Solution for the Future

The SGFF agenda also touched on the policy gaps that have emerged with new commercial and government space players. Guest speakers, organisers and participants alike questioned how best to balance the public good and minimize security risks, while protecting the commercial and economic incentives to create more innovation. All had a similar solution: International collaboration is the only solution for the future.

In his conference remarks, U.S. Congressman Jim Bridenstine echoed that sentiment as he noted the welcome addition of Galileo’s capabilities to the global satellite infrastructure.

“Timing and positioning information from GNSS make it as important to our way of life as the electrical power grid,” said Bridenstine. “There are strategic risks to our satellite systems and we need to make sure that GPS, Galileo and Glonass signals provide back up to one another. It is important in this new paradigm that we engage with the world and institutionalise global cooperation.”

  

Stronger Together

Among the SGFF attendees was Andreas Winther Rousing, the winner of the first “Young GSA – New Navigations Horizons Scholarship.” Rousing, who is studying Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, was recognised by des Dorides at the conference. Rousing, emphasized the importance of making the public more aware of the benefits gained from Europe’s space programmes.

“More than ever, Europe needs something to remind us that we are stronger together,” said Rousing.  “We can make sure that the space programmes strengthen the bonds between the member states of the European Union (EU) by enabling every country to have the easiest possible access and control over the data provided by Copernicus, EGNOS, and Galileo. I believe that promoting their benefits to the public is a task as important as the space programmes themselves, since without the support of EU citizens, these valuable programmes would not exist.”

  

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

GSA Executive Director Carlos des Dorides presents prize to Andreas Winther Rousing, the winner of the newly founded GSA scholarship “Young GSA – New Navigation Horizons at the 2017 Space Generation Fusion Forum.

GSA highlights the benefits of a multi-GNSS world at the 7th Space Generation Fusion Forum

11.4.2017 9:36  
GSA Executive Director Carlos des Dorides presents prize to Andreas Winther Rousing, the winner of the newly founded GSA scholarship “Young GSA – New Navigation Horizons" at the 2017 Space Generation Fusion Forum.
Published: 
11 April 2017

With the recent influx of new public and private players into the operational space arena, including Europe’s own Galileo, young space professionals review the economic, policy and technology innovation possibilities that space is enabling for the future.  

“Embrace collaboration within the growing space community”. That was the underlying theme at the 7th Space Generation Fusion Forum (SGFF), a two-day event held April 1-2, just prior to the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, U.S.A. (April 3-6).

Each year SGFF selects an international group of approximately 50 top university students and young professionals to give them the opportunity to engage and learn from today's global space leaders.  The event is held by the Space Generation Advisory Council in support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications.

Carlo des Dorides, Executive Director of the GSA, was among the key note speakers and moderated the ‘Space for Earth’ focus session. In his remarks, des Dorides provided an overview of Europe’s GNSS programmes and explained how the new accuracy and availability society is gaining from a multi-GNSS world will power a whole new generation of innovative applications and services.

“Entering space is quite recent history for the EU, less than 15 years, but it is already enabling unprecedented business opportunities for Europe because GNSS plays an increasing role in our daily life,” said des Dorides. “By 2020 there will be one GNSS device for every person on the planet and the expanded positioning, navigation and timing capabilities have untold business applications, especially within four major macro trends: the internet of things, smart cities, multimodal logistics and big data.”

Citing a few application examples of connected cars, smart suitcases and real estate sites that offer virtual reality tour capabilities, des Dorides concluded by encouraging the young professionals to perceive space not as its own system, but rather a contributor to a larger system of systems. “Space is a fascinating journey that touches Earth everywhere you look. By 2020, there will be 50 billion objects connected through the internet of things. Of these objects, 90% will use positioning information, and 50% of those objects will get it from GNSS.”

Collaboration – the Only Solution for the Future

The SGFF agenda also touched on the policy gaps that have emerged with new commercial and government space players. Guest speakers, organisers and participants alike questioned how best to balance the public good and minimize security risks, while protecting the commercial and economic incentives to create more innovation. All had a similar solution: International collaboration is the only solution for the future.

In his conference remarks, U.S. Congressman Jim Bridenstine echoed that sentiment as he noted the welcome addition of Galileo’s capabilities to the global satellite infrastructure.

“Timing and positioning information from GNSS make it as important to our way of life as the electrical power grid,” said Bridenstine. “There are strategic risks to our satellite systems and we need to make sure that GPS, Galileo and Glonass signals provide back up to one another. It is important in this new paradigm that we engage with the world and institutionalise global cooperation.”

  

Stronger Together

Among the SGFF attendees was Andreas Winther Rousing, the winner of the first “Young GSA – New Navigations Horizons Scholarship.” Rousing, who is studying Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, was recognised by des Dorides at the conference. Rousing, emphasized the importance of making the public more aware of the benefits gained from Europe’s space programmes.

“More than ever, Europe needs something to remind us that we are stronger together,” said Rousing.  “We can make sure that the space programmes strengthen the bonds between the member states of the European Union (EU) by enabling every country to have the easiest possible access and control over the data provided by Copernicus, EGNOS, and Galileo. I believe that promoting their benefits to the public is a task as important as the space programmes themselves, since without the support of EU citizens, these valuable programmes would not exist.”

  

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

GSA Executive Director Carlos des Dorides presents prize to Andreas Winther Rousing, the winner of the newly founded GSA scholarship “Young GSA – New Navigation Horizons" at the 2017 Space Generation Fusion Forum.

Munich Summit 2017: Time for Backup?

7.4.2017 9:29  
Gian-Gherardo Calini of GSA speaking at the Munich summit
Published: 
07 April 2017

The main theme of the 2017 Munich Satellite Navigation Summit was ‘GNSS – is it time for backup?’ The GSA was present to help provide answers to this question and update the global GNSS community on progress and future trends in its programmes, including discussion on possible requirements for a second generation of Galileo satellites.

Following the opening plenary session on 14 March, the main meat of the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit took place on 15 and 16 March and included dedicated sessions on the Galileo Search and Rescue (SAR) service and the Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS).

Free and available virtually anywhere, GNSS timing and location signals have been incorporated into virtually every current technology. This ubiquity and ease of use means that any significant disruption to GNSS services caused by natural events, accidents, equipment malfunctions or malicious acts will have a major impact on our society. So it was timely that the Summit discussed what the options were for backup.

Opening the session Dana Goward, President of the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation in Washington, said that “the last thing we want is a loss of confidence in a primary utility like GNSS” but he saw the idea of backup as more than an insurance policy but also “a system that would complement, augment and ensure a robust architecture.”

Why backup?

Prof. Per Høeg of the Danish National Space Institute described some of the natural “space weather” phenomena that can disrupt or degrade GNSS signals. He thought that cooperative wireless positioning receivers were one option for backup.

But space weather is not the only issue. The European Commission (EC) described its plans to draft a European Radio Navigation Plan that aims to develop a comprehensive picture of existing EU navigation and timing infrastructure to help EU Member States decide on future infrastructure strategies. The EC representative believed that “GNSS would remain the core technology but that other technologies would be identified that could help fill gaps and serve as backup in challenging environments.” He also highlighted that GNSS, as the reference system for positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) solutions, must have its radio spectrum protected.

The International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) is very keen to establish GNSS backup as reliance on GNSS increases and there is a decline in ‘traditional’ navigation skills. Francis Zachariae of IALA said any backup must provide “Availability, accuracy, continuity, and integrity. Integrity is the most important factor.”

Guy Buesnel, a PNT Security Technologist from Spirent Communications also highlighted the threat to GNSS with examples of interference from a range of application areas. Recently the Pokemon Go game had accelerated innovation in spoofing as gaming enthusiasts attempted to simulate locations to capture rare Pokemon!

Further examples of GNSS jamming and spoofing equipment were shown by Tony Flavin of Chronos Technology Ltd. He thought that the new multi-constellation environment helped, but as all GNSS effectively use the same signal spectrum jamming was a big problem and any backup must use a different part of the spectrum.

The threats for applications in the timing domain were outlined by John Fischer of Spectracom Orolia. He said that any alternative to GNSS “must be ubiquitous, reliable and dependable, accurate and traceable to coordinated universal time (UTC).”

Harold Martin of the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing in Washington, DC, agreed that it was time for backup and remarked that what was required was “A machine-to-machine seamless transition; a system that is complementary.” In the US enabling a backup was a long standing policy and he noted that both Russia and China have ground-based backup systems.

Gian-Gherardo Calini, Head of Market Development at the GSA concluded the presentations, arguing that each GNSS market segment required a different situation and therefore there was a need to “assess the user needs in each segment and identify the most appropriate technology mix for each.”

“Everyone wants reliable PNT services,” he continued. “Both existing critical applications, such as aviation and marine timing, and emerging applications, such as rail, road and unmanned autonomous vehicles.” To achieve this requires robust protection of the GNSS frequency spectrum through both interference monitoring and enforcement of the law. “GNSS is becoming intrinsically more robust,” he said, due to multi-constellation interoperability, better and stronger signals, and authentication at the system level and improved antennas and signal processing at the equipment level.

However, Calini agreed that “GNSS cannot be the sole means of PNT solutions” for our critical applications. He emphasised the importance of awareness and training and said that “GNSS must be complemented by alternative means including but not limited to alternative radio navigation systems.”

Galileo: the next gen

On 15 March Prof. Vidal Ashkenazi of Nottingham Scientific Ltd led a debate on Galileo beyond 2020 that attempted to sketch out the requirements for a second generation E-GNSS. Setting the scene, Prof Ashkenazi said that “By 2020 users with multi frequency receivers would have 100 or more GNSS satellites at their disposal.”

Miguel Manteiga Bautista from ESA thought that the design and selection of technologies of the next generation would benefit enormously from the range of user profiles now available. “For the first generation only a handful of user profiles were used in the design,” he said. Ubiquitous location for all was the goal. Cost was also a big issue, he thought. “Already there were eight cost models available to guide the second generation,” he stated.

“It is really important to listen to users,” agreed Richard Balden of Qinetiq Group plc. He thought it was very important that the first generation of Galileo delivers its core mission fantastically well and that Generation two builds on that. “From a user perspective continuity is key,” he said.

“The next generation system must do the same cheaper or add more,” stated Dr. Kristian Pauly, of Galileo satellite manufacturers, OHB System AG. “Route one is save money wherever you can, route two is add more services.”

The European Commission speaker examined the potential user base including emerging new applications such as autonomous vehicles. He thought that the ongoing market analysis of the GSA is very useful “to help understand the whole span of applications.” He noted that the earliest that any second generation satellite might be launched was 2023 and that cost would be a very important factor.

John Hanley of CGI considered that any new system needed to be more flexible and able to react to the needs of programmes and markets.

The final view was given by Miguel Romay Merino from Spanish firm GMV. He thought it was important to make the system simple and easier to evolve. In particular he looked to simplify the ground segment. Key success factors for the user included centimetre-level accuracy combined with improved levels of integrity and authentication.

Paul Flament of the European Commission updates the Munich Summit on the Galileo programme.

Paul Flament of the European Commission updates the Munich Summit on the Galileo programme.

GNSS update

The summit’s main sessions had kicked off on the morning of 15 March with programme updates from all the worldwide global, regional and augmentation satellite navigation systems.

Paul Flament, from the European Commission had given the update on the status of Galileo and commenced by showing the audience his Galileo-enabled smartphone saying: “It is in my phone, it is working.” He emphasised that it was important for Europe to now reap the benefits of our investments in space systems saying “Galileo is there, use it!” He also underlined that the EU institutions would continue to support Galileo into the future.

Flament reported that Galileo Initial Services launched in December 2016 and were performing very well. He reminded the audience that Galileo was the first open service GNSS operating on multiple frequencies and looked forward to the formal launch of the Galileo Search and Rescue (SAR) service in early April. Two off-orbit Galileo satellites were already contributing to the SAR signal and were likely to be included in the Open service at some point due to their SAR performance.

The status of EGNOS was given by Jean-Marc Piéplu, GSA Head of EGNOS exploitation Department. He described the current configuration a new geostationary satellite coming into play and increased coverage through the system of 39 ranging and integrity monitoring stations (RIMS) sites. Further RIMS were being planned to extend coverage. Already some 327 EGNOS-enabled runway approach procedures had been published in Europe and a further 519 were planned by 2018. Looking to the future, he said that EGNOS V3 mission requirements had been established. The GEO-3 payload services contract had been signed with a launch date at the end of 2018 and he anticipated that system qualification would be achieved during 2022.

Summit participants also got updates on the American GPS, Chinese BeiDou, Japanese QZSS and Russian GLONASS programmes.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Gian-Gherardo Calini of GSA speaking at the Munich summit

Munich Summit 2017: Time for Backup?

7.4.2017 9:29  
Gian-Gherardo Calini of GSA speaking at the Munich summit
Published: 
07 April 2017

The main theme of the 2017 Munich Satellite Navigation Summit was ‘GNSS – is it time for backup?’ The GSA was present to help provide answers to this question and update the global GNSS community on progress and future trends in its programmes, including discussion on possible requirements for a second generation of Galileo satellites.

Following the opening plenary session on 14 March, the main meat of the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit took place on 15 and 16 March and included dedicated sessions on the Galileo Search and Rescue (SAR) service and the Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS).

Free and available virtually anywhere, GNSS timing and location signals have been incorporated into virtually every current technology. This ubiquity and ease of use means that any significant disruption to GNSS services caused by natural events, accidents, equipment malfunctions or malicious acts will have a major impact on our society. So it was timely that the Summit discussed what the options were for backup.

Opening the session Dana Goward, President of the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation in Washington, said that “the last thing we want is a loss of confidence in a primary utility like GNSS” but he saw the idea of backup as more than an insurance policy but also “a system that would complement, augment and ensure a robust architecture.”

Why backup?

Prof. Per Høeg of the Danish National Space Institute described some of the natural “space weather” phenomena that can disrupt or degrade GNSS signals. He thought that cooperative wireless positioning receivers were one option for backup.

But space weather is not the only issue. The European Commission (EC) described its plans to draft a European Radio Navigation Plan that aims to develop a comprehensive picture of existing EU navigation and timing infrastructure to help EU Member States decide on future infrastructure strategies. The EC representative believed that “GNSS would remain the core technology but that other technologies would be identified that could help fill gaps and serve as backup in challenging environments.” He also highlighted that GNSS, as the reference system for positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) solutions, must have its radio spectrum protected.

The International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) is very keen to establish GNSS backup as reliance on GNSS increases and there is a decline in ‘traditional’ navigation skills. Francis Zachariae of IALA said any backup must provide “Availability, accuracy, continuity, and integrity. Integrity is the most important factor.”

Guy Buesnel, a PNT Security Technologist from Spirent Communications also highlighted the threat to GNSS with examples of interference from a range of application areas. Recently the Pokemon Go game had accelerated innovation in spoofing as gaming enthusiasts attempted to simulate locations to capture rare Pokemon!

Further examples of GNSS jamming and spoofing equipment were shown by Tony Flavin of Chronos Technology Ltd. He thought that the new multi-constellation environment helped, but as all GNSS effectively use the same signal spectrum jamming was a big problem and any backup must use a different part of the spectrum.

The threats for applications in the timing domain were outlined by John Fischer of Spectracom Orolia. He said that any alternative to GNSS “must be ubiquitous, reliable and dependable, accurate and traceable to coordinated universal time (UTC).”

Harold Martin of the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing in Washington, DC, agreed that it was time for backup and remarked that what was required was “A machine-to-machine seamless transition; a system that is complementary.” In the US enabling a backup was a long standing policy and he noted that both Russia and China have ground-based backup systems.

Gian-Gherardo Calini, Head of Market Development at the GSA concluded the presentations, arguing that each GNSS market segment required a different situation and therefore there was a need to “assess the user needs in each segment and identify the most appropriate technology mix for each.”

“Everyone wants reliable PNT services,” he continued. “Both existing critical applications, such as aviation and marine timing, and emerging applications, such as rail, road and unmanned autonomous vehicles.” To achieve this requires robust protection of the GNSS frequency spectrum through both interference monitoring and enforcement of the law. “GNSS is becoming intrinsically more robust,” he said, due to multi-constellation interoperability, better and stronger signals, and authentication at the system level and improved antennas and signal processing at the equipment level.

However, Calini agreed that “GNSS cannot be the sole means of PNT solutions” for our critical applications. He emphasised the importance of awareness and training and said that “GNSS must be complemented by alternative means including but not limited to alternative radio navigation systems.”

Galileo: the next gen

On 15 March Prof. Vidal Ashkenazi of Nottingham Scientific Ltd led a debate on Galileo beyond 2020 that attempted to sketch out the requirements for a second generation E-GNSS. Setting the scene, Prof Ashkenazi said that “By 2020 users with multi frequency receivers would have 100 or more GNSS satellites at their disposal.”

Miguel Manteiga Bautista from ESA thought that the design and selection of technologies of the next generation would benefit enormously from the range of user profiles now available. “For the first generation only a handful of user profiles were used in the design,” he said. Ubiquitous location for all was the goal. Cost was also a big issue, he thought. “Already there were eight cost models available to guide the second generation,” he stated.

“It is really important to listen to users,” agreed Richard Balden of Qinetiq Group plc. He thought it was very important that the first generation of Galileo delivers its core mission fantastically well and that Generation two builds on that. “From a user perspective continuity is key,” he said.

“The next generation system must do the same cheaper or add more,” stated Dr. Kristian Pauly, of Galileo satellite manufacturers, OHB System AG. “Route one is save money wherever you can, route two is add more services.”

The European Commission speaker examined the potential user base including emerging new applications such as autonomous vehicles. He thought that the ongoing market analysis of the GSA is very useful “to help understand the whole span of applications.” He noted that the earliest that any second generation satellite might be launched was 2023 and that cost would be a very important factor.

John Hanley of CGI considered that any new system needed to be more flexible and able to react to the needs of programmes and markets.

The final view was given by Miguel Romay Merino from Spanish firm GMV. He thought it was important to make the system simple and easier to evolve. In particular he looked to simplify the ground segment. Key success factors for the user included centimetre-level accuracy combined with improved levels of integrity and authentication.

Paul Flament of the European Commission updates the Munich Summit on the Galileo programme.

Paul Flament of the European Commission updates the Munich Summit on the Galileo programme.

GNSS update

The summit’s main sessions had kicked off on the morning of 15 March with programme updates from all the worldwide global, regional and augmentation satellite navigation systems.

Paul Flament, from the European Commission had given the update on the status of Galileo and commenced by showing the audience his Galileo-enabled smartphone saying: “It is in my phone, it is working.” He emphasised that it was important for Europe to now reap the benefits of our investments in space systems saying “Galileo is there, use it!” He also underlined that the EU institutions would continue to support Galileo into the future.

Flament reported that Galileo Initial Services launched in December 2016 and were performing very well. He reminded the audience that Galileo was the first open service GNSS operating on multiple frequencies and looked forward to the promotion of the Galileo Search and Rescue (SAR) service in early April. Two off-orbit Galileo satellites were already contributing to the SAR signal and were likely to be included in the Open Service at some point due to their SAR performance.

The status of EGNOS was given by Jean-Marc Piéplu, GSA Head of EGNOS exploitation Department. He described the current configuration a new geostationary satellite coming into play and increased coverage through the system of 39 ranging and integrity monitoring stations (RIMS) sites. Further RIMS were being planned to extend coverage. Already some 327 EGNOS-enabled runway approach procedures had been published in Europe and a further 519 were planned by 2018. Looking to the future, he said that EGNOS V3 mission requirements had been established. The GEO-3 payload services contract had been signed with a launch date at the end of 2018 and he anticipated that system qualification would be achieved during 2022.

Summit participants also got updates on the American GPS, Chinese BeiDou, Japanese QZSS and Russian GLONASS programmes.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Gian-Gherardo Calini of GSA speaking at the Munich summit

Happy Beacon Awareness Day!

5.4.2017 10:45  
The Galileo SAR service reduces the time to detect a person in distress from three hours to just 10 minutes.
Published: 
05 April 2017

On 6 April, the GNSS world marks Beacon Awareness Day (406 Day), a day intended to remind Search and Rescue 406MHz beacon owners to test their beacons, check their batteries and update their Cospas-Sarsat or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) registration. Started in 2013 by US beacon manufacturer ACR Electronics, the day is also an opportunity to raise awareness on the benefits and responsibilities of owning such 406 MHz beacons as Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs). Perhaps most importantly, 406 Day is a chance to share the stories of those whose lives were ‘saved by the beacon’ and to encourage others to #getabeacon.  

Register your beacon: register your beacon with the COSPAS-SARSAT database

In conjunction with 406 Day, the GSA is officially launching its Galileo sSAR service. The Galileo SAR service is Europe’s contribution to the upgrade of the international satellite-based COSPAS-SARSAT system. Within the Galileo/SAR service coverage area, the service will be available at sea, in the mountains, across the desert and in the air and available to help SAR operators respond to a distress signal faster and more efficiently.

Did you know?

  • Six kilos – the weight of the SAR transponder on a Galileo satellite – can make the difference between life and death
  • Over the past three years, satellites helped save an average of six lives every day
  • Galileo satellites relay ANY distress call coming from a SARSAT-enabled beacon without costs or need for a subscription

Helping to save lives

The Galileo SAR service is comprised of two components: an automatic forward link distress alert and a unique return link alert (available end of 2018) that informs the sender that their message has been received. This combination, along with the increased positioning accuracy provided by Galileo, has reduced the time it takes to detect a person lost at sea or in the mountains from three hours to just 10 minutes after the distress beacon is activated. Furthermore, the localisation of the distress beacon has improved from 10 km to less than 5 km.

Watch this: Reaching you faster when every minute matters video

The net result of the improvements offered by the Galileo SAR service is that more lives are saved. In fact, in January 2017, the Galileo SAR service helped rescue eight people within the French MCC zone alone. “Not only does the improved capacity offered by the Galileo SAR service help save lives, thanks to the reduced time to acquire a signal, it also makes Search and Rescue operations – more efficient for emergency responders,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “Thus, it is our pleasure to take part in the 406 Day initiatives to raise awareness of the Galileo SAR service and to help all operators support and promote the use of 406 MHz beacons.”

Call for proposals

The GSA, in close collaboration with the European Commission recently launched a call for proposals to develop 406 MHz beacons with the return link capability. The deadline for this call is 31 May.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The Galileo SAR service reduces the time to detect a person in distress from three hours to just 10 minutes.

Happy Beacon Awareness Day!

5.4.2017 10:45  
The Galileo SAR service reduces the time to detect a person in distress from three hours to just 10 minutes.
Published: 
05 April 2017

On 6 April, the GNSS world marks Beacon Awareness Day (406 Day), a day intended to remind Search and Rescue 406MHz beacon owners to test their beacons, check their batteries and update their Cospas-Sarsat or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) registration. Started in 2013 by US beacon manufacturer ACR Electronics, the day is also an opportunity to raise awareness on the benefits and responsibilities of owning such 406 MHz beacons as Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs). Perhaps most importantly, 406 Day is a chance to share the stories of those whose lives were ‘saved by the beacon’ and to encourage others to #getabeacon.  

Register your beacon: register your beacon with the COSPAS-SARSAT database

In conjunction with 406 Day, the GSA is officially launching its Galileo's SAR service. The Galileo SAR service is Europe’s contribution to the upgrade of the international satellite-based COSPAS-SARSAT system. Within the Galileo/SAR service coverage area, the service will be available at sea, in the mountains, across the desert and in the air and available to help SAR operators respond to a distress signal faster and more efficiently.

Did you know?

  • Six kilos – the weight of the SAR transponder on a Galileo satellite – can make the difference between life and death
  • Over the past three years, satellites helped save an average of six lives every day
  • Galileo satellites relay ANY distress call coming from a SARSAT-enabled beacon without costs or need for a subscription

Helping to save lives

The Galileo SAR service is comprised of two components: an automatic forward link distress alert and a unique return link alert (available end of 2018) that informs the sender that their message has been received. This combination, along with the increased positioning accuracy provided by Galileo, has reduced the time it takes to detect a person lost at sea or in the mountains from three hours to just 10 minutes after the distress beacon is activated. Furthermore, the localisation of the distress beacon has improved from 10 km to less than 5 km.

Watch this: Reaching you faster when every minute matters video

The net result of the improvements offered by the Galileo SAR service is that more lives are saved. In fact, in January 2017, the Galileo SAR service helped rescue eight people within the French MCC zone alone. “Not only does the improved capacity offered by the Galileo SAR service help save lives, thanks to the reduced time to acquire a signal, it also makes Search and Rescue operations – more efficient for emergency responders,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “Thus, it is our pleasure to take part in the 406 Day initiatives to raise awareness of the Galileo SAR service and to help all operators support and promote the use of 406 MHz beacons.”

Call for proposals

The GSA, in close collaboration with the European Commission recently launched a call for proposals to develop 406 MHz beacons with the return link capability. The deadline for this call is 31 May.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The Galileo SAR service reduces the time to detect a person in distress from three hours to just 10 minutes.

Happy Beacon Awareness Day!

5.4.2017 10:45  
The Galileo SAR service reduces the time to detect a person in distress from three hours to just 10 minutes.
Published: 
05 April 2017

On 6 April, the GNSS world marks Beacon Awareness Day (406 Day), a day intended to remind Search and Rescue 406MHz beacon owners to test their beacons, check their batteries and update their Cospas-Sarsat or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) registration. Started in 2013 by US beacon manufacturer ACR Electronics, the day is also an opportunity to raise awareness on the benefits and responsibilities of owning such 406 MHz beacons as Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs). Perhaps most importantly, 406 Day is a chance to share the stories of those whose lives were ‘saved by the beacon’ and to encourage others to #getabeacon.  

Register your beacon: register your beacon with the COSPAS-SARSAT database

In conjunction with 406 Day, the GSA is officially launching its Galileo's SAR service. The Galileo SAR service is Europe’s contribution to the upgrade of the international satellite-based COSPAS-SARSAT system. Within the Galileo/SAR service coverage area, the service will be available at sea, in the mountains, across the desert and in the air and available to help SAR operators respond to a distress signal faster and more efficiently.

Did you know?

  • Six kilos – the weight of the SAR transponder on a Galileo satellite – can make the difference between life and death
  • Over the past three years, satellites helped save an average of six lives every day
  • Galileo satellites relay ANY distress call coming from a SARSAT-enabled beacon without costs or need for a subscription

Helping to save lives

The Galileo SAR service is comprised of two components: an automatic forward link distress alert and a unique return link alert (available end of 2018) that informs the sender that their message has been received. This combination, along with the increased positioning accuracy provided by Galileo, has reduced the time it takes to detect a person lost at sea or in the mountains from three hours to just 10 minutes after the distress beacon is activated. Furthermore, the localisation of the distress beacon has improved from 10 km to less than 5 km.

Watch this: Reaching you faster when every minute matters video

The net result of the improvements offered by the Galileo SAR service is that more lives are saved. In fact, in January 2017, the Galileo SAR service helped rescue eight people within the French MCC zone alone. “Not only does the improved capacity offered by the Galileo SAR service help save lives, thanks to the reduced time to acquire a signal, it also makes Search and Rescue operations – more efficient for emergency responders,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “Thus, it is our pleasure to take part in the 406 Day initiatives to raise awareness of the Galileo SAR service and to help all operators support and promote the use of 406 MHz beacons.”

Call for proposals

The GSA, in close collaboration with the European Commission recently launched a call for proposals to develop 406 MHz beacons with the return link capability. The deadline for this call is 31 May.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The Galileo SAR service reduces the time to detect a person in distress from three hours to just 10 minutes.

Happy Beacon Awareness Day!

5.4.2017 10:45  
The Galileo SAR service reduces the time to detect a person in distress from three hours to just 10 minutes.
Published: 
05 April 2017

On 6 April, the GNSS world marks Beacon Awareness Day (406 Day), a day intended to remind Search and Rescue 406MHz beacon owners to test their beacons, check their batteries and update their Cospas-Sarsat or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) registration. Started in 2013 by US beacon manufacturer ACR Electronics, the day is also an opportunity to raise awareness on the benefits and responsibilities of owning such 406 MHz beacons as Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs). Perhaps most importantly, 406 Day is a chance to share the stories of those whose lives were ‘saved by the beacon’ and to encourage others to #getabeacon.  

Register your beacon: register your beacon with the COSPAS-SARSAT database

In conjunction with 406 Day, the GSA is officially launching its Galileo sSAR service. The Galileo SAR service is Europe’s contribution to the upgrade of the international satellite-based COSPAS-SARSAT system. Within the Galileo/SAR service coverage area, the service will be available at sea, in the mountains, across the desert and in the air and available to help SAR operators respond to a distress signal faster and more efficiently.

Did you know?

  • Six kilos – the weight of the SAR transponder on a Galileo satellite – can make the difference between life and death
  • Over the past three years, satellites helped save an average of six lives every day
  • Galileo satellites relay ANY distress call coming from a SARSAT-enabled beacon without costs or need for a subscription

Helping to save lives

The Galileo SAR service is comprised of two components: an automatic forward link distress alert and a unique return link alert (available end of 2018) that informs the sender that their message has been received. This combination, along with the increased positioning accuracy provided by Galileo, has reduced the time it takes to detect a person lost at sea or in the mountains from three hours to just 10 minutes after the distress beacon is activated. Furthermore, the localisation of the distress beacon has improved from 10 km to less than 5 km.

Watch this: Reaching you faster when every minute matters video

The net result of the improvements offered by the Galileo SAR service is that more lives are saved. In fact, in January 2017, the Galileo SAR service helped rescue eight people within the French MCC zone alone. “Not only does the improved capacity offered by the Galileo SAR service help save lives, thanks to the reduced time to acquire a signal, it also makes Search and Rescue operations – more efficient for emergency responders,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “Thus, it is our pleasure to take part in the 406 Day initiatives to raise awareness of the Galileo SAR service and to help all operators support and promote the use of 406 MHz beacons.”

Call for proposals

The GSA, in close collaboration with the European Commission recently launched a call for proposals to develop 406 MHz beacons with the return link capability. The deadline for this call is 31 May.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The Galileo SAR service reduces the time to detect a person in distress from three hours to just 10 minutes.

Galileo Public Regulated Service ready for action

4.4.2017 10:20  
Published: 
04 April 2017

The unique Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS) offers a dedicated authenticated and encrypted service for governmental authorised users in areas such as public safety and security, critical infrastructures, and defence. The PRS session at the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit on 16 March provided an overview on the current status of PRS implementation in Europe and a glimpse of its potential applications.

“Integrity is a major driver for backup systems for GNSS,” said Dr. Stefan Baumann of IABG and moderator of the PRS session. He noted that the capabilities of PRS brought authorised users a more reliable and robust positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) system.

The European Commission’s DG GROW reminded the audience that PRS was part of the Galileo Initial Services declared on 15 December 2016. The main task now is to make the transition to exploitation. PRS offers increased continuity of service in crisis situations and its signal structure is much more resistant to interference than the Galileo open service signals.

The European Commission is looking forward to the full deployment of the Galileo constellation by 2020, working in concert with the ground elements of the system such as the Galileo Security Monitoring Centre (GSMC) near Paris and the Competent PRS authorities (CPAs) that must be established in Member States in order to access and control the use of PRS within their borders.

To follow the publication of the EU’s Space Strategy in 2016, it is likely that the range of security-related space applications will increase in the future and there could be increased demand for the more secure and robust PNT service offered by PRS.

Half of European Member States have already established CPAs, and other third countries outside the EU have expressed interest in accessing the system.

Fully functional

Charles Villie is PRS Manager at the GSA in Prague. He described PRS as “an encrypted navigation service designed to be more resistant to jamming, involuntary interference and spoofing… offering continuity of service, including higher availability of the signal in space and providing an independent authenticated position, velocity and timing service.”

“Today all PRS functionalities are available,” he continued. “The whole infrastructure is functional and operational. Now authorised governments can test their procedures for real and users can check PRS functionalities themselves.”

He admitted that to boost user acceptance would require the demonstration of excellent performance with a robust and secure service that offers unlimited uninterrupted access, adding that test activities are planned in 2017.

Villie also gave an overview of the development of PRS receivers. Receiver concepts had been developed and validated via PRS pilot projects under the Horizon 2020 programme.

User viewpoints

The PRS session concluded with the views of three representatives of Member State CPAs. Lukas Schmid spoke for the German CPA and saw many applications for PRS with police and security services. He thought that server-based solutions for Galileo PRS providing authenticated positioning, tracking and timing information, and available as of today, would significantly simplify challenges such as the tracking of tagged terrorist suspects.

Schmid also described the Hali Berlin project that synchronised green traffic lights for emergency vehicles. Using PRS helped to secure the application and greatly reduced the time for emergency vehicles to get to incidents while also reducing the number of accidents involving emergency vehicles.

The German government sponsored a special prize for PRS applications as part of the European Satellite Navigation Competition. Schmid said that he looked forward to joint test activity with Belgium and other Member States and further miniaturisation and simplification of PRS receiver technology.

The head of the French CPA is Colonel (Armament Corps) Philippe Bertrand. The CPA established within SGDSN was part of an organisation that will ensure the interoperability of Galileo PRS with military GPS for the French Ministry of Defence (MoD). This reduces costs and risks by using people who are already familiar with GNSS technologies.

During 2016, Colonel Bertrand’s CPA unit had been deeply involved with the French MoD and the French Space Agency (CNES) in validation of PRS, including monitoring and security tests. “It is very clear that PRS’s navigation performance is really good,” he stated. Tests in operational environments are now being performed regularly with the GSMC.

“It is key that the programme gains full operational capability by 2020 and provides a very high level of security,” he concluded. “If these expectations are met then the PRS user communities will come.”

This was echoed by the final speaker Massimo Mercati, an advisor to the Italian CPA. He felt that the Member States would be key players in PRS and believed that full FOC would be achieved in 2020.

During a final Q&A in the session, the relative accuracy of PRS was discussed. Colonel Bertrand reiterated his results on PRS navigation performance in a set of different operational environments saying that: “the navigation performance was very good and very interesting.” He believed that navigation performance would be a key and important feature of PRS.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Charles Villie, PRS Manager at the GSA, speaking at the Munich summit

Poland in POSITION

3.4.2017 12:05  
Published: 
03 April 2017

The GSA-funded POSITION project has helped put Poland on the European GNSS map. After helping numerous start-ups take their GNSS-based products and services from idea to reality, they are now shifting their focus to marketization. 

With a significant concentration of high-tech professionals and a large, untapped industrial sector, Poland has positioned itself as an attractive market for European GNSS (E-GNSS). To ensure the industry takes advantage of the many opportunities that Poland offers, the GSA-supported POSITION project has worked to increase E-GNSS market penetration and general awareness within the country. Specifically, the project focuses its efforts on start-ups and early stage investment opportunities for Polish companies looking to utilise E-GNSS technology.

“When the project launched, the penetration of E-GNSS in Poland was very low, and most investors and companies were generally unaware of the potential presented by E-GNSS applications,” says POSITION Project Coordinator Dr Krzysztof Kanawka. “Furthermore, start-ups and SMEs were unable to access capital within Poland, which limited their expansion and their ability to implement new technology – including E-GNSS.”

Poland has started up

Thanks to the numerous networking opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors organised by the project over the last several years, this is now all starting to change. The transition can be seen in the number of successful start-ups that have come out of the project. For example, Aerobits, the winner of the 2016 Galileo Masters Poland Prize, developed an integrated technology that facilitates safe and shared airspace use by both manned aircraft and drones. Its ability to both receive and decode functions for Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) and GNSS signals makes it possible to identify all manned aircraft within the direct vicinity of a given UAV.

ChipCraft, another POSITION-supported start-up, is a single-chip dual frequency solution for precise positioning. The company says that their inspiration came from seeing many applications requiring precision better than one metre and reliable positioning, but the cost and size of getting the levels required kept them out of the market. To fill this gap, ChipCraft provides a high-quality, dedicated, integrated system on a chip (SoC) for precise positioning. It sees applications in telemedicine and wearable electronics as its core market. 

In the maritime sector, Navdec developed an autonomous ship as a means of avoiding at-sea collisions. As over 80% of at-sea collisions are the result of human error, the Navdec system takes the human factor out of the maritime navigation equation. Its navigation decision support system uses GNSS positioning, in combination with other technologies, to qualify encounter situations in accordance to collision regulations and provides the navigator with ready-to-use avoidance solutions.

Building on experience

These start-ups, along with other POSITION supported companies, are all at a critical stage in their development. They each have a marketable GNSS-enabled device or service in hand, now all they need is an additional round of funding in order to get these devices and services to market.

“We have used the experiences gained during the POSITION project as the foundation from which to launch a range of new activities in Poland, including the Space2ac acceleration programme,” says Kanawka. The accelerator was launched in the summer of 2016 with six teams from Europe, each active in various satellite data domains (incl. GNSS) and all working towards market entry and customer acquisition. In 2017 and 2018, Space3ac plans to turn its attention to linking large industry players with small technological entities, particularly in the field of intermodal transport.

Funded under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, the POSITION project is a collaboration between Polish venture capital fund Black Pearls Investments (BPI) and Munich-based consultancy SpaceTech Partners.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Thanks to the numerous networking opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors organised by the POSITION project, the GNSS market in Poland has started to take off.

EU Space Programmes plan prominent presence at upcoming 33rd Space Symposium

30.3.2017 9:45  
Published: 
30 March 2017

With both the European Union’s (EU) global flagship space programmes, Galileo and Copernicus, now delivering services to users around the world, for the first time the EU - represented by the European Commission and the European GNSS Agency (GSA) - will have a strong presence at the 33rd Space Symposium event, held 2-6 April in Colorado Springs, USA.

The first week of April sees the opening of the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.A. This much-anticipated annual event will bring together more than 10,000 space leaders from around the world to discuss, address and plan for the future of space.
The Space Symposium over the years has become widely known as the premier U.S. space policy and program forum, but this year attendees will see a stronger international presence with the European Commission and the European GNSS Agency (GSA) featured prominently throughout the four-day program (3-6 April).

According to GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides, the larger EU profile at the event this year reflects the December 2016 Declaration of Galileo Initial Services.

EU Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska and GSA Executive Director Carlos des Dorides are among the EU officials presenting the EU’s flagship space programmes at the upcoming 33rd annual Space Symposium.

EU Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska and GSA Executive Director Carlos des Dorides are among the EU officials presenting the EU’s flagship space programmes at the upcoming 33rd annual Space Symposium.

“While Copernicus has been in operation since 2014, the 2016 Galileo declaration means that it has moved from a system in testing to one that is now operational,” explains des Dorides. “This transition puts Galileo at the centre of discussions on how to leverage and incorporate Galileo signals and services in devices serving a wide range of applications.”

Along with Mr. des Dorides, the European Union Space Programmes will be represented at this year’s Space Symposium by EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commission Deputy Director General, Pierre Delsaux, and European Commission Director for Galileo, Matthias Petschke.

The European Union will also host a stand at the Symposium exhibition for attendees to meet EU officials and learn more about the services offered by the EU Flagship Space Programmes, Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus. Space Symposium attendees are also invited to a meet and greet reception at the EU exhibit stand on Tuesday evening (4 April) from 6-8 p.m.

GSA also partners in Space Generation Fusion Forum 2017

For the first time, the GSA will partner in the Space Generation Fusion Forum, providing insights on the ‘Space to Earth’ track. 2017 marks the sixth edition of the event. Held in conjunction with the Space Symposium, the two-day Fusion Forum (2-3 April) will gather young adults from various areas of space – government, industry, and academia.

As part of GSA participation, it has awarded a Space Generation Fusion Forum scholarship. The ‘Young GSA – New Navigation Horizons Scholarship’ invited European students and young professionals to share their views in a 30-second video and 400-word essay on the possibilities that Galileo in a multi-GNSS world can bring to society, business and European integration.

 The 33rd Space Symposium provides the follow opportunities to learn more about the EU Space Programmes:

  • Sunday, 1 April: 2017 Space Generation Fusion Forum
    Carlo des Dorides, GSA Executive Director, will provide a key note speech and lead the discussion on track “Space for Earth,” which will explore ways in which space services can be leveraged for the benefit of life on Earth and how new GNSS systems like Galileo will impact industry and government operations, and possibly create entirely new services.
  • Monday, 3 April: Space Symposium – Tech Track
    During his keynote presentation, “The next big thing! Exploring the latest technology trends shaping the positioning solutions of the future,” des Dorides will share highlights from a recent GSA report on the latest GNSS technology and analyze trends that are sure to change the entire GNSS landscape.
  • Monday, 3 April: Space Generation – Fusion Forum
    European Commission (DG GROW) Deputy Director General, Pierre Delsaux will provide the closing keynote address.
  • Tuesday, 4 April: EU Space Programmes meet & greet reception
    Exhibit Center Pavilion, Stand 1116
  • Wednesday, 5 April: Space Symposium
    EU Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska will be the featured speaker.
  • Thursday, 6 April: Space Symposium - Maritime Domain Awareness
    European Commission Galileo Programme Director, Matthias Petschke will present the new Galileo Search and Rescue Service (SAR).

   

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The 33rd Space Symposium event, held 2-6 April in Colorado Springs, USA

EU Space Programmes plan prominent presence at upcoming 33rd Space Symposium

30.3.2017 9:45  
Published: 
30 March 2017

With both the European Union’s (EU) global flagship space programmes, Galileo and Copernicus, now delivering services to users around the world, for the first time the EU - represented by the European Commission and the European GNSS Agency (GSA) - will have a strong presence at the 33rd Space Symposium event, held 2-6 April in Colorado Springs, USA.

The first week of April sees the opening of the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.A. This much-anticipated annual event will bring together more than 10,000 space leaders from around the world to discuss, address and plan for the future of space.
The Space Symposium over the years has become widely known as the premier U.S. space policy and program forum, but this year attendees will see a stronger international presence with the European Commission and the European GNSS Agency (GSA) featured prominently throughout the four-day program (3-6 April).

According to GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides, the larger EU profile at the event this year reflects the December 2016 Declaration of Galileo Initial Services.

EU Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska and GSA Executive Director Carlos des Dorides are among the EU officials presenting the EU’s flagship space programmes at the upcoming 33rd annual Space Symposium.

EU Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska and GSA Executive Director Carlos des Dorides are among the EU officials presenting the EU’s flagship space programmes at the upcoming 33rd annual Space Symposium.

“While Copernicus has been in operation since 2014, the 2016 Galileo declaration means that it has moved from a system in testing to one that is now operational,” explains des Dorides. “This transition puts Galileo at the centre of discussions on how to leverage and incorporate Galileo signals and services in devices serving a wide range of applications.”

Along with Mr. des Dorides, the European Union Space Programmes will be represented at this year’s Space Symposium by EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commission Deputy Director General, Pierre Delsaux, and European Commission Director for Galileo, Matthias Petschke.

The European Union will also host a stand at the Symposium exhibition for attendees to meet EU officials and learn more about the services offered by the EU Flagship Space Programmes, Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus. Space Symposium attendees are also invited to a meet and greet reception at the EU exhibit stand on Tuesday evening (4 April) from 6-8 p.m.

GSA also partners in Space Generation Fusion Forum 2017

For the first time, the GSA will partner in the Space Generation Fusion Forum, providing insights on the ‘Space to Earth’ track. 2017 marks the sixth edition of the event. Held in conjunction with the Space Symposium, the two-day Fusion Forum (2-3 April) will gather young adults from various areas of space – government, industry, and academia.

As part of GSA participation, it has awarded a Space Generation Fusion Forum scholarship. The ‘Young GSA – New Navigation Horizons Scholarship’ invited European students and young professionals to share their views in a 30-second video and 400-word essay on the possibilities that Galileo in a multi-GNSS world can bring to society, business and European integration.

 The 33rd Space Symposium provides the follow opportunities to learn more about the EU Space Programmes:

  • Sunday, 2 April: 2017 Space Generation Fusion Forum
    Carlo des Dorides, GSA Executive Director, will provide a key note speech and lead the discussion on track “Space for Earth,” which will explore ways in which space services can be leveraged for the benefit of life on Earth and how new GNSS systems like Galileo will impact industry and government operations, and possibly create entirely new services.
  • Monday, 3 April: Space Symposium – Tech Track
    During his keynote presentation, “The next big thing! Exploring the latest technology trends shaping the positioning solutions of the future,” des Dorides will share highlights from a recent GSA report on the latest GNSS technology and analyze trends that are sure to change the entire GNSS landscape.
  • Monday, 3 April: Space Generation – Fusion Forum
    European Commission (DG GROW) Deputy Director General, Pierre Delsaux will provide the closing keynote address.
  • Tuesday, 4 April: EU Space Programmes meet & greet reception
    Exhibit Center Pavilion, Stand 1116
  • Wednesday, 5 April: Space Symposium
    EU Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska will be the featured speaker.
  • Thursday, 6 April: Space Symposium - Maritime Domain Awareness
    European Commission Galileo Programme Director, Matthias Petschke will present the new Galileo Search and Rescue Service (SAR).

   

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The 33rd Space Symposium event, held 2-6 April in Colorado Springs, USA

EU Space Programmes plan prominent presence at upcoming 33rd Space Symposium

30.3.2017 9:45  
Published: 
30 March 2017

With both the European Union’s (EU) global flagship space programmes, Galileo and Copernicus, now delivering services to users around the world, for the first time the EU - represented by the European Commission and the European GNSS Agency (GSA) - will have a strong presence at the 33rd Space Symposium event, held 2-6 April in Colorado Springs, USA.

The first week of April sees the opening of the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.A. This much-anticipated annual event will bring together more than 10,000 space leaders from around the world to discuss, address and plan for the future of space.
The Space Symposium over the years has become widely known as the premier U.S. space policy and program forum, but this year attendees will see a stronger international presence with the European Commission and the European GNSS Agency (GSA) featured prominently throughout the four-day program (3-6 April).

According to GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides, the larger EU profile at the event this year reflects the December 2016 Declaration of Galileo Initial Services.

EU Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska and GSA Executive Director Carlos des Dorides are among the EU officials presenting the EU’s flagship space programmes at the upcoming 33rd annual Space Symposium.

EU Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska and GSA Executive Director Carlos des Dorides are among the EU officials presenting the EU’s flagship space programmes at the upcoming 33rd annual Space Symposium.

“While Copernicus has been in operation since 2014, the 2016 Galileo declaration means that it has moved from a system in testing to one that is now operational,” explains des Dorides. “This transition puts Galileo at the centre of discussions on how to leverage and incorporate Galileo signals and services in devices serving a wide range of applications.”

Along with Mr. des Dorides, the European Union Space Programmes will be represented at this year’s Space Symposium by EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commission Deputy Director General, Pierre Delsaux, and European Commission Director for Galileo, Matthias Petschke.

The European Union will also host a stand at the Symposium exhibition for attendees to meet EU officials and learn more about the services offered by the EU Flagship Space Programmes, Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus. Space Symposium attendees are also invited to a meet and greet reception at the EU exhibit stand on Tuesday evening (4 April) from 6-8 p.m.

GSA also partners in Space Generation Fusion Forum 2017

For the first time, the GSA will partner in the Space Generation Fusion Forum, providing insights on the ‘Space to Earth’ track. 2017 marks the sixth edition of the event. Held in conjunction with the Space Symposium, the two-day Fusion Forum (2-3 April) will gather young adults from various areas of space – government, industry, and academia.

As part of GSA participation, it has awarded a Space Generation Fusion Forum scholarship. The ‘Young GSA – New Navigation Horizons Scholarship’ invited European students and young professionals to share their views in a 30-second video and 400-word essay on the possibilities that Galileo in a multi-GNSS world can bring to society, business and European integration.

 The 33rd Space Symposium provides the follow opportunities to learn more about the EU Space Programmes:

  • Sunday, 2 April: 2017 Space Generation Fusion Forum
    Carlo des Dorides, GSA Executive Director, will provide a key note speech and lead the discussion on track “Space for Earth,” which will explore ways in which space services can be leveraged for the benefit of life on Earth and how new GNSS systems like Galileo will impact industry and government operations, and possibly create entirely new services.
  • Monday, 3 April: Space Symposium – Tech Track
    During his keynote presentation, “The next big thing! Exploring the latest technology trends shaping the positioning solutions of the future,” des Dorides will share highlights from a recent GSA report on the latest GNSS technology and analyze trends that are sure to change the entire GNSS landscape.
  • Monday, 3 April: Space Generation – Fusion Forum
    European Commission (DG GROW) Deputy Director General, Pierre Delsaux will provide the closing keynote address.
  • Tuesday, 4 April: EU Space Programmes meet & greet reception
    Exhibit Center Pavilion, Stand 1116
  • Wednesday, 5 April: Space Symposium
    EU Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska will be the featured speaker.
  • Thursday, 6 April: Space Symposium - Maritime Domain Awareness
    European Commission Galileo Programme Director, Matthias Petschke will present the new Galileo Search and Rescue Service (SAR).

   

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The 33rd Space Symposium event, held 2-6 April in Colorado Springs, USA

Why you should apply for e-KnoT industry vouchers

29.3.2017 9:30  
Published: 
29 March 2017

Are you an EU-based GNSS company looking to increase your competitiveness, take your idea to the next level or bring a product to market? Then apply today for free consultancy sessions from some of Europe’s top European researchers and experts.

The Horizon 2020 funded e-Knot project aims to tighten the links between research and industry by supporting new and innovative ideas based on global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). In support of this objective, the project is continuing its industry voucher programme that offers free consultancy sessions for EU-based GNSS companies from leading European researchers and experts.

The deadline is 30 April 2017, so be sure to apply today!

A case study in success

This is a unique, one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn from leading European researchers and to gain a crucial competitive advantage. But don’t take our word for it. Just ask ThingsOnAir founder Guido Weppler.

A German company, ThingsOnAir produces a scalable GNSS navigation solution for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – a solution that benefited immensely from the voucher programme. According to Weppler, the e-Knot vouchers enabled his company to enlist the help of recognised GNSS experts from the Politecnico di Torino (Italy). These experts performed a detailed review and critical analysis of an algorithmic approach that was crucial to the company’s success.

“Their expert assessment and feedback included vital pointers and new product enhancements that would have been impossible for us to discover and assess on our own,” says Weppler. “I believe the e-Knot programme, in its work to connect SMEs with research, is a winning strategy for everyone.”

Through the voucher programme, the company was also matched with a student working on a Masters in Navigation and Related Applications. That student is now a full time employee at ThingsOnAir.

Top 5 reasons you should apply for the e-Knot industry vouchers

  1. They’re free!
  2. Innovation focused
  3. Increase your competitiveness
  4. In-depth understanding of market trends
  5. Infuse top-level research into your entrepreneurial endeavours

The details

The month-long consultancy services are tailored to the specific needs of the requesting company and can include assessing an innovative idea, reviewing a new concept or analysing roadblocks – to name just a few. Companies can also work with GNSS students by providing an internship opportunity, training a post-graduate student or co-funding a PhD student.

Vouchers are available to any company operating in an EU country. If accepted, the 4-week consultancy services will be provided from one of the four academic partners without any financial contribution required.

To apply, applicants must first submit an online Expression of Interest that includes information on their company, a description of the topic and an explanation of how they will benefit from the vouchers.

Deadline for applications is 30 April 2017. More details can be found here.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The e-Knot project’s industry voucher programme offers free consultancy sessions for EU-based GNSS companies.

Why you should apply for e-KnoT industry vouchers

29.3.2017 9:30  
Published: 
29 March 2017

Are you an EU-based GNSS company looking to increase your competitiveness, take your idea to the next level or bring a product to market? Then apply today for free consultancy sessions from some of Europe’s top European researchers and experts.

The Horizon 2020 funded e-Knot project aims to tighten the links between research and industry by supporting new and innovative ideas based on global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). In support of this objective, the project is continuing its industry voucher programme that offers free consultancy sessions for EU-based GNSS companies from leading European researchers and experts.

The deadline is 30 April 2017, so be sure to apply today!

A case study in success

This is a unique, one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn from leading European researchers and to gain a crucial competitive advantage. But don’t take our word for it. Just ask ThingsOnAir founder Guido Weppler.

A German company, ThingsOnAir produces a scalable GNSS navigation solution for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – a solution that benefited immensely from the voucher programme. According to Weppler, the e-Knot vouchers enabled his company to enlist the help of recognised GNSS experts from the Politecnico di Torino (Italy). These experts performed a detailed review and critical analysis of an algorithmic approach that was crucial to the company’s success.

“Their expert assessment and feedback included vital pointers and new product enhancements that would have been impossible for us to discover and assess on our own,” says Weppler. “I believe the e-Knot programme, in its work to connect SMEs with research, is a winning strategy for everyone.”

Through the voucher programme, the company was also matched with a student working on a Masters in Navigation and Related Applications. That student is now a full time employee at ThingsOnAir.

Top 5 reasons you should apply for the e-Knot industry vouchers

  1. They’re free!
  2. Innovation focused
  3. Increase your competitiveness
  4. In-depth understanding of market trends
  5. Infuse top-level research into your entrepreneurial endeavours

The details

The month-long consultancy services are tailored to the specific needs of the requesting company and can include assessing an innovative idea, reviewing a new concept or analysing roadblocks – to name just a few. Companies can also work with GNSS students by providing an internship opportunity, training a post-graduate student or co-funding a PhD student.

Vouchers are available to any company operating in an EU country. If accepted, the 4-week consultancy services will be provided from one of the four academic partners without any financial contribution required.

To apply, applicants must first submit an online Expression of Interest that includes information on their company, a description of the topic and an explanation of how they will benefit from the vouchers.

Deadline for applications is 30 April 2017. More details can be found here.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The e-Knot project’s industry voucher programme offers free consultancy sessions for EU-based GNSS companies.

Why you should apply for e-KnoT industry vouchers

29.3.2017 9:30  
Published: 
29 March 2017

Are you an EU-based GNSS company looking to increase your competitiveness, take your idea to the next level or bring a product to market? Then apply today for free consultancy sessions from some of Europe’s top European researchers and experts.

The Horizon 2020 funded e-Knot project aims to tighten the links between research and industry by supporting new and innovative ideas based on global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). In support of this objective, the project is continuing its industry voucher programme that offers free consultancy sessions for EU-based GNSS companies from leading European researchers and experts.

The deadline is 30 April 2017, so be sure to apply today!

A case study in success

This is a unique, one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn from leading European researchers and to gain a crucial competitive advantage. But don’t take our word for it. Just ask ThingsOnAir founder Guido Weppler.

A German company, ThingsOnAir produces a scalable GNSS navigation solution for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – a solution that benefited immensely from the voucher programme. According to Weppler, the e-Knot vouchers enabled his company to enlist the help of recognised GNSS experts from the Politecnico di Torino (Italy). These experts performed a detailed review and critical analysis of an algorithmic approach that was crucial to the company’s success.

“Their expert assessment and feedback included vital pointers and new product enhancements that would have been impossible for us to discover and assess on our own,” says Weppler. “I believe the e-Knot programme, in its work to connect SMEs with research, is a winning strategy for everyone.”

Through the voucher programme, the company was also matched with a student working on a Masters in Navigation and Related Applications. That student is now a full time employee at ThingsOnAir.

Top 5 reasons you should apply for the e-Knot industry vouchers

  1. They’re free!
  2. Innovation focused
  3. Increase your competitiveness
  4. In-depth understanding of market trends
  5. Infuse top-level research into your entrepreneurial endeavours

The details

The month-long consultancy services are tailored to the specific needs of the requesting company and can include assessing an innovative idea, reviewing a new concept or analysing roadblocks – to name just a few. Companies can also work with GNSS students by providing an internship opportunity, training a post-graduate student or co-funding a PhD student.

Vouchers are available to any company operating in an EU country. If accepted, the 4-week consultancy services will be provided from one of the four academic partners without any financial contribution required.

To apply, applicants must first submit an online Expression of Interest that includes information on their company, a description of the topic and an explanation of how they will benefit from the vouchers.

Deadline for applications is 30 April 2017. More details can be found here.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The e-Knot project’s industry voucher programme offers free consultancy sessions for EU-based GNSS companies.

Why you should apply for e-KnoT industry vouchers

29.3.2017 9:30  
Published: 
29 March 2017

Are you an EU-based GNSS company looking to increase your competitiveness, take your idea to the next level or bring a product to market? Then apply today for free consultancy sessions from some of Europe’s top European researchers and experts.

The Horizon 2020 funded e-Knot project aims to tighten the links between research and industry by supporting new and innovative ideas based on global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). In support of this objective, the project is continuing its industry voucher programme that offers free consultancy sessions for EU-based GNSS companies from leading European researchers and experts.

The deadline is 30 April 2017, so be sure to apply today!

A case study in success

This is a unique, one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn from leading European researchers and to gain a crucial competitive advantage. But don’t take our word for it. Just ask ThingsOnAir founder Guido Weppler.

A German company, ThingsOnAir produces a scalable GNSS navigation solution for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – a solution that benefited immensely from the voucher programme. According to Weppler, the e-Knot vouchers enabled his company to enlist the help of recognised GNSS experts from the Politecnico di Torino (Italy). These experts performed a detailed review and critical analysis of an algorithmic approach that was crucial to the company’s success.

“Their expert assessment and feedback included vital pointers and new product enhancements that would have been impossible for us to discover and assess on our own,” says Weppler. “I believe the e-Knot programme, in its work to connect SMEs with research, is a winning strategy for everyone.”

Through the voucher programme, the company was also matched with a student working on a Masters in Navigation and Related Applications. That student is now a full time employee at ThingsOnAir.

Top 5 reasons you should apply for the e-Knot industry vouchers

  1. They’re free!
  2. Innovation focused
  3. Increase your competitiveness
  4. In-depth understanding of market trends
  5. Infuse top-level research into your entrepreneurial endeavours

The details

The month-long consultancy services are tailored to the specific needs of the requesting company and can include assessing an innovative idea, reviewing a new concept or analysing roadblocks – to name just a few. Companies can also work with GNSS students by providing an internship opportunity, training a post-graduate student or co-funding a PhD student.

Vouchers are available to any company operating in an EU country. If accepted, the 4-week consultancy services will be provided from one of the four academic partners without any financial contribution required.

To apply, applicants must first submit an online Expression of Interest that includes information on their company, a description of the topic and an explanation of how they will benefit from the vouchers.

Deadline for applications is 30 April 2017. More details can be found here.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The e-Knot project’s industry voucher programme offers free consultancy sessions for EU-based GNSS companies.

Huawei leads the way with Galileo

27.3.2017 9:41  
Published: 
27 March 2017

Huawei’s New P10 and P10 Plus smartphones support Galileo, providing users with more precise positioning.

Huawei, the world’s third largest smartphone vendor, recently announced that its newest flagship smartphones are Galileo-enabled. This includes the company’s newly-launched P10 and P10 plus models, as well as its Mate 9, Mate 9 pro and Porsche Design Mate 9 smartphones. The Huawei phones are equipped with Broadcom Limited’s Galileo-enabled BCM4774 GNSS chipset.

“Our investment in providing people with a better location experience is another example of our commitment to delivering meaningful innovation,” says Huawei Head of Handset Portfolio and Planning, Europe, Arne Herkelmann. “With our Mate 9 and P10 families, all being Galileo-enabled, we ensure our customers have the most connected device no matter where they are.”

“We are excited to see our leading edge GNSS receiver chip, the BCM4774, which supports Galileo, being utilized in flagship smartphones from Huawei,” adds Broadcom Limited Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mobile Connectivity Products Division Michael Hurlston. “With the experience from our early work on BOC-modulated signals and its performance benefit for mass market devices, we anticipate Galileo support will soon become a de facto standard in smartphones and tablets and enrich the end-user experience of location-based services (LBS).”

As the new Huawei phones use the Android Operating System 7.0, called Nougat, application developers also have access to raw GNSS measurements directly from their Huawei phones. This feature opens up the possibility for higher accuracy and the deployment of algorithms traditionally restricted to more advanced GNSS receivers. 

Multi-constellation access in the palm of your hand

In addition to Galileo, all of these phones support GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou, making Huawei one of the very first companies to take full advantage of today’s multi-constellation environment. Galileo is fully interoperable/compatible with these other GNSS systems, a combination that provides users with such improvements as stronger performance and service levels. With Galileo satellites working in conjunction with these other systems, there are more satellites available, meaning more accurate and reliable positioning for users. In particular, navigation in cities, where satellite signals can often be blocked by tall buildings, benefit from the increased positioning accuracy this provides.

Also read: The shift towards a multi-constellation environment

“We are very proud to see global handset vendors using Galileo so soon after the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “Today, with the booming use of context-aware applications, precise location information will be an increasingly important feature of smartphones, alongside camera and screen size.”

Des Dorides notes that the quick uptake of Galileo by major smartphone providers is important as LBS is the future of GNSS. According to the most recent edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, well over 3 billion mobile applications in use today rely on positioning information. By 2020, more than 2 billion GNSS-enabled devices within the LBS sector will be shipped every year, and up to more than 2.5 billion units by 2023. By then, the overall installed base of GNSS devices will reach almost 9 billion units.

Industry collaboration pays off

It is because of the continued collaboration between the GSA and the smartphone and chipset sector that Galileo arrived onto a market ready and able to immediately start using it. In addition to Huwaei, such smartphone vendors as BQ and Sony also provide Galileo-enabled phones. More and more companies are being added every week, and an up-to-date listing of all available Galileo compatible products can be found at www.useGalileo.eu.

Read this: Use Galileo!

To further increase the level of Galileo integration, the GSA continues to work directly with device, chipset and receiver manufacturers. Through technology workshops, sharing Galileo updates, co-marketing efforts, and dedicated funding for receiver development projects and studies, the GSA is working with manufacturers to build an even better navigation experience. You can learn more about all of these opportunities here.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Huawei launched its new, Galileo-enabled P10 Plus smartphone during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Huawei leads the way with Galileo

27.3.2017 9:41  
Published: 
27 March 2017

Huawei’s New P10 and P10 Plus smartphones support Galileo, providing users with more precise positioning.

Huawei, the world’s third largest smartphone vendor, recently announced that its newest flagship smartphones are Galileo-enabled. This includes the company’s newly-launched P10 and P10 plus models, as well as its Mate 9, Mate 9 pro and Porsche Design Mate 9 smartphones. The Huawei phones are equipped with Broadcom Limited’s Galileo-enabled BCM4774 GNSS chipset.

“Our investment in providing people with a better location experience is another example of our commitment to delivering meaningful innovation,” says Huawei Head of Handset Portfolio and Planning, Europe, Arne Herkelmann. “With our Mate 9 and P10 families, all being Galileo-enabled, we ensure our customers have the most connected device no matter where they are.”

“We are excited to see our leading edge GNSS receiver chip, the BCM4774, which supports Galileo, being utilized in flagship smartphones from Huawei,” adds Broadcom Limited Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mobile Connectivity Products Division Michael Hurlston. “With the experience from our early work on BOC-modulated signals and its performance benefit for mass market devices, we anticipate Galileo support will soon become a de facto standard in smartphones and tablets and enrich the end-user experience of location-based services (LBS).”

As the new Huawei phones use the Android Operating System 7.0, called Nougat, application developers also have access to raw GNSS measurements directly from their Huawei phones. This feature opens up the possibility for higher accuracy and the deployment of algorithms traditionally restricted to more advanced GNSS receivers. 

Multi-constellation access in the palm of your hand

In addition to Galileo, all of these phones support GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou, making Huawei one of the very first companies to take full advantage of today’s multi-constellation environment. Galileo is fully interoperable/compatible with these other GNSS systems, a combination that provides users with such improvements as stronger performance and service levels. With Galileo satellites working in conjunction with these other systems, there are more satellites available, meaning more accurate and reliable positioning for users. In particular, navigation in cities, where satellite signals can often be blocked by tall buildings, benefit from the increased positioning accuracy this provides.

Also read: The shift towards a multi-constellation environment

“We are very proud to see global handset vendors using Galileo so soon after the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “Today, with the booming use of context-aware applications, precise location information will be an increasingly important feature of smartphones, alongside camera and screen size.”

Des Dorides notes that the quick uptake of Galileo by major smartphone providers is important as LBS is the future of GNSS. According to the most recent edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, well over 3 billion mobile applications in use today rely on positioning information. By 2020, more than 2 billion GNSS-enabled devices within the LBS sector will be shipped every year, and up to more than 2.5 billion units by 2023. By then, the overall installed base of GNSS devices will reach almost 9 billion units.

Industry collaboration pays off

It is because of the continued collaboration between the GSA and the smartphone and chipset sector that Galileo arrived onto a market ready and able to immediately start using it. In addition to Huwaei, such smartphone vendors as BQ and Sony also provide Galileo-enabled phones. More and more companies are being added every week, and an up-to-date listing of all available Galileo compatible products can be found at www.useGalileo.eu.

Read this: Use Galileo!

To further increase the level of Galileo integration, the GSA continues to work directly with device, chipset and receiver manufacturers. Through technology workshops, sharing Galileo updates, co-marketing efforts, and dedicated funding for receiver development projects and studies, the GSA is working with manufacturers to build an even better navigation experience. You can learn more about all of these opportunities here.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Huawei launched its new, Galileo-enabled P10 Plus smartphone during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Huawei leads the way with Galileo

27.3.2017 9:41  
Published: 
27 March 2017

Huawei’s New P10 and P10 Plus smartphones support Galileo, providing users with more precise positioning.

Huawei, the world’s third largest smartphone vendor, recently announced that its newest flagship smartphones are Galileo-enabled. This includes the company’s newly-launched P10 and P10 plus models, as well as its Mate 9, Mate 9 pro and Porsche Design Mate 9 smartphones. The Huawei phones are equipped with Broadcom Limited’s Galileo-enabled BCM4774 GNSS chipset.

“Our investment in providing people with a better location experience is another example of our commitment to delivering meaningful innovation,” says Huawei Head of Handset Portfolio and Planning, Europe, Arne Herkelmann. “With our Mate 9 and P10 families, all being Galileo-enabled, we ensure our customers have the most connected device no matter where they are.”

“We are excited to see our leading edge GNSS receiver chip, the BCM4774, which supports Galileo, being utilized in flagship smartphones from Huawei,” adds Broadcom Limited Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mobile Connectivity Products Division Michael Hurlston. “With the experience from our early work on BOC-modulated signals and its performance benefit for mass market devices, we anticipate Galileo support will soon become a de facto standard in smartphones and tablets and enrich the end-user experience of location-based services (LBS).”

As the new Huawei phones use the Android Operating System 7.0, called Nougat, application developers also have access to raw GNSS measurements directly from their Huawei phones. This feature opens up the possibility for higher accuracy and the deployment of algorithms traditionally restricted to more advanced GNSS receivers. 

Multi-constellation access in the palm of your hand

In addition to Galileo, all of these phones support GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou, making Huawei one of the very first companies to take full advantage of today’s multi-constellation environment. Galileo is fully interoperable/compatible with these other GNSS systems, a combination that provides users with such improvements as stronger performance and service levels. With Galileo satellites working in conjunction with these other systems, there are more satellites available, meaning more accurate and reliable positioning for users. In particular, navigation in cities, where satellite signals can often be blocked by tall buildings, benefit from the increased positioning accuracy this provides.

Also read: The shift towards a multi-constellation environment

“We are very proud to see global handset vendors using Galileo so soon after the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “Today, with the booming use of context-aware applications, precise location information will be an increasingly important feature of smartphones, alongside camera and screen size.”

Des Dorides notes that the quick uptake of Galileo by major smartphone providers is important as LBS is the future of GNSS. According to the most recent edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, well over 3 billion mobile applications in use today rely on positioning information. By 2020, more than 2 billion GNSS-enabled devices within the LBS sector will be shipped every year, and up to more than 2.5 billion units by 2023. By then, the overall installed base of GNSS devices will reach almost 9 billion units.

Industry collaboration pays off

It is because of the continued collaboration between the GSA and the smartphone and chipset sector that Galileo arrived onto a market ready and able to immediately start using it. In addition to Huwaei, such smartphone vendors as BQ and Sony also provide Galileo-enabled phones. More and more companies are being added every week, and an up-to-date listing of all available Galileo compatible products can be found at www.useGalileo.eu.

Read this: Use Galileo!

To further increase the level of Galileo integration, the GSA continues to work directly with device, chipset and receiver manufacturers. Through technology workshops, sharing Galileo updates, co-marketing efforts, and dedicated funding for receiver development projects and studies, the GSA is working with manufacturers to build an even better navigation experience. You can learn more about all of these opportunities here.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Huawei launched its new, Galileo-enabled P10 Plus smartphone during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Galileo search and rescue service ready for green light!

24.3.2017 9:25  
Published: 
24 March 2017

The Galileo search and rescue (SAR) service is Europe‘s contribution to the international emergency beacon locating system called COSPAS-SARSAT. This essential Galileo service has the potential to dramatically reduce the time to locate and reach people in distress on sea and land. The 2017 Munich Satellite Navigation Summit saw a dedicated session that outlined the potential impact of the full Galileo SAR service on the afternoon of 15 March.

Session chair Xavier Maufroid of the European Commission welcomed participants to the first ever discussion of Galileo SAR at a Munich Summit by screening a preview of the service’s launch video. The service itself will be officially launched on 6 April 2017 – a date chosen to highlight the COSPAS-SARSAT 406 MHz signal.

He described the Galileo SAR service as the fruit of a “long-lasting collaboration with COSPAS-SARSAT” that began with the early offer from the European Commission to host COSPAS-SARSAT signal repeaters on the satellites. The SAR antennae weighed only 8 kg and consumed just 3 % of the satellite’s power. He stated that: “The SAR service represented just 1 % of total Galileo programme costs, but should result in thousands of lives being saved.”

Steven Lett, Head of COSPAS-SARSAT Secretariat based in Montreal, described the service that had helped rescue some 42 000 people since 1982. It was not a regulatory agency, but enabled the delivery of global alerts to over 200 countries and territories, whether they were members of the organisation or not. It was the only system that can independently locate a distress beacon wherever it was on Earth.

Steven Lett, Head of COSPAS-SARSAT Secretariat, talking in Munich.

Steven Lett, Head of COSPAS-SARSAT Secretariat, talking in Munich.

The Galileo service was part of an upgrade of the COSPAS-SARSAT system, which would eventually see it hosted on three medium-earth orbit (MEO) GNSS hosts: Galileo, GLONASS and GPS. “Galileo will be the first full constellation with global SAR capability,” said Lett. “This new MEOSAR system has a larger footprint than the current low-earth orbit (LEO) system.” It also provided improved location accuracy, and the return link available on the Galileo implementation allowed a reassuring response to be sent to the person who had activated the beacon.

The Galileo SAR is operated by the French Space Agency CNES in Toulouse. Jérémie Benoist from CNES described the various components of the system and highlighted the global nature of its reach. This will be further improved when a fourth element of the Galileo SAR ground segment is established on the French island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean to better cover the southern hemisphere. The performance of the service was already impressive. “Even though only nine Galileo satellites are fully commissioned currently, the system is performing better than its specification,” he said.

Capability proven

And the system has already proven its worth. Tore Wangsfjord is Chief of Operations at Norway’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre and is responsible for search and rescue operations in a huge region, covering from 55 degrees north to the North Pole. Most of his operations are in response to 406 MHz beacon alerts as there are no other communication systems in the area. The northern ground segment for MEOSAR has been hosted in Spitsbergen since 2013.

“The results with Galileo have been good so far and will improve with more satellites,” he said.  Wangsfjord compared a recent mission in response to a distress signal from a crashed helicopter in the far north of Norway. The distress signal from the Galileo SAR system arrived at his centre 46 minutes before the current LEO system and its position was within 100 metres of the actual crash site, while the LEO system position proved to be some 1.5 kilometres from the site.

“This is just one of several real life distress situations where MEOSAR has already shown improved accuracy and timing,” he said. “Galileo SAR will undoubtedly contribute to saving lives.”

Finally Eric Pautal from French 406 beacon manufacturer ELTA looked to the future and other potential applications for the COSPAS-SARSAT system. He reiterated that the MEO implementation gave better coverage and better accuracy, which may be appropriate to address the requirements of the new commercial airline regulations. From 2021, a new Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS) to track and locate all international commercial air transport aircraft with a take-off mass of 27 tonnes or more will be required. “Flight location will be normally transmitted every 15 minutes,” he said, “with autonomous distress tracking triggered by abnormal events increasing flight location transmission to once per minute.” This could be yet another important opportunity for the use of Galileo SAR technology.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Xavier Maufroid of the European Commission moderated the SAR session in Munich

Galileo search and rescue service ready for green light!

24.3.2017 9:25  
Published: 
24 March 2017

The Galileo Search and Rescue (SAR) service is Europe‘s contribution to the international emergency beacon locating system called COSPAS-SARSAT. This essential Galileo service has the potential to dramatically reduce the time to locate and reach people in distress on sea and land. The 2017 Munich Satellite Navigation Summit saw a dedicated session that outlined the potential impact of the full Galileo SAR service on the afternoon of 15 March.

Session chair Xavier Maufroid of the European Commission welcomed participants to the first ever discussion of Galileo SAR at a Munich Summit by screening a preview of the service’s launch video. The service itself will be officially launched on 6 April 2017 – a date chosen to highlight the COSPAS-SARSAT 406 MHz signal.

He described the Galileo SAR service as the fruit of a “long-lasting collaboration with COSPAS-SARSAT” that began with the early offer from the European Commission to host COSPAS-SARSAT signal repeaters on the satellites. The SAR antennae weighed only 8 kg and consumed just 3 % of the satellite’s power. He stated that: “The SAR service represented just 1 % of total Galileo programme costs, but should result in thousands of lives being saved.”

Steven Lett, Head of COSPAS-SARSAT Secretariat based in Montreal, described the service that had helped rescue some 42 000 people since 1982. It was not a regulatory agency, but enabled the delivery of global alerts to over 200 countries and territories, whether they were members of the organisation or not. It was the only system that can independently locate a distress beacon wherever it was on Earth.

Steven Lett, Head of COSPAS-SARSAT Secretariat, talking in Munich.

Steven Lett, Head of COSPAS-SARSAT Secretariat, talking in Munich.

The Galileo service was part of an upgrade of the COSPAS-SARSAT system, which would eventually see it hosted on three medium-earth orbit (MEO) GNSS hosts: Galileo, GLONASS and GPS. “Galileo will be the first full constellation with global SAR capability,” said Lett. “This new MEOSAR system has a larger footprint than the current low-earth orbit (LEO) system.” It also provided improved location accuracy, and the return link available on the Galileo implementation allowed a reassuring response to be sent to the person who had activated the beacon.

The Galileo SAR is operated by the French Space Agency CNES in Toulouse. Jérémie Benoist from CNES described the various components of the system and highlighted the global nature of its reach. This will be further improved when a fourth element of the Galileo SAR ground segment is established on the French island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean to better cover the southern hemisphere. The performance of the service was already impressive. “Even though only nine Galileo satellites are fully commissioned currently, the system is performing better than its specification,” he said.

Capability proven

And the system has already proven its worth. Tore Wangsfjord is Chief of Operations at Norway’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre and is responsible for search and rescue operations in a huge region, covering from 55 degrees north to the North Pole. Most of his operations are in response to 406 MHz beacon alerts as there are no other communication systems in the area. The northern ground segment for MEOSAR has been hosted in Spitsbergen since 2013.

“The results with Galileo have been good so far and will improve with more satellites,” he said.  Wangsfjord compared a recent mission in response to a distress signal from a crashed helicopter in the far north of Norway. The distress signal from the Galileo SAR system arrived at his centre 46 minutes before the current LEO system and its position was within 100 metres of the actual crash site, while the LEO system position proved to be some 1.5 kilometres from the site.

“This is just one of several real life distress situations where MEOSAR has already shown improved accuracy and timing,” he said. “Galileo SAR will undoubtedly contribute to saving lives.”

Finally Eric Pautal from French 406 beacon manufacturer ELTA looked to the future and other potential applications for the COSPAS-SARSAT system. He reiterated that the MEO implementation gave better coverage and better accuracy, which may be appropriate to address the requirements of the new commercial airline regulations. From 2021, a new Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS) to track and locate all international commercial air transport aircraft with a take-off mass of 27 tonnes or more will be required. “Flight location will be normally transmitted every 15 minutes,” he said, “with autonomous distress tracking triggered by abnormal events increasing flight location transmission to once per minute.” This could be yet another important opportunity for the use of Galileo SAR technology.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Xavier Maufroid of the European Commission moderated the SAR session in Munich

Galileo search and rescue service ready for green light!

24.3.2017 9:25  
Published: 
24 March 2017

The Galileo search and rescue (SAR) service is Europe‘s contribution to the international emergency beacon locating system called COSPAS-SARSAT. This essential Galileo service has the potential to dramatically reduce the time to locate and reach people in distress on sea and land. The 2017 Munich Satellite Navigation Summit saw a dedicated session that outlined the potential impact of the full Galileo SAR service on the afternoon of 15 March.

Session chair Xavier Maufroid of the European Commission welcomed participants to the first ever discussion of Galileo SAR at a Munich Summit by screening a preview of the service’s launch video. The service itself will be officially launched on 6 April 2017 – a date chosen to highlight the COSPAS-SARSAT 406 MHz signal.

He described the Galileo SAR service as the fruit of a “long-lasting collaboration with COSPAS-SARSAT” that began with the early offer from the European Commission to host COSPAS-SARSAT signal repeaters on the satellites. The SAR antennae weighed only 8 kg and consumed just 3 % of the satellite’s power. He stated that: “The SAR service represented just 1 % of total Galileo programme costs, but should result in thousands of lives being saved.”

Steven Lett, Head of COSPAS-SARSAT Secretariat based in Montreal, described the service that had helped rescue some 42 000 people since 1982. It was not a regulatory agency, but enabled the delivery of global alerts to over 200 countries and territories, whether they were members of the organisation or not. It was the only system that can independently locate a distress beacon wherever it was on Earth.

Steven Lett, Head of COSPAS-SARSAT Secretariat, talking in Munich.

Steven Lett, Head of COSPAS-SARSAT Secretariat, talking in Munich.

The Galileo service was part of an upgrade of the COSPAS-SARSAT system, which would eventually see it hosted on three medium-earth orbit (MEO) GNSS hosts: Galileo, GLONASS and GPS. “Galileo will be the first full constellation with global SAR capability,” said Lett. “This new MEOSAR system has a larger footprint than the current low-earth orbit (LEO) system.” It also provided improved location accuracy, and the return link available on the Galileo implementation allowed a reassuring response to be sent to the person who had activated the beacon.

The Galileo SAR is operated by French company CNES in Toulouse. Jeremie Benoist from CNES described the various components of the system and highlighted the global nature of its reach. This will be further improved when a fourth element of the Galileo SAR ground segment is established on the French island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean to better cover the southern hemisphere. The performance of the service was already impressive. “Even though only nine Galileo satellites are fully commissioned currently, the system is performing better than its specification,” he said.

Capability proven

And the system has already proven its worth. Tore Wangsfjord is Chief of Operations at Norway’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre and is responsible for search and rescue operations in a huge region, covering from 55 degrees north to the North Pole. Most of his operations are in response to 406 MHz beacon alerts as there are no other communication systems in the area. The northern ground segment for MEOSAR has been hosted in Spitsbergen since 2013.

“The results with Galileo have been good so far and will improve with more satellites,” he said.  Wangsfjord compared a recent mission in response to a distress signal from a crashed helicopter in the far north of Norway. The distress signal from the Galileo SAR system arrived at his centre 46 minutes before the current LEO system and its position was within 100 metres of the actual crash site, while the LEO system position proved to be some 1.5 kilometres from the site.

“This is just one of several real life distress situations where MEOSAR has already shown improved accuracy and timing,” he said. “Galileo SAR will undoubtedly contribute to saving lives.”

Finally Eric Pautal from French 406 beacon manufacturer ELTA looked to the future and other potential applications for the COSPAS-SARSAT system. He reiterated that the MEO implementation gave better coverage and better accuracy, which may be appropriate to address the requirements of the new commercial airline regulations. From 2021, a new Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS) to track and locate all international commercial air transport aircraft with a take-off mass of 27 tonnes or more will be required. “Flight location will be normally transmitted every 15 minutes,” he said, “with autonomous distress tracking triggered by abnormal events increasing flight location transmission to once per minute.” This could be yet another important opportunity for the use of Galileo SAR technology.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Xavier Maufroid of the European Commission moderated the SAR session in Munich

If it’s March, it must be Munich

20.3.2017 14:07  
Published: 
20 March 2017

The Munich Satellite Navigation Summit is established as one of the most important dates in the global GNSS community’s calendar. This year the Summit’s 14th edition took place from 14-16 March with the theme ‘GNSS – is it time for backup?’ The opening session examined a range of topics around GNSS in today’s changing political and technical environment.

The Munich Summit’s opening event is always a grand affair that takes place in the impressive Allerheiligen-Hofkirche (Court Church of All Saints) within the Residenz München – the majestic palace of the Bavarian princes.

Following a welcome from the Summit’s hosts, the Bavarian government and the Universität der Bundeswehr München, the plenary brought together prominent speakers from the global GNSS community to give their views on the events of the past year and look to the future.

Big year for Galileo

Clearly the highlight of 2016 from a European perspective was the successful launch of six Galileo satellites and the declaration of Initial Services on 15 December 2016.

Pierre Delsaux from the European Commission said that with the launch of Initial Services “for the first time users can now navigate using Galileo signals.” With Galileo now operational, it was important to reinforce Europe’s presence on the international scene with such initiatives as the recent cooperation agreement with Japan, he said.

Johann-Dietrich Woerner, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), also highlighted the achievement of 18 Galileo satellites in orbit. “Today people say that Galileo is the ‘European GPS’, but in the future we should aim for GPS being the ‘American Galileo’,” he said. Galileo had showed its capability, including its robustness, in a challenging environment. But there was also a need to prepare for the future: initial work on the next generation of Galileo has been supported by ESA member states.

Agreeing, Hansjoerg Dittus for the German Aerospace Centre, DLR, highlighted the need to develop the next generation of EU GNSS by reinforcing research and development competence during the build-up for full Galileo operational capability in 2020, and to develop technology for future systems.

For the French government, David Comby emphasised the need for an operational view on the Galileo programme and the GSA’s key role in maximising the benefits of the systems for the EU and its citizens.

Galileo is a reality

“Market adoption of Galileo is a reality,” declared Carlo des Dorides, Executive Director of the GSA. “In 2017, 17 GNSS receiver chipset manufacturers representing 95 % of global supply are already Galileo-enabled.”

“The dual frequency capability provided by Galileo promises to improve horizontal accuracy by a factor of four – and this is confirmed by the manufacturers,” he continued. “Today Galileo is deploying in orbit more dual frequency satellites than GPS. This will pave the way forward for new applications such as autonomous driving.”

He also noted that three Galileo-enabled smartphones (from BQ, Sony and Huawei) were already on the market.

Outside Europe, Harold Martin of the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing in Washington DC gave the US perspective reiterating that “GPS customers are important to us, no matter where they are.” He also reflected on the theme of the Summit saying that if “something is precious to you, you need backup too” and added that the USA is looking at developing technology-neutral options for GNSS backup systems.

From China, Dr Xiaochun Lu said that the Beidou programme would continue to work to integrate and promote interoperability between GNSS constellations emphasising that Beidou was “developed by China but open to the world”.

Changing environment, bright future

Next, a wide-ranging discussion covered many of the issues facing GNSS. The European speakers looked to focus on the bright future for Galileo, emphasising that its performance was exceeding expectations even in this initial stage.

Carlo des Dorides described the opportunities for the Galileo Commercial Service, “This service will deliver both high precision and authentication,” he said. “Market surveys show a clear need in a range of businesses, from high-precision agriculture through authentication of logistics to timing services.” He added that the number of customers is estimated at around 1 million users by 2027.

Giving an overview of Galileo services in terms of future markets and emerging applications, des Dorides noted the results from the GSA’s GNSS Market Survey Report, the latest version of which will be published soon, and highlighted major interest in two segments: location-based services and road. “These make up around 90 % of the market,” he said.

Other important segments include civil aviation where aircraft is being with equipped with SBAS-compatible receivers and the promise of the rail sector was underlined. “GNSS will be a game changer in rail,” he said. “GNSS demonstrates a clearly improved safety case, especially on rural lines, of which there are some 60 000 kilometres in Europe.” He expected to see operational solutions by 2020 in this sector.

Concluding the discussion, des Dorides looked forward to new innovative uses of location information. “We need to look at technology trends,” he said. “The Internet of Things (IoT) and big data all require input from GNSS. For example, IoT objects need to communicate between themselves and highly precise and available location information is key to achieving this.”

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The GSA’s Executive Director Carlo des Dorides speaking during the plenary debate.

Connecting Europe and Asia through GNSS

20.3.2017 10:46  
Published: 
23 March 2017

A new series of articles will highlight the important work being done across the Asian region, providing European businesses with an inside look at GNSS market opportunities in India, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and South East Asia.

Home to over 60 % of the world’s population, Asia is the world’s fastest growing economic region – and an increasingly important global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) market. In fact, as the region transforms itself into a knowledge-based economy, several countries are preparing to launch their very own GNSS constellations. At the same time, companies from across the region are inserting themselves at every point of the GNSS value chain, including the manufacturing of chipsets.

According to the most recent edition of the European GNSS Agency’s (GSA) GNSS Market Report, Asia is also the primary region for global market growth in terms of in-use GNSS devices. The region is forecasted to grow 11 % per year, from 1.7 billion devices in 2014 to 4.1 billion in 2023 – more than the EU and North America combined.

A stepping stone to Asia

Clearly, Asia is quickly positioning itself as a GNSS hotspot. As such, the GSA is dedicated to ensuring that European businesses are in a position to benefit from it. As part of this effort, the Agency is actively engaged in several Horizon 2020-funded projects geared towards supporting European interest within the Asian GNSS market.

One of these projects, GNSS.asia, is dedicated to developing and implementing GNSS industrial cooperation between European and Asia-Pacific GNSS industries, with a focus on the downstream market. The project maintains a team of GNSS and industry experts in its target countries of India, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and South East Asia that lend individual support to European companies. For each of these countries, the project offers specific market analysis, networking and speaking opportunities at Asian events, and overall support to companies interested in doing business in or with Asia. All of its services are free of charge to European companies.

Over the past five years, GNSS.asia has assisted dozens of European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from across the entire GNSS value chain in finding suppliers, clients, distributers and research partners. “For a specialised micro-SME such as ours, the GNSS.asia initiatives have been a unique opportunity for internationalisation,” says IGUASSU Software Systems CEO Petr Bares. IGUASSU, which designs and develops GNSS test beds and simulators, worked with GNSS.asia to successfully find distributors within a key Asian market – an especially difficult feat for a western company. “For innovative companies, GNSS.asia serves as a crucial interface to the Asian economy,” adds Bares.

Country profiles

To highlight the important work being done across the Asian region, the GSA is launching a new series of articles. Each article will focus on a specific country and provide an inside look at leading segments, opportunities and future trends. In the coming months, tune in to read:

  • China and location-based services (LBS): With an explosive annual growth rate forecasted at 46 % up to 2020, the Chinese LBS market is a huge and relatively accessible market for European players. The gaming and marketing segments are the most promising for cooperating with Chinese partners, but companies like TomTom are also seeing success in its joint venture with AutoNavi for mapping applications. More so, a rapidly aging Chinese population is triggering a surge of healthcare apps that rely on GNSS data for personal health management.
  • Taiwan: Taiwan has emerged as a world-leading GNSS receiver and chipset manufacturer. Taiwan based Mediatek, for example, is the world’s second largest mobile chipset manufacturer. In 2015, it saw its market share jump from 14 % to 19 %. As a result, it now threatens the dominance of the current market leader, US-based Qualcomm. Placing a strong focus on R&D, Taiwanese chipset manufacturers will play a significant role in the future evolution of GNSS mobile chipsets.
  • Korea and vehicle telematics: Considering that Korea and the EU are amongst the largest car manufacturing regions in the world, there is immense potential for collaboration in the automotive telematics industry. The Korean commercial vehicle telematics market experienced a growth rate of 5 % over the last five years, as Hyundai and KIA increasingly turn to GNSS as an integral part of future information technology services (ITS). On top of this, the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement eliminated duties for most industrial goods, further enhancing the favourable business environment for European entities.
  • India and Smart Cities: Launched in 2015 by the Indian government, the Smart Cities Mission for Urban Development aims to transform 100 Indian cities into sustainable, safe and citizen-friendly environments. With a budget of USD 15 billion, GNSS applications will play a pivotal role in realising this vision, providing solutions for improving energy efficiency, waste management and urban mobility. There is also an opportunity for European companies to leverage their rail know-how following the 2013 authorisation of direct foreign investment in India’s railways.
  • Japan and LBS: The GPS-based augmentation system QZSS, set to become operational in 2018, will drive domestic demand in centimetre-class applications for receiver manufacturers, system integrators and application developers. An estimated 80 % of the economic effects created by QZSS are forecasted to take place in the car navigation, mobile terminals and value-added mobility application segments. Furthermore, the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics will give precise positioning and timing solutions an added boost.
  • South East Asia and natural disaster monitoring and surveying: In a region frequently hit by natural disasters, the governments of Indonesia and the Philippines have made the development of early warning systems for tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions a priority. With its nascent GNSS industry, South East Asia is a particularly promising field for foreign providers of GNSS applications. This is especially true in the surveying market, as the density of the tropical rain forest canopies that cover much of the region favour satellite-based surveying techniques.

Without a doubt, the evolving Asian GNSS landscape represents a land of opportunity – even for smaller European players. Despite all of its challenges, as you will see in the forthcoming series of articles, overcoming any entry barriers is not an insurmountable task. And while these articles cannot alleviate the need for a significant investment in resources and time on the part of an aspiring business, they can improve the odds of success by providing an insider’s perspective into the opportunity-filled Asian GNSS market. 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

A new series of articles will highlight the important work being done by the Horizon 2020 funded GNSS.asia project.

Connecting Europe and Asia through GNSS

20.3.2017 10:46  
Published: 
20 March 2017

A new series of articles will highlight the important work being done across the Asian region, providing European businesses with an inside look at GNSS market opportunities in India, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and South East Asia.

Home to over 60 % of the world’s population, Asia is the world’s fastest growing economic region – and an increasingly important global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) market. In fact, as the region transforms itself into a knowledge-based economy, several countries are preparing to launch their very own GNSS constellations. At the same time, companies from across the region are inserting themselves at every point of the GNSS value chain, including the manufacturing of chipsets.

According to the most recent edition of the European GNSS Agency’s (GSA) GNSS Market Report, Asia is also the primary region for global market growth in terms of in-use GNSS devices. The region is forecasted to grow 11 % per year, from 1.7 billion devices in 2014 to 4.1 billion in 2023 – more than the EU and North America combined.

A stepping stone to Asia

Clearly, Asia is quickly positioning itself as a GNSS hotspot. As such, the GSA is dedicated to ensuring that European businesses are in a position to benefit from it. As part of this effort, the Agency is actively engaged in several Horizon 2020-funded projects geared towards supporting European interest within the Asian GNSS market.

One of these projects, GNSS.asia, is dedicated to developing and implementing GNSS industrial cooperation between European and Asia-Pacific GNSS industries, with a focus on the downstream market. The project maintains a team of GNSS and industry experts in its target countries of India, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and South East Asia that lend individual support to European companies. For each of these countries, the project offers specific market analysis, networking and speaking opportunities at Asian events, and overall support to companies interested in doing business in or with Asia. All of its services are free of charge to European companies.

Over the past five years, GNSS.asia has assisted dozens of European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from across the entire GNSS value chain in finding suppliers, clients, distributers and research partners. “For a specialised micro-SME such as ours, the GNSS.asia initiatives have been a unique opportunity for internationalisation,” says IGUASSU Software Systems CEO Petr Bares. IGUASSU, which designs and develops GNSS test beds and simulators, worked with GNSS.asia to successfully find distributors within a key Asian market – an especially difficult feat for a western company. “For innovative companies, GNSS.asia serves as a crucial interface to the Asian economy,” adds Bares.

Country profiles

To highlight the important work being done across the Asian region, the GSA is launching a new series of articles. Each article will focus on a specific country and provide an inside look at leading segments, opportunities and future trends. In the coming months, tune in to read:

  • China and location-based services (LBS): With an explosive annual growth rate forecasted at 46 % up to 2020, the Chinese LBS market is a huge and relatively accessible market for European players. The gaming and marketing segments are the most promising for cooperating with Chinese partners, but companies like TomTom are also seeing success in its joint venture with AutoNavi for mapping applications. More so, a rapidly aging Chinese population is triggering a surge of healthcare apps that rely on GNSS data for personal health management.
  • Taiwan: Taiwan has emerged as a world-leading GNSS receiver and chipset manufacturer. Taiwan based Mediatek, for example, is the world’s second largest mobile chipset manufacturer. In 2015, it saw its market share jump from 14 % to 19 %. As a result, it now threatens the dominance of the current market leader, US-based Qualcomm. Placing a strong focus on R&D, Taiwanese chipset manufacturers will play a significant role in the future evolution of GNSS mobile chipsets.
  • Korea and vehicle telematics: Considering that Korea and the EU are amongst the largest car manufacturing regions in the world, there is immense potential for collaboration in the automotive telematics industry. The Korean commercial vehicle telematics market experienced a growth rate of 5 % over the last five years, as Hyundai and KIA increasingly turn to GNSS as an integral part of future information technology services (ITS). On top of this, the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement eliminated duties for most industrial goods, further enhancing the favourable business environment for European entities.
  • India and Smart Cities: Launched in 2015 by the Indian government, the Smart Cities Mission for Urban Development aims to transform 100 Indian cities into sustainable, safe and citizen-friendly environments. With a budget of USD 15 billion, GNSS applications will play a pivotal role in realising this vision, providing solutions for improving energy efficiency, waste management and urban mobility. There is also an opportunity for European companies to leverage their rail know-how following the 2013 authorisation of direct foreign investment in India’s railways.
  • Japan and LBS: The GPS-based augmentation system QZSS, set to become operational in 2018, will drive domestic demand in centimetre-class applications for receiver manufacturers, system integrators and application developers. An estimated 80 % of the economic effects created by QZSS are forecasted to take place in the car navigation, mobile terminals and value-added mobility application segments. Furthermore, the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics will give precise positioning and timing solutions an added boost.
  • South East Asia and natural disaster monitoring and surveying: In a region frequently hit by natural disasters, the governments of Indonesia and the Philippines have made the development of early warning systems for tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions a priority. With its nascent GNSS industry, South East Asia is a particularly promising field for foreign providers of GNSS applications. This is especially true in the surveying market, as the density of the tropical rain forest canopies that cover much of the region favour satellite-based surveying techniques.

Without a doubt, the evolving Asian GNSS landscape represents a land of opportunity – even for smaller European players. Despite all of its challenges, as you will see in the forthcoming series of articles, overcoming any entry barriers is not an insurmountable task. And while these articles cannot alleviate the need for a significant investment in resources and time on the part of an aspiring business, they can improve the odds of success by providing an insider’s perspective into the opportunity-filled Asian GNSS market. 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

A new series of articles will highlight the important work being done by the Horizon 2020 funded GNSS.asia project.

European GNSS highlighted at global tech shows

17.3.2017 10:13  
Published: 
17 March 2017

What was unique this year, however, was the increasing number of GNSS-based innovations being launched – including several Galileo-enabled smartphones and chipsets. “One trend seen at MWC was a convergence between IT, the Internet of Things (IoT), the automotive sector, and traditional positioning technology,” says GSA Head of Market Development Gian Gherardo Calini. “Whereas this show was once dominated by smartphones, it has now expanded to include autonomous vehicles, wearables, drones and even robots.” 

The same can be said of CES. “CES is the place to be not only for such traditional segments as LBS and road, but also emerging segments like drones, IoT and other cross-sectional solutions,” says GSA Market Development Officer for LBS and IoT Justyna Redelkiewicz.

Whether it be a chipset, smartphone, drone, robot or autonomous car, many of the technologies on display at MWC and CES were Galileo capable. Here’s a look at the role European GNSS plays in many of today’s most cutting-edge innovations. 

Galileo-enabled smartphones and chipsets

International technology giant Huawei took the MWC stage to unveil its new P10 and P10 plus smartphones, both of which come Galileo-ready. For users, this means they can expect their Huawei phone to provide them with more precise positioning and better performance. Meanwhile at CES, the company announced its entry into the US market with the introduction of the Galileo-enabled Mate 9 smartphone.

One of the biggest surprises at MWC came from the Sony booth, where the company announced its new Xperia ZX Premium flagship smartphone. The phone will be the first to feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip. This multi-constellation capable chip, which includes Galileo, features an advanced 10 nanometre design. Also promoted during CES, the 835 chip is 35 % smaller and uses 25 % less power than previous designs and has been engineered to deliver exceptionally long batter life, life-like virtual reality and augmented reality experiences, cutting-edge camera capabilities and Gigabit-class download speeds. 

Getting ready for a 5G world

A key topic on everyone’s minds at both shows was 5G. According to Intel, 5G is expected to be one of the most important technological developments of our time, capable of connecting billions of ‘things’ that have never been connected before. In doing so, it will bring intelligence and data to cars, homes, buildings, factories, cities and infrastructure – fundamentally transforming the way we live. In order to realise the full potential of 5G, Intel is currently delivering new technologies, such as the Galileo-capable XMN 7560 chipset.

A different kind of mobile

Although the Mobile in Mobile World Congress traditionally referred to mobile phones, laptops and tablets, this year a different kind of mobile arrived: the car. For the first time, such automotive manufacturers as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Ford and Peugeot all made an appearance on the exhibition floor.

Although a regular feature at CES, as more and more vehicles become connected, one can only expect that this won’t be the last time we see vehicles at MWC.

This developing relationship between automotive manufacturers and mobile companies was on clear display at both MWC and CES. Take for example Peugeot’s Instinct concept car, which features the Samsung Artik Cloud IoT connectivity platform capable of aggregating data from smartphones and social networks. This data is then used to create unique profiles of the vehicle’s user.

Mercedes-Benz showcased several products from its Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Service and Electric Drive (CASE) strategy. One crowd favourite at MWC was the Smart Ready to Share service, which lets car owners share their vehicle with others, and the Smart Ready to Drop service, which allows packages to be delivered right to the trunk of your car. At CES, the company highlighted its Vision Van, a study for what it terms as the “innovative delivery van of the future”. The vehicle combines electric propulsion and a fully automated cargo space with integrated delivery drones. The van is a case study for the IoT vehicle, coming with such built-in smart technologies as a new telematics unit that collects and processes data concerning the status of a delivery, the present GNSS-based location and a fully automated management system.

Meanwhile, BMW demonstrated how its Connected Service keeps their customers on time, in touch and in control via such touch points as smartphones, smartwatches and voice assistants. In its current format, the service helps users with trip planning and remote control functions. However, in the near future, this capability will be expanded to include alerting when the car is due for service and offering a choice of appointments available at the local dealer. At a CES press conference, the company announced that it plans to put a fleet of 40 autonomous BMW 7 Series test vehicles on the road by the second half of this year.

One highlight at CES was the unveiling of the Toyota Concept-I vehicle, which will be able to measure your emotional responses to the places you drive, using this information to build a relationship between the vehicle and the user. Also at CES, Honda unveiled its Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem concept, which brings together artificial intelligence, robotics and big data. The concept aims to mitigate traffic congestion and eliminate traffic fatalities while also increasing the productivity of road users and delivering new opportunities for in-vehicle entertainment.

Of course the success of all these connected cars depends on the availability of accurate and reliable GNSS. A key roadblock to their development is that the available level of guidance and positioning relies on what has been called “severe simplification of road descriptions” that are not valid for such next-generation uses as lane-level positioning. “The launch of Galileo Initial Services has allowed the industry to take an important step towards achieving the necessary level of accuracy and reliability,” explains GSA Deputy Head of Market Development Fiammetta Diani.

According to Diani, with Galileo satellites working in conjunction with GPS, there are more satellites available, meaning more accurate and reliable positioning for end users. In particular, navigation in cities, where satellite signals can often be blocked by tall buildings, benefit from the increased positioning accuracy this provides. “Galileo also offers a second frequency, E5, and a planned authenticated signal capable of detecting spoofing attacks – both essential contributions for the safe operation of autonomous cars,” she says.

Dawn of the GNSS age

Both MWC and CES saw an increase in the number of drone companies on the show floor, with 42 different UAV companies exhibiting at CES alone. Although none of the products on display were Galileo ready yet, many companies noted that they had plans for doing so in the coming months. This is because many see GNSS as an answer to mounting concerns about drone safety, especially in light of reports of crashes and of incidents where drones have encroached on security-critical spaces. Luckily, GNSS offers a solution.

“In order to operate safely, drones are becoming increasingly dependent on satellite navigation signals, including Galileo, for their precise positioning and orientation information,” says GSA Manager of the GNSS Market Report Martin Sunkevic. “It is because of this precise positioning that drones and all of the innovations seen at MWC and CES depend on that GNSS will become the essential infrastructure for the technology of tomorrow.” 

The upcoming 2017 GSA GNSS Market Report will include a special section on UAVs.


Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

European GNSS highlighted at global tech shows

17.3.2017 10:13  
The latest Galileo-enabled devices, showcased at the 2017 Mobile World Congress
Published: 
17 March 2017

Mobile World Congress (MWC) and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) are the world’s premiere consumer electronics and mobile technology trade shows. Held annually every winter in Barcelona and Las Vegas respectively, many leading companies use the shows to launch new flagship products – and 2017 was no exception.

What was unique this year, however, was the increasing number of GNSS-based innovations being launched – including several Galileo-enabled smartphones and chipsets. “One trend seen at MWC was a convergence between IT, the Internet of Things (IoT), the automotive sector, and traditional positioning technology,” says GSA Head of Market Development Gian Gherardo Calini. “Whereas this show was once dominated by smartphones, it has now expanded to include autonomous vehicles, wearables, drones and even robots.” 

The same can be said of CES. “CES is the place to be not only for such traditional segments as LBS and road, but also emerging segments like drones, IoT and other cross-sectional solutions,” says GSA Market Development Officer for LBS and IoT Justyna Redelkiewicz.

Whether it be a chipset, smartphone, drone, robot or autonomous car, many of the technologies on display at MWC and CES were Galileo capable. Here’s a look at the role European GNSS plays in many of today’s most cutting-edge innovations. 

Galileo-enabled smartphones and chipsets

International technology giant Huawei took the MWC stage to unveil its new P10 and P10 plus smartphones, both of which come Galileo-ready. For users, this means they can expect their Huawei phone to provide them with more precise positioning and better performance. Meanwhile at CES, the company announced its entry into the US market with the introduction of the Galileo-enabled Mate 9 smartphone.

One of the biggest surprises at MWC came from the Sony booth, where the company announced its new Xperia ZX Premium flagship smartphone. The phone will be the first to feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip. This multi-constellation capable chip, which includes Galileo, features an advanced 10 nanometre design. Also promoted during CES, the 835 chip is 35 % smaller and uses 25 % less power than previous designs and has been engineered to deliver exceptionally long batter life, life-like virtual reality and augmented reality experiences, cutting-edge camera capabilities and Gigabit-class download speeds. 

Getting ready for a 5G world

A key topic on everyone’s minds at both shows was 5G. According to Intel, 5G is expected to be one of the most important technological developments of our time, capable of connecting billions of ‘things’ that have never been connected before. In doing so, it will bring intelligence and data to cars, homes, buildings, factories, cities and infrastructure – fundamentally transforming the way we live. In order to realise the full potential of 5G, Intel is currently delivering new technologies, such as the Galileo-capable XMN 7560 chipset.

A different kind of mobile

Although the Mobile in Mobile World Congress traditionally referred to mobile phones, laptops and tablets, this year a different kind of mobile arrived: the car. For the first time, such automotive manufacturers as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Ford and Peugeot all made an appearance on the exhibition floor. Although a regular feature at CES, as more and more vehicles become connected, one can only expect that this won’t be the last time we see vehicles at MWC.

This developing relationship between automotive manufacturers and mobile companies was on clear display at both MWC and CES. Take for example Peugeot’s Instinct concept car, which features the Samsung Artik Cloud IoT connectivity platform capable of aggregating data from smartphones and social networks. This data is then used to create unique profiles of the vehicle’s user.

Mercedes-Benz showcased several products from its Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Service and Electric Drive (CASE) strategy. One crowd favourite at MWC was the Smart Ready to Share service, which lets car owners share their vehicle with others, and the Smart Ready to Drop service, which allows packages to be delivered right to the trunk of your car. At CES, the company highlighted its Vision Van, a study for what it terms as the “innovative delivery van of the future”. The vehicle combines electric propulsion and a fully automated cargo space with integrated delivery drones. The van is a case study for the IoT vehicle, coming with such built-in smart technologies as a new telematics unit that collects and processes data concerning the status of a delivery, the present GNSS-based location and a fully automated management system.

Meanwhile, BMW demonstrated how its Connected Service keeps their customers on time, in touch and in control via such touch points as smartphones, smartwatches and voice assistants. In its current format, the service helps users with trip planning and remote control functions. However, in the near future, this capability will be expanded to include alerting when the car is due for service and offering a choice of appointments available at the local dealer. At a CES press conference, the company announced that it plans to put a fleet of 40 autonomous BMW 7 Series test vehicles on the road by the second half of this year.

One highlight at CES was the unveiling of the Toyota Concept-I vehicle, which will be able to measure your emotional responses to the places you drive, using this information to build a relationship between the vehicle and the user. Also at CES, Honda unveiled its Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem concept, which brings together artificial intelligence, robotics and big data. The concept aims to mitigate traffic congestion and eliminate traffic fatalities while also increasing the productivity of road users and delivering new opportunities for in-vehicle entertainment.

Of course the success of all these connected cars depends on the availability of accurate and reliable GNSS. A key roadblock to their development is that the available level of guidance and positioning relies on what has been called “severe simplification of road descriptions” that are not valid for such next-generation uses as lane-level positioning. “The launch of Galileo Initial Services has allowed the industry to take an important step towards achieving the necessary level of accuracy and reliability,” explains GSA Deputy Head of Market Development Fiammetta Diani.

According to Diani, with Galileo satellites working in conjunction with GPS, there are more satellites available, meaning more accurate and reliable positioning for end users. In particular, navigation in cities, where satellite signals can often be blocked by tall buildings, benefit from the increased positioning accuracy this provides. “Galileo also offers a second frequency, E5, and a planned authenticated signal capable of detecting spoofing attacks – both essential contributions for the safe operation of autonomous cars,” she says.

Dawn of the GNSS age

Both MWC and CES saw an increase in the number of drone companies on the show floor, with 42 different UAV companies exhibiting at CES alone. Although none of the products on display were Galileo ready yet, many companies noted that they had plans for doing so in the coming months. This is because many see GNSS as an answer to mounting concerns about drone safety, especially in light of reports of crashes and of incidents where drones have encroached on security-critical spaces. Luckily, GNSS offers a solution.

“In order to operate safely, drones are becoming increasingly dependent on satellite navigation signals, including Galileo, for their precise positioning and orientation information,” says GSA Manager of the GNSS Market Report Martin Sunkevic. “It is because of this precise positioning that drones and all of the innovations seen at MWC and CES depend on that GNSS will become the essential infrastructure for the technology of tomorrow.” 

The upcoming 2017 GSA GNSS Market Report will include a special section on UAVs.

 

The latest Galileo-enabled devices, showcased at the 2017 Mobile World Congress

EGNOS for aviation in acceleration mode

15.3.2017 11:16  
Published: 
15 March 2017

The World ATM Congress is the must-attend trade event for the air traffic management sector, welcoming participants from across the world who come to showcase the latest innovations, services and products. One of those services on display in Madrid was the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).

EGNOS, which was designed for aviation, has revolutionised the way we fly – creating more access to small and regional airports, increasing safety and facilitating business across Europe. From the commercial, regional, general and business aviation sectors to OEMs, airports and the end user – everyone benefits from EGNOS. 

As to the airports – the focus of the congress – there are already over 430 EGNOS-enabled procedures available at over 300 different European airports. According to GSA Market Development Officer Carmen Aguilera, more than 500 procedures are planned. “These procedures will increase accessibility to regional airports, support decongestion of main hubs and provide suitable alternatives or backups for Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) – all while EGNOS implementation is spreading to more even countries,” she says.

                Read this: EGNOS can crack the capacity crunch!

When you consider the safety and cost benefits of EGNOS implementation, it’s no wonder that so many airports are enthusiastic about publishing EGNOS-enabled localiser performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches. “Many of these 300 airports are small and regional airports that simply cannot afford the high cost of installing and maintaining ground-based ILS,” explains Aguilera.

“For Slovakia, which was one of the first countries to adopt EGNOS LPV procedures, it was simply a matter of increased safety,” says LPS SR Head of ATM Planning and Procedures Ratislav Primus. “With EGNOS, we can provide accurate vertical guidance – making airports across Slovakia much safer.”

As an alternative to ground-based ILS navigational aids, EGNOS utilises geostationary satellites and a network of ground stations to receive, analyse and augment GPS signals. With EGNOS, these satellite signals become suitable for such safety-critical applications as aircraft landings. Thus, the EGNOS LPV 200 service level provides vertical guidance that enables reaching a decision height as low as of 200 feet. This is a capability similar to what is provided by ground-based navigational aids, but without the same financial burden of installing, maintaining and calibrating ground equipment.      

“I highly recommend implementing EGNOS Cat-I procedures leveraging LPV-200, especially for smaller airports, but also as a valuable add-on for larger airports,” says Austro Control Head of ATM-CNS Procedure Design Team Daniel Schaad. “It’s worked well for us and, increasingly, for airlines too. It is very innovative with ILS performance and we’re happy to have EGNOS procedures in our portfolio – I think it’s a good option for everybody.”

New models and retrofit too

Of course having all of these procedures isn’t very useful if nobody uses them. This is why, in addition to facilitating the launch of new EGNOS procedures, the GSA is also committed to working with manufacturers to ensure the latest aircraft and rotorcraft coming onto the market are EGNOS-ready. Thanks to these efforts, most new aircraft models have EGNOS-capability, including models from such leading manufacturers as ATR, Airbus, Bombardier, Cessna, Dassault Falcon Jets, Hawker, Beechcraft and Pilatus. According to the GSA, this list is expected to continue to increase in the near future. 

                And this: Europe’s aviation community enthusiastic about EGNOS

In addition to new aircraft models, the GSA also noted a rise in the number of available retrofit solutions. “These retrofit solutions enable in service aircraft to add EGNOS capabilities,” says Aguilera. “The GSA is working with operators and avionics manufacturers to increase the available retrofit options for the most common models.”

Moving up, moving fast

With EGNOS Version 3 set to enter service in the near future, EGNOS will also augment Galileo, thus further increasing performance and improving accuracy, resilience and safety.

“The principle behind EGNOS – of providing a space-based navigation system – means operators can equip their planes with fairly light-weight receivers and make use of satellite signals with minimal ground-based infrastructure required,” adds European Regional Airlines Association General Manager Policy and Technical Russel Dudley. “Speaking for our association and members, we are strong proponents of EGNOS as it has proved itself an incredibly useful and meaningful tool.”

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

When you consider the safety and cost benefits, it’s no wonder that so many airports are enthusiastic about EGNOS.

Galileo provides boost to smart transport systems

13.3.2017 16:13  
Published: 
15 March 2017

The Horizon 2020-funded GHOST project is bringing Galileo’s robust positioning capabilities to smart transport systems. 

All across Europe, the number of smart cities is multiplying. To tackle their growing needs and to guarantee efficient city planning and maintenance, many cities are engaged in massive investments in such key areas as street lighting, road maintenance, traffic and waste management. In parallel, public transportation is continuously evolving in terms of coverage, comfort and technology.

Within this context, the exploitation of Galileo and its integration with other sensors is key to developing concrete solutions for current and future smart city planning. Along these lines, the Horizon 2020-funded GHOST (Galileo Enhancement as Booster of the Smart Cities) project is designing, developing and validating an intelligent system for vehicles that equips existing public transport fleets with a Galileo-enabled camera and connects these vehicles to a web portal. The system automatically takes pictures of predefined points of interest (POI) based on the accurate position of the vehicle – provided by Galileo. All images are sent to a processing server capable of detecting such anomalies as potholes or a burnt-out street light. The system then uses the web portal to report these findings to the relevant authorities.

“At this point, GHOST is designed primarily for reporting street lighting anomalies and road deteriorations, monitoring public garbage collection and detecting double parking infractions or disabled parking spots occupied by unauthorised vehicles,” says Project Coordinator Claudia Maltoni. “In addition to these basic functions, we have also identified more advanced services, such as spotting bus-lane and congestion-charging-area violations, which will be implemented at a later date.”

A user-focused system

The GHOST system’s key differentiator is its use of Galileo positioning, which gives it the capability to take autonomous snapshots with an error range of 1 to 10 metres (depending on the size of the POI). In densely populated urban environments, such a level of service is only possible with the combined use of Galileo, inertial sensors and Kalman filters. The Kalman filter is an algorithm that uses a series of measurements observed over time, as opposed to a single one, in order to increase precision. 

The GHOST system’s key services:

  • reporting street lighting anomalies and road deteriorations
  • monitoring public garbage collection levels
  • detecting double parking infractions or disabled parking spaces occupied by unauthorised vehicles
  • monitoring timely collection of garbage.

Another unique feature is a free smartphone application that citizens can use to collect geo-localised snapshots. “Whenever an individual user sees an anomaly within a city’s infrastructure, all they have to do is snap a picture with their smartphone,” explains Maltoni. “This level of engagement not only enhances the overall system, but also empowers individual users to play a key role in urban upkeep.”  

Improving urban efficiency

By taking advantage of the many vehicle movements happening in cities every day, GHOST proposes a competitive way to improve the efficiency of monitoring a city’s operations and infrastructure. Once finalised, the system will enable faster detection of double parking or road deterioration and help reduce traffic, accidents and pollution.

“Thanks to our field tests and favourable lab results, we are already setting up the next phase of the project, with the aim of taking the system’s technology to the next level,” concludes Maltoni. “This includes providing real-time, onboard image processing so that the system can handle such dynamic scenarios as bus-lane infractions and congestion-charging enforcement.”

The project is currently working to bring GHOST technology to market. Coordinators are busy making key contacts with interested public administrations, garbage collection companies and traffic police departments. It is also working to ensure that the system complies with all European regulatory standards, such as those related to circulation or privacy.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The GHOST system equips existing public transport fleets with a Galileo-enabled camera and connects these vehicles to a web portal.

ESCAPE engine benefits from Galileo Initial Services

13.3.2017 15:14  
Published: 
14 March 2017

The ESCAPE project, funded under the European GNSS Agency’s (GSA) Fundamental Elements programme, is developing an innovative positioning engine that exploits the newly available capabilities of Galileo.

With the declaration of Galileo Initial Services, companies, service providers and developers can now take full advantage of the more precise positioning and better performance that Galileo provides. All one needs is a Galileo-enabled chipset and/or receiver.

In the road transportation sector, the ESCAPE project (European Safety Critical Applications Positioning Engine) is doing just that: using Galileo to provide users with better positioning and performance.

Also read: Building the E-GNSS engine for the self-driving car

The project could prove critical in the advancement of the connected vehicle and autonomous driving, both of which require accurate and reliable positioning information for safety-critical applications. Whereas traditionally this positioning information is provided via multiple sources of sensor data, doing so requires the use of expensive radar/Lidar-based sensors and cameras not specifically designed for road transport use. In order to be viable, autonomous vehicles must offer both a cost-effective and a safe solution.  

Bringing Galileo to road transport

For the ESCAPE project, this balance can be found in its innovative positioning engine that exploits the newly available capabilities of Galileo. In parallel with the launch of Galileo Initial Services, the project is developing a Galileo-enabled chipset to be integrated into its dedicated engine designed specifically for automotive safety-critical applications. “The project is developing the first multi-constellation Galileo chipset receiver offering multi-frequency capability adapted to road applications – and in particular autonomous vehicles,” says Project Coordinator Jessica García. “The chipset will be integrated in an onboard positioning unit with unique localisation features that are tailored to the needs expressed by the applications of autonomous driving.”

The ESCAPE positioning engine is built on four core innovations. First, the engine integrates different localisation data sources, including multi-constellation/multi-frequency global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), intelligent cameras, inertial units, vehicle odometer and advanced navigation maps. Second, the integrity level it provides measures the trust associated with the real-time location estimates. “This degree of trust regarding the information provided to the vehicle is crucial for its use in safety-critical applications involving high levels of automation,” explains García.

Core features of the ESCAPE engine

  • a GNSS/Galileo multi-constellation, multi-frequency chipset for road applications
  • use of the precise point positioning (PPP) service
  • hybridisation of cameras, maps, vehicle sensors and GNSS integrated into a tight coupling filter
  • provision of an integrity layer to the exploited technologies
  • capability to implement navigation message authentication.

Third, the project integrates the engine into a vehicle with autonomous driving capabilities. As a result, it fully enables the vehicle’s autonomous operations with a close-to-market engineered architecture. And last but not least, the engine will be the first solution featuring authentication provided by OS-NMA, an important Galileo differentiator. 

New milestones

Recently, the project reached an important milestone: the identification of the user-level requirements and the finalisation of a user-level safety analysis. “These user-level achievements are important because a major element that influences the design of the positioning engine is the level of automation that the user expects these vehicles to provide,” explains García.

To translate these requirements into solutions, the ESCAPE project has mapped user-level expectations into five major case studies. For each case, the project identified one or more test paths for the vehicle where algorithms and functionalities are to be tested. “This approach guarantees that the design of the engine is driven by actual user needs,” says García. “As a result, we will end up with a near-market-ready, safety-orientated GNSS-based engine set to transform road vehicle automation.”

Fundamental information

Launched in October 2016, the ESCAPE project is led by the Spanish company FICOSA in collaboration with GMV, Renault, IFSTTAR, STMicroelectronics and the Istituto Superiore Mario Boella. The project is funded under the European GNSS Agency’s (GSA) Fundamental Elements programme, a research and development (R&D) funding mechanism supporting the development of GNSS-enabled chipsets, receivers and antennas. 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The ESCAPE project could prove critical in the advancement of the connected vehicle and autonomous driving.

inLane uses Galileo for lane-level positioning

13.3.2017 9:19  
Published: 
13 March 2017

Horizon 2020-funded inLane project combines the precision of Galileo with computer vision technology to create the next generation of in-vehicle navigation systems. 

Although today’s in-vehicle navigation systems are great at getting us from Point A to Point B, they tend to lack the details. For example, all navigation systems currently on the market provide the user with reliable guidance, usually in the form of a simple line depicting the road and direction of travel. However, none provide lane-level positioning or map matching. Even when traveling on a multi-lane expressway, the navigation map only shows a single line.

The reason: these navigation devices use low-cost global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers, meaning that they cannot provide the accurate positioning needed to depict multiple lanes. In order to provide more complex applications, such as lane-level information, lane-level navigation and scenario-based prioritised alerts, more accurate and reliable positioning is required. 

To get this necessary level of accuracy, the Horizon 2020-funded inLane project is working to fuse the precision of Galileo with computer vision technology. By combining these two technologies, they plan to create the first low-cost, next-generation navigation system capable of providing lane-level and precise turn-by-turn navigation.

The inLane solution will also be able to detect new objects not currently displayed on the navigation map, such as a new traffic signal. When such an object is detected, the system sends this information to the back-end server. As the back-end server receives similar information from other vehicles, it will update the maps accordingly.

inLane, at a glance

By combining the precision of Galileo with computer vision technology, the inLane system will:

  • deliver lane-level information to an in-vehicle navigation system
  • give drivers the opportunity to select the optimal road lane, even in dense urban and extra-urban traffic
  • reduce the risks associated with last-second lane changes
  • enable a new generation of enhanced mapping information based on crowd sourcing.

“By delivering lane-level information to an in-vehicle navigation system, and combining this with the opportunity for vehicles to exchange information between themselves, drivers will be able to select the optimal lane for travel, even in dense traffic,” says the project’s Technical Coordinator Gorka Velez of VicomTech, one of the inLane consortium members. “With the inLane system, every driver will be able to choose the appropriate lane for exiting, thus reducing the risks associated with the last-second lane changes that are all too common on our busy expressways.”

In order to ensure the inLane system provides information that is useful to actual drivers, the project wants to hear from you. Via a short survey, the project wants to know how you currently use your in-vehicle navigation device. For example, do you get your guidance via the audio or visual cues, or both? It also asks what type of additional features you would find helpful, such as enhanced driver awareness, intelligent speed alerts, simple lane allocation, traffic sign notification, etc.

“The intention of this survey is to get people thinking about advanced driver assistance systems [ADAS] and how these will impact their driving experience,” says Velez. “By better understanding their expectations and concerns, we will be better positioned to design an end-user-focused ADAS.”

The survey, which can be found here, only takes a few minutes. As an added incentive, all participants can have their name entered in a draw for a chance to win a new TomTom G0520 navigation system! The deadline to participate is 30 March 2017.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The inLane project fuses the precision of Galileo with computer vision technology to provide lane-level and precise turn-by-turn navigation.

New funding opportunity: Galileo Open Service authentication user terminal

10.3.2017 10:34  
Published: 
10 March 2017

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has launched a new funding opportunity to support the development, supply and testing of a Galileo Open Service authentication user terminal.

The Galileo Open Service (OS) will soon provide a Navigation Message Authentication feature, known as the Open Service Navigation Message Authentication (OS-NMA). Via this feature, users can verify that a navigation message comes from a Galileo satellite and not a potentially malicious source. The Open Service is the Galileo programme’s free service for positioning, navigation and timing.

OS-NMA Signal-in-Space transmission is expected to begin in 2018, reaching full service capability in 2020. However, before full service can be achieved, a new generation of OS-NMA-enabled user terminals must be developed, tested and implemented. To fulfil this need, under its Fundamental Elements funding scheme, the GSA is seeking proposals for the Development, supply and testing of a Galileo open service authentication user terminal (OS-NMA) for the GSA (GSA/OP/23/16). 

How to participate 

Proposals shall aim to develop a robust, close-to-market OS-NMA User Terminal (OS-NMA UT). The OS-NMA UT shall:

  • feature OS-NMA capability
  • offer the highest possible level of robustness by implementing further anti-spoofing capability
  • meet smart tachograph application requirements.

Within the scope of the procurement, an end-to-end validation platform is to be developed to assess the performance of the OS-NMA UT.

The OS-NMA UT will undergo extensive testing to confirm its robustness under real conditions and against a full set of potential spoofing threats.

All proposals must be received no later than 19 May 2017 at 17:00 CET

In support of this opportunity, the GSA is organising several informational sessions, including:

  • Receiver Manufacturers’ Workshop in Prague (21 March 2017)
  • Fundamental Elements webinar covering three calls for proposals and an invitation to tender (29 March 2017).

Registration for both is available here.

The allocated budget for the project is EUR 2.5 million. The contract is expected to be signed in October 2017.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Proposals should aim to develop a robust, close-to-market OS-NMA user terminal (OS-NMA UT).

European GNSS contributes to the evolution of ERTMS

9.3.2017 14:27  
Published: 
09 March 2017

Last month, for the first time, a European rail test journey was completed using a signalling system based on positioning provided by European GNSS that aims to be included as the positioning system for ERTMS.

On 24 February 2017, for the first time, a European rail test journey was completed using the positioning technology provided by Galileo. An initiative of the Horizon 2020-funded ERSAT EAV project (ERTMS on Satellite – Enabling Application Validation), the test journey took representatives of the rail industry, railway service provision and relevant European agencies between Cagliari and Decimomannu in Sardinia, Italy – thus demonstrating the capability of GNSS to monitor and safely manage rail traffic on conventional secondary, local and regional rail lines with the aim to become an integral part of European Rail Traffic Management System – (ERTMS).

“What we saw here today is how GNSS can provide the rail segment with a new level of efficiency,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “With GNSS, the rail sector can increase its capacity and safety while reducing costs for infrastructure and maintenance, along with its environmental impact.”

Also read: E-GNSS enabled railway signalling – from vision to action

Although the European rail community understands the potential of GNSS, its adoption has been limited due to a lack of clear definition and definitive testing. Specifically, before GNSS is fully adopted, the sector needs to have confidence that train localisation based on GNSS technology will satisfy European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC) safety and integrity standards, which is one of the objectives towards which ERSAT EAV is progressing.

A new chapter in European rail

The ERSAT EAV project aims to verify the suitability of such European GNSS services as EGNOS and Galileo for the rail sector, particularly within regional lines. To accomplish this, the project is defining and developing the safe localisation of train positioning based on satellite technology and ensuring such a system is in harmony with the European ERTM standard.

The ERSAT EAV advantage

  • increase traffic capacity available to railway undertakings
  • reduce CO2 emissions
  • guarantee high safety standards and punctuality
  • lower operating costs with new technological equipment that requires less investments in installation and maintenance

A key component to this effort is the adoption of the virtual balise. In today’s European Train Control System (ETCS), the positioning of a train is based on a balise – a physical element mounted at specific intervals along the railway track. One objective of the ERSAT EAV project is to ensure that, wherever possible, these physical balises are replaced by virtual ones. Virtual balises expand on the cost and efficiency benefits stemming from their integration of GNSS technology into the ERTMS. Furthermore, their use does not pose any operational or safety implications on the ETCS.

Watch this: Galileo satellites already in service of the on-board train positioning system

The ERSAT EAV project is a fundamental part of the strategy to prioritise the uptake of European GNSS within the rail sector and foster innovation within the European space and rail industry. This most recent test-journey was critical in demonstrating the enormous opportunity that GNSS offers to the ERTMS, especially as it applies to local and regional lines, which currently represent nearly 50 % of Europe’s total railway length.

Read this: GSA talks GNSS and rail at ERSAT EAV workshop

“For Italy, GNSS is an exceptional solution for providing sustainable rail transport across the country,” says Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) Head of Standard Tecnologies Fabio Senesi. “The integration of new technologies, including GNSS, enables us to increase capacity, reduce cost and, most importantly, respond to the needs and expectations of our users.”

“ERSAT EAV is an example of the real innovation that the rail sector needs – an innovation with a global scope that greatly contributes to the creation of a single European rail area,” adds European Union Agency for Railways (EUAR) Executive Director Josef Doppelbauer.

The successful ERSAT EAV test-journey marks the start of a new chapter for railway traffic control. By integrating European GNSS with additional sensors and public communication networks, the system is able to locate trains via satellite and monitor rail traffic, as well as maintain ground-to-train dialogue using devices on board the train and the radio block centres positioned along the rail line in a way that promises minimum impact on the currently used technical specifications for interoperability. “Galileo and EGNOS are here to serve Europe, providing a global solution for standardisation and interoperability for ERTMS,” says des Dorides. “A solution like ERSAT EAV plays an essential role in giving Europe’s rail industry a competitive position on the global market.”

Ensuring European competitiveness

Being able to extend the benefits of GNSS for rail to the entire European rail system is critical for maintaining a sustainable and competitive railway system. Because of the efficiencies it offers, there is a growing, global interest in GNSS use for rail applications. “We firmly believe that rail transport has the potential to become one of the largest downstream markets for European GNSS in terms of volume, public utility and contribution to safety,” says des Dorides. “In fact, according to the most recent edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, the number of worldwide GNSS installed units in the rail segment will double by 2020, reaching 534 000 units.”

Also read: European GNSS means safer, more efficient rail travel

To support European competiveness within this important market segment, the GSA continues to facilitate cooperation between industry, service providers and policy makers. One industrial partner, Ansaldo STS, has helped define the requirements aimed at supporting the integration of satellites and public radio communication networks. “The railway signalling market requires more and more innovative, reliable and competitive solutions in terms of costs, timing and energy saving, as well as safety and environmental impact,” says Ansaldo STS CEO Andy Barr. “We are glad to participate in testing this innovative technology.”

The GSA also supports the development of the rail market through various funding opportunities. For example, as seen in the success of the ERSAT EAV project, the Horizon 2020 (H2020) framework programme for research and innovation is taking a leading role in the standardisation and interoperability process.

In addition to ERSAT EAV, through H2020, the GSA is providing financial support to other projects working towards the integration of GNSS into the European rail sector. For example, the STARS project (Satellite Technology for Advanced Railway Signalling) is developing a universal approach for predicting the performance of GNSS in rail-related safety-critical applications and defining the necessary evolution of ERTMS to include these GNSS services.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The ERSAT EAV test journey took representatives of the rail industry, railway service provision and relevant European agencies between Cagliari and Decimomannu in Sardinia, Italy.

European GNSS contributes to the evolution of ERTMS

9.3.2017 14:27  
Published: 
09 March 2017

Last month, for the first time, a European rail test journey was completed using a signalling system based on positioning provided by European GNSS that aims to be included as the positioning system for ERTMS.

On 24 February 2017, for the first time, a European rail test journey was completed using the positioning technology provided by Galileo. An initiative of the Horizon 2020-funded ERSAT EAV project (ERTMS on Satellite – Enabling Application Validation), the test journey took representatives of the rail industry, railway service provision and relevant European agencies between Cagliari and Decimomannu in Sardinia, Italy – thus demonstrating the capability of GNSS to monitor and safely manage rail traffic on conventional secondary, local and regional rail lines with the aim to become an integral part of European Rail Traffic Management System – (ERTMS).

“What we saw here today is how GNSS can provide the rail segment with a new level of efficiency,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “With GNSS, the rail sector can increase its capacity and safety while reducing costs for infrastructure and maintenance, along with its environmental impact.”

Also read: E-GNSS enabled railway signalling – from vision to action

Although the European rail community understands the potential of GNSS, its adoption has been limited due to a lack of clear definition and definitive testing. Specifically, before GNSS is fully adopted, the sector needs to have confidence that train localisation based on GNSS technology will satisfy European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC) safety and integrity standards, which is one of the objectives towards which ERSAT EAV is progressing.

A new chapter in European rail

The ERSAT EAV project aims to verify the suitability of such European GNSS services as EGNOS and Galileo for the rail sector, particularly within regional lines. To accomplish this, the project is defining and developing the safe localisation of train positioning based on satellite technology and ensuring such a system is in harmony with the European ERTM standard.

The ERSAT EAV advantage

  • increase traffic capacity available to railway undertakings
  • reduce CO2 emissions
  • guarantee high safety standards and punctuality
  • lower operating costs with new technological equipment that requires less investments in installation and maintenance

A key component to this effort is the adoption of the virtual balise. In today’s European Train Control System (ETCS), the positioning of a train is based on a balise – a physical element mounted at specific intervals along the railway track. One objective of the ERSAT EAV project is to ensure that, wherever possible, these physical balises are replaced by virtual ones. Virtual balises expand on the cost and efficiency benefits stemming from their integration of GNSS technology into the ERTMS. Furthermore, their use does not pose any operational or safety implications on the ETCS.

Watch this: Galileo satellites already in service of the on-board train positioning system

The ERSAT EAV project is a fundamental part of the strategy to prioritise the uptake of European GNSS within the rail sector and foster innovation within the European space and rail industry. This most recent test-journey was critical in demonstrating the enormous opportunity that GNSS offers to the ERTMS, especially as it applies to local and regional lines, which currently represent nearly 50 % of Europe’s total railway length.

Read this: GSA talks GNSS and rail at ERSAT EAV workshop

“For Italy, GNSS is an exceptional solution for providing sustainable rail transport across the country,” says Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) Head of Standard Tecnologies Fabio Senesi. “The integration of new technologies, including GNSS, enables us to increase capacity, reduce cost and, most importantly, respond to the needs and expectations of our users.”

“ERSAT EAV is an example of the real innovation that the rail sector needs – an innovation with a global scope that greatly contributes to the creation of a single European rail area,” adds European Union Agency for Railways (EUAR) Executive Director Josef Doppelbauer.

The successful ERSAT EAV test-journey marks the start of a new chapter for railway traffic control. By integrating European GNSS with additional sensors and public communication networks, the system is able to locate trains via satellite and monitor rail traffic, as well as maintain ground-to-train dialogue using devices on board the train and the radio block centres positioned along the rail line in a way that promises minimum impact on the currently used technical specifications for interoperability. “Galileo and EGNOS are here to serve Europe, providing a global solution for standardisation and interoperability for ERTMS,” says des Dorides. “A solution like ERSAT EAV plays an essential role in giving Europe’s rail industry a competitive position on the global market.”

Ensuring European competitiveness

Being able to extend the benefits of GNSS for rail to the entire European rail system is critical for maintaining a sustainable and competitive railway system. Because of the efficiencies it offers, there is a growing, global interest in GNSS use for rail applications. “We firmly believe that rail transport has the potential to become one of the largest downstream markets for European GNSS in terms of volume, public utility and contribution to safety,” says des Dorides. “In fact, according to the most recent edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, the number of worldwide GNSS installed units in the rail segment will double by 2020, reaching 534 000 units.”

Also read: European GNSS means safer, more efficient rail travel

To support European competiveness within this important market segment, the GSA continues to facilitate cooperation between industry, service providers and policy makers. One industrial partner, Ansaldo STS, has helped define the requirements aimed at supporting the integration of satellites and public radio communication networks. “The railway signalling market requires more and more innovative, reliable and competitive solutions in terms of costs, timing and energy saving, as well as safety and environmental impact,” says Ansaldo STS CEO Andy Barr. “We are glad to participate in testing this innovative technology.”

The GSA also supports the development of the rail market through various funding opportunities. For example, as seen in the success of the ERSAT EAV project, the Horizon 2020 (H2020) framework programme for research and innovation is taking a leading role in the standardisation and interoperability process.

In addition to ERSAT EAV, through H2020, the GSA is providing financial support to other projects working towards the integration of GNSS into the European rail sector. For example, the STARS project (Satellite Technology for Advanced Railway Signalling) is developing a universal approach for predicting the performance of GNSS in rail-related safety-critical applications and defining the necessary evolution of ERTMS to include these GNSS services.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The ERSAT EAV test journey took representatives of the rail industry, railway service provision and relevant European agencies between Cagliari and Decimomannu in Sardinia, Italy.

KYNEO project moves closer to commercialisation

8.3.2017 14:26  
Published: 
08 March 2017

The KYNEO project is a case study on the impact that the European GNSS Agency’s (GSA) various funding mechanisms have on the development of the European GNSS market.

Ever wonder what kind of impact the GSA’s various funding mechanisms have on the development of the European GNSS market? The essential role this funding plays is seen first-hand in the rapid advancement of the KYNEO project. Winner of the 2015 European Satellite Navigation Competition’s (ESNC) GSA Special Prize, the project involves the development of cheap, flexible Galileo and EGNOS-enabled modules that allow ubiquitous positioning data for applications in the Internet of Things (IoT). 

According to project coordinator Rafael Olmedo, the project’s concept is an open innovation platform for what he refers to as the ‘GNSS of Things’. “The idea came from what I perceived as a need to be able to fast-prototype applications and devices in the rapidly developing IoT field,” he says. “What I saw was that many different products and services were looking for similar solutions for positioning that can be flexibly adapted in different contexts – something particularly true for developers.”

His solution is KYNEO, an Arduino-compatible board that allows developers to rapidly and flexibly build their own solutions based on open-source software. Arduino is an open-source electronic prototyping platform for the creation of interactive electronic objects. “There is a huge development community for digital electronic products out there, and KYNEO has been developed to serve as a great positioning tool for this community,” says Olmedo.

A multi-constellation solution

As the 2015 winner, the project received an initial payment of EUR 20 000, with an option for additional funding. “Thanks to the GSA Special Prize, we have successfully developed a new version of the KYNEO unit,” says Olmedo. The new version includes several improvements to the GNSS firmware and electronic components, including more effective power consumption. In addition to the updated unit, the project also updated its website, which now makes new software tools and examples available for developers.

One of the project’s main achievements is the addition of multi-constellation capability to the KYNEO unit. “Not only have we implemented differential corrections into the unit, making it possible to get EGNOS corrections through the radio module – very useful when there is no EGNOS coverage – but now, with the launch of Galileo Initial Services, the unit can also receive Galileo signals,” adds Olmedo. 

New market opportunities

In addition to its focus on preparing the supporting tools for developers – the project’s main customer base – Olmedo says the project has identified other potential customers, including technical universities and research and development (R&D) institutes who view KYNEO as an attractive unit for research. The team is also working on creating smaller enclosed devices for use by engineers and others who lack a developer’s GNSS programming background. For example, the project is currently developing a customised solution for a professional football coach, who will use KYNEO to measure the kinematics and positioning of players during training.

Moving towards commercialisation

However, before any of these markets can be fully exploited, the unit needs to comply with all relevant regulations. As the certification process is a complex and lengthy one, the project has contracted with a Spanish consultancy, for which it plans to allocate some of the additional funding from the GSA Special Prize towards.

“In this next phase, we turn our focus on getting the unit certified and implementing the business development support required for commercialisation at the national and international levels,” says Olmedo. “Thanks to the additional funding coming from the GSA Special Prize, I am confident that we will achieve all of our objectives.”  

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

KYNEO version 2 includes several improvements to the GNSS firmware and electronic components, including more effective power consumption.

Galileo Hackathon registration now open

7.3.2017 14:34  
Published: 
07 March 2017

Join the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and show off your coding skills at the second Galileo Hackathon 15 – 17 May in Gdańsk, Poland.

Mobile applications relying on a user’s position have become part of our everyday lives. In fact, more than 50 % of the applications available for download utilise location information. Smartphones, tablets, tracking devices, digital cameras – to name only a few – all depend on positioning information provided by GNSS. As a result, GNSS has become an essential service – one that many of us take for granted.

Up until now, users have depended on such GNSS systems as America’s GPS or Russia’s GLONASS. But with the launch of Galileo Initial Services, Europe has its very own GNSS programme. Now, users stand to benefit from the improved positioning and timing information that Galileo provides. However, to take advantage of everything that Galileo has to offer, users need to have innovative, Galileo-enabled applications and services – which is where you come in.

Watch this: 1st Galileo Hackathon in Berlin

The GSA is looking for passionate coders with an enthusiasm for shaping the future of Location Based Services (LBS) and Geo-IoT and a desire to transform ideas into reality. If this sounds like you, then register today for our two-day Galileo Hackathon! 

Come for the Hackathon

Not only is the Galileo Hackathon a great opportunity to connect with the Geo-IoT app development community and a chance to compete for great prizes, it is also where you can be among the first to work with Galileo-enabled mobile phones. Whether for augmented reality and games, geo marketing and advertising, mapping and GIS, fitness and mobile health, smart mobility, tracking or social networking, as long as your application makes full use of Galileo’s capabilities to provide an added commercial or societal value – then the Galileo Hackathon is or you.

You can join a team of up to four people, or sign up as an individual and form a team when you get there. Participants will compete for a EUR 500 cash prize in one of two categories:

  • Galileo Innovation: for the most innovative app using Galileo as a source of location information
  • Galileo Impact: for the Galileo app with the biggest social impact

All participants will be provided with a mobile phone, curtesy of our technology partner Samsung Electronics, for use during the Hackathon. So all you need to bring is a laptop and your best Galileo-based idea.

More information and registration can be found here.      

Register now!

Stay for infoShare 2017

The second Galileo Hackathon is being held in conjunction with infoShare 2017, scheduled for 17 – 19 May in Gdańsk, Poland. In addition to the Hackathon, participants can join in on an array of discussions and learning opportunities taking place during the conference. infoShare is also an excellent place to meet the people behind the hardware and software that enables satellite navigation and the Galileo applications created in the preceding days.

Read this: European GNSS can start you up

Of particular interest to Hackathon participants is a 17 May session hosted by the GSA. Entitled Look inside your smartphone and learn why accuracy matters, the panel discussion will take an in-depth look at how precise location accuracy will be used in such future applications as the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous cars, drones and personal robots. 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Passionate coder with an enthusiasm for shaping the future of LBS and Geo-IoT? If this sounds like you, then register today for our two-day Galileo Hackathon!

Galileo Hackathon registration now open

7.3.2017 14:34  
Published: 
07 March 2017

Join the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and show off your coding skills at the second Galileo Hackathon 15 – 17 May in Gdańsk, Poland.

Mobile applications relying on a user’s position have become part of our everyday lives. In fact, more than 50 % of the applications available for download utilise location information. Smartphones, tablets, tracking devices, digital cameras – to name only a few – all depend on positioning information provided by GNSS. As a result, GNSS has become an essential service – one that many of us take for granted.

Up until now, users have depended on such GNSS systems as America’s GPS or Russia’s GLONASS. But with the launch of Galileo Initial Services, Europe has its very own GNSS programme. Now, users stand to benefit from the improved positioning and timing information that Galileo provides. However, to take advantage of everything that Galileo has to offer, users need to have innovative, Galileo-enabled applications and services – which is where you come in.

Watch this: 1st Galileo Hackathon in Berlin

The GSA is looking for passionate coders with an enthusiasm for shaping the future of Location Based Services (LBS) and Geo-IoT and a desire to transform ideas into reality. If this sounds like you, then register today for our two-day Galileo Hackathon! 

Come for the Hackathon

Not only is the Galileo Hackathon a great opportunity to connect with the Geo-IoT app development community and a chance to compete for great prizes, it is also where you can be among the first to work with Galileo-enabled mobile phones. Whether for augmented reality and games, geo marketing and advertising, mapping and GIS, fitness and mobile health, smart mobility, tracking or social networking, as long as your application makes full use of Galileo’s capabilities to provide an added commercial or societal value – then the Galileo Hackathon is or you.

You can join a team of up to four people, or sign up as an individual and form a team when you get there. Participants will compete for a EUR 1000 cash prize in each of the two categories:

  • Galileo Innovation: for the most innovative app using Galileo as a source of location information
  • Galileo Impact: for the Galileo app with the biggest social impact

All participants will be provided with a mobile phone, curtesy of our technology partner Samsung Electronics, for use during the Hackathon. So all you need to bring is a laptop and your best Galileo-based idea.

More information and registration can be found here.      

Register now!

Stay for infoShare 2017

The second Galileo Hackathon is being held in conjunction with infoShare 2017, scheduled for 17 – 19 May in Gdańsk, Poland. In addition to the Hackathon, participants can join in on an array of discussions and learning opportunities taking place during the conference. infoShare is also an excellent place to meet the people behind the hardware and software that enables satellite navigation and the Galileo applications created in the preceding days.

Read this: European GNSS can start you up

Of particular interest to Hackathon participants is a 17 May session hosted by the GSA. Entitled Look inside your smartphone and learn why accuracy matters, the panel discussion will take an in-depth look at how precise location accuracy will be used in such future applications as the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous cars, drones and personal robots. 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Passionate coder with an enthusiasm for shaping the future of LBS and Geo-IoT? If this sounds like you, then register today for our two-day Galileo Hackathon!

Galileo Hackathon registration now open

7.3.2017 14:34  
Published: 
07 March 2017

Join the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and show off your coding skills at the second Galileo Hackathon 15 – 17 May in Gdańsk, Poland.

Mobile applications relying on a user’s position have become part of our everyday lives. In fact, more than 50 % of the applications available for download utilise location information. Smartphones, tablets, tracking devices, digital cameras – to name only a few – all depend on positioning information provided by GNSS. As a result, GNSS has become an essential service – one that many of us take for granted.

Up until now, users have depended on such GNSS systems as America’s GPS or Russia’s GLONASS. But with the launch of Galileo Initial Services, Europe has its very own GNSS programme. Now, users stand to benefit from the improved positioning and timing information that Galileo provides. However, to take advantage of everything that Galileo has to offer, users need to have innovative, Galileo-enabled applications and services – which is where you come in.

Watch this: 1st Galileo Hackathon in Berlin

The GSA is looking for passionate coders with an enthusiasm for shaping the future of Location Based Services (LBS) and Geo-IoT and a desire to transform ideas into reality. If this sounds like you, then register today for our two-day Galileo Hackathon! 

Come for the Hackathon

Not only is the Galileo Hackathon a great opportunity to connect with the Geo-IoT app development community and a chance to compete for great prizes, it is also where you can be among the first to work with Galileo-enabled mobile phones. Whether for augmented reality and games, geo marketing and advertising, mapping and GIS, fitness and mobile health, smart mobility, tracking or social networking, as long as your application makes full use of Galileo’s capabilities to provide an added commercial or societal value – then the Galileo Hackathon is or you.

You can join a team of up to four people, or sign up as an individual and form a team when you get there. Participants will compete for a EUR 1000 cash prize in each of the two categories:

  • Galileo Innovation: for the most innovative app using Galileo as a source of location information
  • Galileo Impact: for the Galileo app with the biggest social impact

All participants will be provided with a mobile phone, courtesy of our technology partner Samsung Electronics, for use during the Hackathon. So all you need to bring is a laptop and your best Galileo-based idea.

More information and registration can be found here.      

Register now!

Stay for infoShare 2017

The second Galileo Hackathon is being held in conjunction with infoShare 2017, scheduled for 17 – 19 May in Gdańsk, Poland. In addition to the Hackathon, participants can join in on an array of discussions and learning opportunities taking place during the conference. infoShare is also an excellent place to meet the people behind the hardware and software that enables satellite navigation and the Galileo applications created in the preceding days.

Read this: European GNSS can start you up

Of particular interest to Hackathon participants is a 17 May session hosted by the GSA. Entitled Look inside your smartphone and learn why accuracy matters, the panel discussion will take an in-depth look at how precise location accuracy will be used in such future applications as the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous cars, drones and personal robots. 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Passionate coder with an enthusiasm for shaping the future of LBS and Geo-IoT? If this sounds like you, then register today for our two-day Galileo Hackathon!

Galileo Hackathon registration now open

7.3.2017 14:34  
Passionate coder with an enthusiasm for shaping the future of LBS and Geo-IoT? If this sounds like you, then register today for our two-day Galileo Hackathon!
Published: 
07 March 2017

Join the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and show off your coding skills at the second Galileo Hackathon 15 – 17 May in Gdańsk, Poland.

Mobile applications relying on a user’s position have become part of our everyday lives. In fact, more than 50 % of the applications available for download utilise location information. Smartphones, tablets, tracking devices, digital cameras – to name only a few – all depend on positioning information provided by GNSS. As a result, GNSS has become an essential service – one that many of us take for granted.

Up until now, users have depended on such GNSS systems as America’s GPS or Russia’s GLONASS. But with the launch of Galileo Initial Services, Europe has its very own GNSS programme. Now, users stand to benefit from the improved positioning and timing information that Galileo provides. However, to take advantage of everything that Galileo has to offer, users need to have innovative, Galileo-enabled applications and services – which is where you come in.

Watch this: 1st Galileo Hackathon in Berlin

The GSA is looking for passionate coders with an enthusiasm for shaping the future of Location Based Services (LBS) and Geo-IoT and a desire to transform ideas into reality. If this sounds like you, then register today for our two-day Galileo Hackathon! 

Come for the Hackathon

Not only is the Galileo Hackathon a great opportunity to connect with the Geo-IoT app development community and a chance to compete for great prizes, it is also where you can be among the first to work with Galileo-enabled mobile phones. Whether for augmented reality and games, geo marketing and advertising, mapping and GIS, fitness and mobile health, smart mobility, tracking or social networking, as long as your application makes full use of Galileo’s capabilities to provide an added commercial or societal value – then the Galileo Hackathon is or you.

You can join a team of up to four people, or sign up as an individual and form a team when you get there. Participants will compete for a EUR 500 cash prize in one of two categories:

  • Galileo Innovation: for the most innovative app using Galileo as a source of location information
  • Galileo Impact: for the Galileo app with the biggest social impact

All participants will be provided with a mobile phone, curtesy of our technology partner Samsung Electronics, for use during the Hackathon. So all you need to bring is a laptop and your best Galileo-based idea.

More information and registration can be found here.      

Register now!

Stay for infoShare 2017

The second Galileo Hackathon is being held in conjunction with infoShare 2017, scheduled for 17 – 19 May in Gdańsk, Poland. In addition to the Hackathon, participants can join in on an array of discussions and learning opportunities taking place during the conference. infoShare is also an excellent place to meet the people behind the hardware and software that enables satellite navigation and the Galileo applications created in the preceding days.

Read this: European GNSS can start you up

Of particular interest to Hackathon participants is a 17 May session hosted by the GSA. Entitled Look inside your smartphone and learn why accuracy matters, the panel discussion will take an in-depth look at how precise location accuracy will be used in such future applications as the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous cars, drones and personal robots. 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Passionate coder with an enthusiasm for shaping the future of LBS and Geo-IoT? If this sounds like you, then register today for our two-day Galileo Hackathon!

GEO 3 contract marks major milestone in EGNOS development

6.3.2017 8:46  
Published: 
06 March 2017

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has signed a contract with Eutelsat Communications for the development, integration and operation of the next-generation EGNOS payload.

The 18-year, EUR 102 million contract with Eutelsat Communications covers the preparation and service provision phases of the EGNOS Geostationary (GEO) space-based augmentation system (SBAS) payload service (GEO-3). As the first step towards implementing EGNOS version 3 (V3), the contract ensures the continuous availability of the EGNOS Signal in Space (SIS) and smooth transition from EGNOS V2 to EGNOS V3.

“The award of the GEO-3 contract to Eutelsat marks an important milestone for the development of EGNOS V3,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “This major technological evolution will bring better accuracy and improved resilience to EGNOS performance.”
EGNOS operational messages are currently broadcast via navigation payloads on-board two GEO satellites, including an Inmarsat-3F2 satellite that is fast approaching end-of-life. The GEO-3 services will replenish the EGNOS SBAS payloads, guaranteeing EGNOS SIS availability and supporting the transition to the dual-frequency multi-constellation-capable EGNOS V3.

 

The procurement process was a cooperative effort by the GSA and the European Space Agency (ESA), with the ESA responsible for the technical requirements of the service preparation phase and the GSA for the service provision phase. The ESA will continue to provide the GSA with technical support during the development of GEO-3. 

Service provider responsibilities

As the GEO-3 service provider, Eutelsat will be responsible for:

  • developing an EGNOS SBAS payload
  • integrating the payload on-board a GEO satellite
  • organising the GEO satellite’s launch and positioning
  • ensuring the EGNOS message is relayed to the end-user.

The satellite’s commercial Ku-band and EGNOS payload will be manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space, while Orbital ATK will build the platform. The payload will be hosted on the Eutelsat 5 West B satellite, scheduled to launch in late 2018. Services will begin in 2019 and last 15 years.

Eutelsat will also develop two redundant radio frequency (RF) ground stations to uplink the EGNOS message to the payload. It will also host EGNOS’ Navigation Land Earth Stations (NLES) in Rambouillet (France) and Cagliari (Italy), both of which will be co-located and connected to the RF ground stations.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

To learn more about how EGNOS works, be sure to watch our video.

GEO 3 contract marks major milestone in EGNOS development

6.3.2017 8:46  
Published: 
06 March 2017

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has signed a contract with Eutelsat Communications for the development, integration and operation of the next-generation EGNOS payload.

The 18-year, EUR 102 million contract with Eutelsat Communications covers the preparation and service provision phases of the EGNOS Geostationary (GEO) space-based augmentation system (SBAS) payload service (GEO-3). As the first step towards implementing EGNOS version 3 (V3), the contract ensures the continuous availability of the EGNOS Signal in Space (SIS) and smooth transition from EGNOS V2 to EGNOS V3.

“The award of the GEO-3 contract to Eutelsat marks an important milestone for the development of EGNOS V3,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “This major technological evolution will bring better accuracy and improved resilience to EGNOS performance.”
EGNOS operational messages are currently broadcast via navigation payloads on-board two GEO satellites, including an Inmarsat-3F2 satellite that is fast approaching end-of-life. The GEO-3 services will replenish the EGNOS SBAS payloads, guaranteeing EGNOS SIS availability and supporting the transition to the dual-frequency multi-constellation-capable EGNOS V3.

 

The procurement process was a cooperative effort by the GSA and the European Space Agency (ESA), with the ESA responsible for the technical requirements of the service preparation phase and the GSA for the service provision phase. The ESA will continue to provide the GSA with technical support during the development of GEO-3. 

Service provider responsibilities

As the GEO-3 service provider, Eutelsat will be responsible for:

  • developing an EGNOS SBAS payload
  • integrating the payload on-board a GEO satellite
  • organising the GEO satellite’s launch and positioning
  • ensuring the EGNOS message is relayed to the end-user.

The satellite’s commercial Ku-band and EGNOS payload will be manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space, while Orbital ATK will build the platform. The payload will be hosted on the Eutelsat 5 West B satellite, scheduled to launch in late 2018. Services will begin in 2019 and last 15 years.

Eutelsat will also develop two redundant radio frequency (RF) ground stations to uplink the EGNOS message to the payload. It will also host EGNOS’ Navigation Land Earth Stations (NLES) in Rambouillet (France) and Cagliari (Italy), both of which will be co-located and connected to the RF ground stations.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

How EGNOS works

Galileo connects the connected car

2.3.2017 9:25  
Published: 
02 March 2017

According to a new report by Mobile World Live, over 73 % of respondents within the connected car navigation sector are already well aware of Galileo.

Following one of the most comprehensive market surveys of the connected car industry, Mobile World Live has published its new report Connected cars – from here to autonomy. Split into sections covering everything from market overview to connectivity, navigation, autonomous driving, security and in-car services, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) contributed to the chapter on navigation.

“The report reveals a strong appetite for the benefits connected cars will bring, tempered by realistic caution regarding the security, standardisation and business model challenges that remain to be overcome on the journey to fully autonomous driving,” says Mobile World Live Managing Editor Justin Springham. “Our exclusive analysis finds tremendous growth for the entire ecosystem, with the greatest monetisation potential for carmakers, mobile network operators and service providers.” Mobile World Live is a leading online communications hub for the global mobile industry.

A familiar face

According to the report, among the early and most compelling connected car services and application enablers is navigation. Having been in use for many years, satellite navigation enabled by a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) is already very familiar to consumers, carmakers and fleet operators.

Although most vehicle telematics already provide communication services with basic positioning requirements, many GNSS chipset manufacturers are getting ready to acquire new satellites and frequencies, leading to a significant improvement in positioning performances. Apart from the well-known US GPS, emerging constellations, such as Europe´s Galileo, will improve the accuracy and robustness of navigation solutions, which are necessary for enhanced driver-assistance applications.

Galileo rising

In order to establish the extent of awareness about available satellite system options, the survey asked respondents about which satellite systems they have heard about. As expected, the most widely known is GPS, with 94.3 % of respondents noting that they had heard of it. Perhaps surprisingly, the second most well-known is Galileo, which just launched its Initial Services in December 2016. Despite being ‘new’, 73.8 % of respondents have already heard of it, in comparison to 47.2 % for GLONASS and 26.6 % for Beidou.

“As the GSA continues to work to maximise adoption across user market segments, including road transportation, we fully expect that by the time the system reaches full operational capability in 2020, Galileo will be positioned as the second GNSS constellation of choice in multi-GNSS receivers,” says GSA Chief Executive Carlo des Dorides. “This survey clearly shows that, within the realm of connected car navigation, we are already there.”

This chapter also covers such topics as general awareness of GNSS road transportation applications, what type of organisation should be charged with running vehicle-to-infrastructure road operations, and expectations as to the horizontal positioning of autonomous vehicles. You can read the Mobile World Live report in its entirety here.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Mobile World Live’s Connected cars – from here to autonomy report shows a strong appetite for the benefits connected cars will bring, tempered by realistic caution regarding the security, standardisation and business model challenges that remain.

Galileo connects the connected car

2.3.2017 9:25  
Published: 
02 March 2017

According to a new report by Mobile World Live, over 73 % of respondents within the connected car navigation sector are already well aware of Galileo.

Following one of the most comprehensive market surveys of the connected car industry, Mobile World Live has published its new report Connected cars – from here to autonomy. Split into sections covering everything from market overview to connectivity, navigation, autonomous driving, security and in-car services, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) contributed to the chapter on navigation.

“The report reveals a strong appetite for the benefits connected cars will bring, tempered by realistic caution regarding the security, standardisation and business model challenges that remain to be overcome on the journey to fully autonomous driving,” says Mobile World Live Managing Editor Justin Springham. “Our exclusive analysis finds tremendous growth for the entire ecosystem, with the greatest monetisation potential for carmakers, mobile network operators and service providers.” Mobile World Live is a leading online communications hub for the global mobile industry.

A familiar face

According to the report, among the early and most compelling connected car services and application enablers is navigation. Having been in use for many years, satellite navigation enabled by a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) is already very familiar to consumers, carmakers and fleet operators.

Although most vehicle telematics already provide communication services with basic positioning requirements, many GNSS chipset manufacturers are getting ready to acquire new satellites and frequencies, leading to a significant improvement in positioning performances. Apart from the well-known US GPS, emerging constellations, such as Europe´s Galileo, will improve the accuracy and robustness of navigation solutions, which are necessary for enhanced driver-assistance applications.

Galileo rising

In order to establish the extent of awareness about available satellite system options, the survey asked respondents about which satellite systems they have heard about. As expected, the most widely known is GPS, with 94.3 % of respondents noting that they had heard of it. Perhaps surprisingly, the second most well-known is Galileo, which just launched its Initial Services in December 2016. Despite being ‘new’, 73.8 % of respondents have already heard of it, in comparison to 47.2 % for GLONASS and 26.6 % for Beidou.

“As the GSA continues to work to maximise adoption across user market segments, including road transportation, we fully expect that by the time the system reaches full operational capability in 2020, Galileo will be positioned as the second GNSS constellation of choice in multi-GNSS receivers,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “This survey clearly shows that, within the realm of connected car navigation, we are already there.”

This chapter also covers such topics as general awareness of GNSS road transportation applications, what type of organisation should be charged with running vehicle-to-infrastructure road operations, and expectations as to the horizontal positioning of autonomous vehicles. You can read the Mobile World Live report in its entirety here.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Mobile World Live’s Connected cars – from here to autonomy report shows a strong appetite for the benefits connected cars will bring, tempered by realistic caution regarding the security, standardisation and business model challenges that remain.

GSA launches Galileo and EGNOS test campaign for eCall devices

1.3.2017 9:23  
Published: 
01 March 2017

The pre-test, which is free of charge, aims to support eCall device manufactures in their preparation for type approval.

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has officially launched the Galileo and EGNOS test campaign for eCall devices, which allows eCall device manufacturers to pre-test Galileo and EGNOS compatibility prior to type approval. The GSA, along with the European Commission, invite all eCall device manufacturers, such as tier-1 suppliers, to participate and assess their devices’ capability to support the reception and processing of the Galileo and EGNOS signals.

See also: A full list of technical services by EU country

The testing initiative follows the 17 January 2017 publishing of European Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/79. According to the regulation, all new M1 (passenger cars) and N1 (light duty vehicles) types must be equipped with eCall in-vehicle systems as of 31 March 2018.

The campaign, being conducted in cooperation with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), aims to pre-test eCall in-vehicle models and evaluate their compatibility with the positioning services provided by Galileo and EGNOS in accordance with the test procedures established by the Regulation. Among others, the tests will assess:

  • positioning accuracy under different conditions
  • time-to-first-fix
  • GNSS receiver sensitivity
  • re-acquisition performance following signal outages

All tests will be held at the JRC’s state-of-the-art Galileo and EGNOS facilities in Ispra, Italy.

Sign up today!

Manufacturers are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity, which is completely free-of-charge and on a voluntary basis, to support their preparation for type approval. All results will be kept confidential and covered by individual non-disclosure agreements. For more information, contact the GSA Market Development Department (market@gsa.europa.eu) no later than 14 April 2017.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

According to European Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/79, all new passenger cars and light duty vehicles must be equipped with eCall in-vehicle systems by 31 March 2018.

European GNSS at the heart of Europe’s industrial agenda

28.2.2017 9:37  
Published: 
28 February 2017

In conjunction with EU Industry Day, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is highlighting the many ways that Europe’s space programmes – Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus – contribute to Europe achieving its economic goals.

Organised by DG Growth (Internal Market, Industry, SMEs and Entrepreneurship), the event brings together key industrial players, global trendsetters and high-level policy-makers to discuss and shape the future of Europe’s industrial agenda.

At the heart of this agenda is satellite navigation, and in particular global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). According to the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, the global GNSS market remains dynamic. As to its impact in Europe, consider that the number of GNSS devices sold in the EU will more than double within the next 10 years, increasing to 427 million devices by 2023. This is a development that will be mirrored in generated revenue, which is forecasted to increase from EUR 11 billion in 2013 to almost EUR 20 billion by 2023.

For the GNSS downstream industry, European companies accounted for 25.8 % of the global GNSS market in 2012. In components manufacturing, European companies remain strong in road, rail and aviation, and are global leaders for system integration in rail. They also have a strong position in products and application use in the maritime sector, along with the development of value-added applications where innovation is driven by SMEs and start-ups.

A growth-focused space policy

To support Europe’s competitiveness in this important market segment, the European Union’s space policy prioritises jobs and industrial growth, investments in the future and meeting key challenges – all of which are tightly interlinked with the development of GNSS through Galileo and EGNOS. “The importance of European space policy is well-known, not only for exploration and scientific benefits, but also for how it impacts the market and the European economy, and how new innovations spill over into other sectors to create jobs and opportunities for European citizens and companies,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides.

With this understanding in mind, the policy takes an expansive view of the market, acknowledging that GNSS can:

  • improve the range, quality and competitiveness of products and services on the internal market
  • strengthen Europe’s industrial base
  • promote industrial innovation and generate new sources of growth
  • encourage the growth of SMEs and promote an entrepreneurial culture across the EU
  • support the internationalisation of EU businesses

A focus on innovation

That being said, des Dorides notes that if Europe wants to keep its place as a global leader in space, it must strive to make itself more competitive today. “We cannot rest on our past successes,” he says. “We must see innovation as the way forward.” This requires a fundamental shift in how European space policy is viewed. Instead of focusing on space technology and infrastructure, the focus needs to shift to building a competitive downstream market and using space policy to develop innovative applications and services that utilise Europe’s robust space infrastructure. “This is the key to strengthening the European space industry – and our ability to compete globally,” adds des Dorides.

Along this line, the GSA is actively involved in funding new programmes for research and innovation, including the current Horizon 2020 framework programme. Programmes such as these, which aim to ensure that space remains accessible to Europe and safe to operate in the long run, have already produced results. Take for example the GMCA project, which provides a basis for allowing Galileo to be relied upon to the same extent as GPS, especially by the aviation community. The project proposes that the existing GNSS Performance Monitoring System (GPMS) is enhanced to include European GNSS (EGNSS).

“GNSS is a utility that is fast becoming the key enabler for the aviation community, as it improves access and capacity while also reducing fuel consumption and the sector’s overall environmental impact,” says GMCA Project Coordinator Charles Thornberry. “It is thus critical that its performance and availability is both understood and monitored – and the GMCA project enhances the aviation community’s ability to do so.”

Another example is found in the ELAASTIC project, which developed an EU-based global service to provide and/or enable location for location-based services (LBS) and M2M applications. The service combines mature Assisted-GNSS and WiFi-based location techniques with new features that offer enhanced performance via the use of E-GNSS signal-specific features.

“The GNSS applications and services market continues to be one of the most exciting markets in terms of European growth and job creation, with such promising emerging markets as location-based services, M2M, Internet of Things, road, rail and multimodal logistics,” says ELAASTIC Project Coordinator Yves Capelle. “By leveraging multi-constellation capability and such key European GNSS differentiators as authentication, high-precision and robustness, European industry can create new added-value GNSS-based applications, services, businesses and jobs.” 

Staying competitive 

Although there is much to celebrate about Horizon 2020 and similar funding programmes, there is also room to improve. “One ongoing challenge I see is that these projects tend to take between three and four years to reach the market, while innovation happening around the world, namely in the United States, moves much faster,” says des Dorides. “What this means is that European-supported projects risk already being obsolete by the time they reach market.”

To mitigate this risk, des Dorides suggests tightening the timeline and, for example, creating centres of excellence. These centres, built on local competences in different EU Member States, could provide such benefits as multiplying the effect of EU research and development (R&D) funds, deepening the involvement of Member States, and leveraging the local excellence of SMEs and universities. Furthermore, EU investments could be rationalised, with the overall effect of having the efficiency of public spending improved and limiting the risk of national duplications.

Another solution, which already exists as a pilot programme within Horizon 2020, is adopting a Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) approach. The pilot programme supports innovative projects from the demonstration stage to market uptake, including such stages as piloting, test beds, systems validation in real-world conditions, validation of business models, pre-normative research and standard setting. It targets relatively mature new technologies, concepts, processes and business models that need support on the last developmental step before reaching the market and achieving wider deployment.

A third solution that des Dorides raises is the need for venture capital. “There are more and more mature innovative space solutions on the market that very often need further investment to reach a level of modernisation,” he says. “Here, venture capital can be an efficient funding instrument, as it tends to invest at later, and thus less risky, stages of development.”

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

To support Europe’s competitiveness in the global GNSS market, the European Union’s space policy prioritises jobs and industrial growth, investments in the future and meeting key challenges.

The shift towards a multi-constellation environment

27.2.2017 8:51  
Published: 
27 February 2017

With the launch of Galileo Initial Services and the availability of numerous Galileo-enabled chipsets and receivers, users are benefiting from the stronger GNSS performance that a multi-constellation environment provides.

As the GSA’s GNSS Market Report shows, the global GNSS (global navigation satellite systems) market remains dynamic. GNSS is used around the globe, with 3.6 billion GNSS devices in use in 2014. By 2019, this is forecasted to increase to over 7 billion – an average of one device per person on the planet. Smartphones continue to dominate, being the most popular platform to access location-based services, followed by devices used for road applications. Other devices may be less numerous, but billions of passengers, professionals, consumers and citizens worldwide benefit from their application in efficient and safe transport networks, in productive and sustainable agriculture, and in surveying and critical infrastructures.

“Although these numbers and forecasts are exciting, the real development – and the most important as it allows all of these devices to work better – is the shift towards a true multi-constellation environment made possible by last year’s Declaration of Galileo Initial Services,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides.

With Galileo Initial Services, users around the world are now being guided using the positioning, navigation and timing information provided by Galileo’s global satellite constellation. Regardless of location, all one needs is a mass-market device containing a Galileo-enabled chipset, such as a smartphone or a vehicle navigation device. According to a May 2016 GSA study, nearly 60 % of all available receivers, chipsets and modules support a minimum of two constellations. Of these, nearly 40 % are Galileo-compatible – a figure that is increasing every day.

Today, numerous companies produce Galileo-ready chips, including such key chipset manufacturers as u-blox, Broadcom, Mediatek, Intel and Qualcomm. There are also a number of Galileo-ready smartphones and in-vehicle navigation systems on the market. “All of this clearly shows that a multi-constellation capability that includes Galileo is becoming a standard feature across all market segments,” says des Dorides.

A full list of available Galileo-compatible products can be found at www.useGalileo.eu.

GPS-compatible

This multi-constellation environment is possible because Galileo was built to be fully interoperable/compatible with other GNSS systems, including GPS. The EU and the USA have been close partners in the area of satellite navigation since 2004, when both signed a historic agreement establishing cooperation between GPS and Europe’s then-planned Galileo system. The cooperation aimed to ensure that GPS and Galileo would be interoperable at the user level for the benefit of civil users around the world and that, together, they would facilitate the growth of the GNSS market – commitments that are bearing fruit today.

The combination of Galileo and GPS provides users with considerable improvements, including stronger performance and service levels. “As Galileo joins GPS and other global and regional GNSS systems, the multi-constellation concept is becoming a reality,” says des Dorides. “With 11 Galileo satellites working together with GPS, there are now more satellites in the sky, meaning more accurate positioning for the end-user.” Des Dorides notes that those using navigation devices in cities, where tall buildings often block satellite signals, will particularly notice the increase in positioning accuracy provided by the multi-constellation environment.

The importance of international cooperation

As multi-GNSS applications continue to be developed, international cooperation becomes increasingly vital. In support of this, the GSA plays an essential role in facilitating this international cooperation. For example, the GSA:

  • encourages international industrial cooperation;
  • funds numerous R&D initiatives, including those happening outside the EU;
  • provides monitoring and analysis of the international GNSS market (for this, see the GSA’s GNSS Market Report and the GNSS User Technology Report);
  • supports global scientific, academic and research activities;
  • develops technical solutions and international standards;
  • helps raise awareness of European GNSS by participating in events, conferences and workshops across the globe;
  • is an active participant in the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG), under the umbrella of the United Nations.

More information on the GSA’s international cooperation can be found here.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides says multi-constellation capability that includes Galileo is becoming a standard feature in chipsets and receivers across all market segments.

SEASOLAS EGNOS Maritime Safety Service – preparing the EGNOS evolution

23.2.2017 9:45  
Published: 
23 February 2017

To prepare the next EGNOS Maritime Safety Service, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) in collaboration with the European Commission seek general feedback from users and, specifically, insight on the experiences of the maritime community.

For several years, the maritime community has been using EGNOS without standardised EGNOS receivers or a dedicated EGNOS maritime safety service. Instead, maritime users have used the EGNOS Open Service. Although the Open Service provides timing and positioning services, it lacks specific receiver certification and, consequently, does not come with specific guarantees for use in safety-critical maritime applications.

That being said, EGNOS has the potential to provide positioning performance better tailored to the unique needs of the maritime community. This potential will be reached once the new version of EGNOS (EGNOS V3) is operational and able to augment Galileo, thereby providing higher accuracy and higher availability than what EGNOS can currently deliver.

In preparation for this, at the beginning of 2017, the European Commission launched the SEASOLAS project to study what such an EGNOS Maritime Safety Service should provide, based on new shipborne receivers that utilise EGNOS Dual Frequency GPS/Galileo capability. The SEASOLAS service can be tailored to a new integrity information concept at the user level based on the requirements of the maritime community. The project is consulting with maritime users to determine what new concepts of operation require safe and guaranteed navigation performance at the user level (with a special focus on port operations and navigation in inland waterways). This will determine which EGNOS information is required to enable these operations to utilise SBAS.

SEASOLAS is fully financed by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation and within the allocated budget for the evolution of the EGNOS mission. The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG-GROW) has appointed GMV, supported by Valdani Vicari & Associati, Kongsberg Seatex, European Satellite Services Provider, and General Lighthouse Authority for the UK and Ireland, to perform the study. The GSA is providing technical supervision on behalf of the European Commission.

The SEASOLAS project will last 18 months. The results of the study, available by mid-2018, will directly feed discussions on the evolution of the EGNOS mission.

The main interrelated steps of the study are:

  • Analysis of the Maritime Domain: This task aims to answer a set of crucial questions, including:

    • What is the maritime operational context in which the EGNOS maritime safety service will be provided?
    • What are the key drivers for the introduction of the EGNOS maritime safety services?
    • What are the environmental conditions under which the EGNOS receiver installed on-board a vessel will operate?
    • What is the concept of integrity that users need for the most-demanding types of maritime operations?
  • GNSS Technical Analysis: This task evaluates which combination of technologies is best suited to complement SBAS within a multi-system shipborne radio-navigation receiver in order to meet users’ maritime safety needs.
  • GNSS Requirements Definition: The requirements for EGNOS will be derived by apportioning user requirements between EGNOS and the other radio navigation technologies as defined in the previous step.
  • Definition of the Service Roadmap: The cost benefit analyses that will influence the decision-making process of each stakeholder (i.e. device manufacturers, service providers, maritime authorities and users) will be assessed, and a roadmap for system and service validation and for standardisation of the EGNOS safety maritime service will be developed.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The SEASOLAS project is developing an EGNOS Maritime Safety based on new shipborne receivers that utilise EGNOS Dual Frequency GPS/Galileo capability.

EGNOS Evolution, you are invited to answer EDAS-N Service Analysis

20.2.2017 8:50  
Published: 
20 February 2017

To determine the requirements for the next generation of EDAS, the European Commission is launching a study EDAS-N to build on the EDAS users’s experience.

At the beginning of 2017, the European Commission has started a study called EDAS-N to determine user requirements for the next generation of the EGNOS Data Access Service (EDAS) and to identify and define value-added services and products for the future EDAS. The study is fully financed by the European Commission under the H2020 programme, within the budget allocated to the evolution of EGNOS’ mission. The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG-GROW) has appointed VVA, supported by DEIMOS, to perform the above-mentioned study. The European GNSS Agency (GSA) is in charge of the technical supervision of the project on behalf of the European Commission.

The study comprises three interconnected steps:

  • User Domain Analysis: Key industry experts and experienced stakeholders from across the GNSS downstream segments will be interviewed to define key services and products that have the potential to provide benefits for EDAS-N users. This two-step interview process dovetails with a comprehensive market analysis, during which VVA will assess the initially identified services in the light of other services on the market that could potentially provide similar benefits to users. Finally, the results of the preceding tasks will be combined to create a forecast of the estimate uptake of the new EDAS services.
  • EDAS Service Scheme: Performed by DEIMOS, this task will lead to the identification of the main characteristics and differentiating factors of the suggested new services as well as the associated EDAS architecture upgrades. Requirements and constraints will be validated with the support of the experts identified in the first step to ensure that the final definition of the evolved service schemes matches user needs and expectations.
  • Cost Benefit Analysis: VVA will incorporate the results of the preceding steps to conduct a multi-level Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA): at User level, at EDAS Service Provider level and at overall level. The outcome of the CBA will highlight the key factors that influence the user uptake of the evolved EDAS service and will support an informed decision about the implementation of the new EDAS services and products.

The EDAS-N Service Analysis will have a duration of nine months. The results of the study, available by the end of 2017, will directly feed into discussions at the level of the European Commission on the evolution of the EGNOS mission.

Key industry experts and experienced stakeholders from across the GNSS downstream segments are invited to provide their views and ideas about the evolution of EDAS to EDAS@vva.it. Further information can be found here.

More about EGNOS and EDAS in particular

EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) currently provides augmentation to the Global Positioning System (GPS) using the L1 (1,575.42 MHz) Coarse/ Acquisition (C/A) civilian signal function by broadcasting correction data and integrity information for positioning and navigation applications over Europe.

EGNOS provides three services:

  • Safety of Life (SoL) Service, which is intended for transport applications in different domains where lives could be endangered if the performance of the navigation system is degraded below specific accuracy limits without giving notice to the user within the specified time to alert.
  • Open Service (OS), which provides timing and positioning services to any user equipped with an appropriate GPS/SBAS compatible receiver with no specific receiver certification required.
  • EGNOS Data Access Service (EDAS), which provides EGNOS products through the internet or via a dedicated Point-To-Point (PTP) line.

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

EGNOS can crack the capacity crunch!

16.2.2017 11:20  
Published: 
16 February 2017

Tackling the looming airspace and airport capacity crunch is one of the main challenges facing the growth of European aviation. But global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), such as the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) and Galileo, can provide the key to increased capacity. This was the focus of the European Business Aviation Association’s (EBAA) annual debate at the European Parliament on 9 February, where the European GNSS Agency (GSA) participated.

The event, entitled ‘Tackling the capacity crunch: satellite-based technologies to the rescue’, was hosted at the European Parliament  by Marian-Jean Marinescu, MEP – a leading member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism. He emphasized the importance of EGNOS in opening up capacity and looked forward to the full deployment of GNSS applications, with special focus on the use of EGNOS for navigation and surveillance (ADS-B). Fabio Gamba, the CEO of EBAA, called for “an overall CNS Strategy (Navigation, Com, Surveillance), which includes a revision of the Single European Sky technical mandates”. In this regard, “EBAA is willing to pursue its cooperation with the GSA established under an MoU signed in 2014,” added Gamba. He highlighted the need for Europe to optimize its current capacity as no major new airports would be built in the near future. He stated that Galileo and EGNOS have the “potential to be a game changer” and that “EGNOS can put hundreds of regional and tertiary airports on the map”. This would free up capacity at major hub airports.

Increased accessibility

Spanish MEP Ines Ayala-Sender supported the message stating “Satellite technology could liberate capacity in major hubs while increasing accessibility to regional airports,” and argued that there is a need for a “united approach and overall navigation strategy”.
Paul Flament, Head of Unit for the Galileo/EGNOS programme at the European Commission’s DG GROW reminded the audience that “EGNOS was specifically conceived for the aviation sector” and had been operational since 2011. There are now more than 400 approach procedures in some 20 countries and the performance is excellent. The remaining small areas without coverage in northern Finland and Romania should be completed by 2018 with full localiser performance with vertical guidance (LPV) 200 performance available across the whole of the EU by 2023.

He confirmed that EGNOS technology was also attracting attention outside the EU.  Agreements with the Agency for Air Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) were likely to be signed soon to extend EGNOS over Africa. EGNOS technology had also been purchased by South Korea.

Cost savings

The GSA’s Head of Market Development Gian-Gherardo Calini acknowledged that business aviation is a key market segment for EGNOS. He highlighted the benefits of EGNOS to increase accessibility and safety, and highlighted its potential to reduce congestion in the system. “EGNOS can reduce diversions and cancellations, delivering real cost savings,” he claimed. EGNOS also enables advanced approaches, such as curved segments, resulting in environmental benefits.

Mr Calini was pleased with progress in the EU, pointing out that 25% of business aviation flights are already equipped for LPV, only six years after EGNOS certification. The figure is very close to that in the US, with 32% equipped flights for air taxi operations after 14 years of WAAS operations. He anticipated a further 200 LPV procedures already planned to be operational in the next two years.

The final speaker was Pascal Lhoest, Director of Flight Operations at NetJets Europe. He argued that poor ground installations at airports was a barrier to safe business aviation operations. EGNOS offers the opportunity for business aviation to reach into regional airports and improve access in complex air traffic management environments. The key was getting “the right access to the right airports” and EGNOS is fundamental to achieving this.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The GSA’s Gian-Gherardo Calini speaking at the EBAA debate.

GNSS Market Report hits 40k downloads… and counting

14.2.2017 9:34  
Published: 
14 February 2017

In the fast evolving world of satellite navigation technology and GNSS applications, monitoring the landscape and having the latest information is essential. The GSA’s 2015 GNSS Market Report, which provides an in-depth look at market opportunities and technology trends across eight market segments, is the go-to resource for GNSS market intelligence, being cited by policy and strategy documents across the globe.

Since its launch on 25 March 2015, the fourth issue of the European GNSS Agency’s (GSA) GNSS Market Report has been downloaded over 40 000 times – proving its position as the go-to resource for global navigation satellite system (GNSS) market intelligence. Covering location-based services (LBS), road transportation, aviation, maritime, rail, agriculture, mapping and surveying, and timing and synchronisation, the report serves a wide variety of industries, private businesses, institutions and public stakeholders around the world. 

Unique to this edition of the Market Report is an analysis of more than 300 receiver and chipset models available on the global market in 2015 – an important topic further explored in the 2016 GNSS User Technology Report. Published as a sister publication to the GNSS Market Report, the GNSS User Technology Report zeros in on the latest state-of-the-art GNSS receiver technology, along with providing expert analysis on the evolutionary trends that are set to redefine the global GNSS landscape. Topics include:

  • mass-market solutions
  • transport safety and liability-critical solutions
  • high-precision, timing and asset management solutions.

“The GSA’s GNSS Market Report has been continuously improving over the years and, combined with the new GNSS User Technology Report, we can definitely say that it is a valuable source of information for our work,” says Telespazio France Head of SatNav Downstream Department Axelle Pomies. “Overall, it gives a good overview of existing and emerging GNSS applications and services in each domain, reflects the main market trends and accurately identifies the various value chains.”

“We are happy to see the worldwide recognition of these two GNSS market monitoring initiatives,” says GSA Head of Market Development Gian Gherardo Calini. “Judging by the number of downloads and the positive feedback we receive, it is clear that the global GNSS community sees these publications as invaluable resources for policy-making and business development.”

With the launch of Galileo Initial Services at the end of 2016, readers will particularly value the publications’ insight on the market shift towards a true multi-constellation environment. As Galileo joins GPS and other global and regional GNSS systems, the multi-constellation concept is becoming a reality. With 11 Galileo satellites working together with GPS, there are more satellites in the sky, meaning more accurate positioning for the end-user and more opportunities for chipset, receiver and device manufacturers – especially those focusing on navigation devices for urban use where satellite signals can be blocked by tall buildings.

Reserve your copy today!

It’s an exciting time for European GNSS. For the first time ever, users around the world are being guided using the positioning, navigation and timing information provided by Galileo’s global satellite constellation. But as the GSA’s GNSS Market Report and the GNSS User Technology Report make clear, Galileo’s real potential isn’t found in the satellites, but in the services and benefits those satellites create for European citizens and businesses.

With Galileo, Europe is set to enjoy substantial economic growth. To ensure European businesses are equipped with the latest information and insights they need to compete, the GSA is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of Issue 5 of the GNSS Market Report. In addition to the segment-specific research of past editions, the new edition will include some exciting new sections, including:

  • expanded information on macro trends
  • user perspectives that show how GNSS solutions respond to user needs
  • insight on the added value that European GNSS brings to each market segment.

Scheduled for release in mid-2017, you can already reserve your free copy today.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The global GNSS community sees the Market Report as invaluable resources for policy-making and business development.

Galileo Commercial Service Implementing Decision enters into force

10.2.2017 10:03  
Published: 
10 February 2017

The European Commission and the European GNSS Agency (GSA) confirm that the first generation of Galileo will already provide users with High Accuracy and Authentication services.

 

Welcoming the adoption of the Galileo Commercial Service Implementing Decision, the European Commission and the GSA confirm that the first generation of Galileo will provide users with High Accuracy and Authentication services. The Commercial Service will complement the Galileo Open Service by providing an additional navigation signal and added-value services in a different frequency band. Unlike the Open Service, the Commercial Service signal can be encrypted in order to control access to Galileo Commercial Services.

“The Commercial Service is unique in that its services are not provided by any other GNSS programme and thus represents a unique opportunity for Galileo to differentiate itself from other systems and offer users an added value to the standard positioning services already available,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides.

With the Commercial Service, Galileo users will benefit from:

  • a High Accuracy service based on the transmission of Precise Point Positioning (PPP) information through its E6-B signal, delivering accuracy below one decimetre worldwide; and
  • a Commercial Authentication service based on the E6 signal code encryption, allowing for increased robustness of professional applications.

Following the Commercial Service Implementing Decision, the user community will also be able to use the Open Service Navigation Message Authentication (OS NMA) for free. The OS NMA is capable of protecting users from spoofing attacks by digitally signing the Open Service message in the E1 band.

“Galileo’s High Accuracy and Authentication services, including NMA, take advantage of already existing infrastructure,” explains European Commission Galileo Commercial Service Manager Ignacio Fernández Hernández. “This is why they can be provided in a timely and cost-effective manner, yet with very good performance.”

It is foreseen that the High Accuracy and Commercial Authentication services will be provided for a fee, and that at least one signal component of the Galileo E6 signals remains freely available, allowing user communities to benefit from signals in all Galileo bands.

To avoid disrupting existing professional markets, it is planned that the Commercial Service will be operated by at least one yet-to-be-determined commercial service provider. All three services are compatible with the current signal definition and are based on existing infrastructure.

After a test period, the Galileo Commercial Service will become available when Galileo reaches Full Operational Capability (FOC), which is expected by 2020. It will complement the Galileo Open Service, Public Regulated Service (PRS) and Search and Rescue (SAR) service – all available now via the Galileo Initial Services. Additional satellites will be successively added to the constellation, with the launch of the next four foreseen in 2017.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The Galileo Commercial Service is unique in that its services are not provided by any other GNSS programme.

GSA scholarship asks next generation of GNSS users to share their vision for the future

10.2.2017 9:51  
Published: 
10 February 2017

The European GNSS Agency (GSA), in cooperation with the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), launches the Young GSA – New Navigation Horizons Scholarship. 

The Young GSA – New Navigation Horizons Scholarship, a joint initiative of the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), asks European students and young professionals to share their views on what Galileo means for society, business and European integration. 

To participate, all you have to do is create a 30-second video and write a 400-word essay answering one of the following questions:

  1. With the introduction of Galileo, the idea of a multi-constellation environment has become a reality. With more global navigation satellite system (GNSS) satellites in orbit, users are now benefiting from better positioning and navigation accuracy than ever before. How can these benefits be harnessed in the future?
  2. How can Europe’s space programmes – Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus – strengthen the European Union?

The winner will receive up to USD 2 000 that can be used to attend both the 6th Space Generation Fusion Forum and the 33rd Space Symposium, scheduled for 2 to 6 April 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.

The details

The scholarship is open to European students and young professionals aged 18 to 35. In order to participate, one must be a registered SGAC member. You can register for a free membership here.

In addition to the video and essay, applicants must also submit their CV (with date of birth and country of citizenship). All submissions must be in English and must be received via the Scholarship's Submission Form no later than 23.59 GMT on 26 February 2017.

More information can be found here.

The SGAC is dedicated to bringing together university students and young professionals to think creatively about international, national and local space policy issues. Its objective is to inject the next generation’s point-of-view into the space policy of tomorrow.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The Young GSA – New Navigation Horizons Scholarship is a joint initiative of the GSA and the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC).

Time as a service with Galileo

7.2.2017 17:20  
Published: 
07 February 2017

The timing services supplied by global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) are an increasingly important, but often unrecognised, part of today’s modern infrastructure.

This is because the vital role of space-based timing is only exposed when it fails – something that became abundantly clear in January 2016, when a software upload to US GPS satellites induced a 13-millisecond misalignment.

Although this might seem like a small difference, it had a big impact. The glitch caused GPS receivers to exhibit different and unwanted behaviour that led to a loss of synchronisation across a number of systems, including power grids and financial markets. Although the issue was quickly detected and resolved in a few hours, it nonetheless had a real global impact, with numerous digital TV and radio networks failing and some financial customers reporting issues.

“What we learn from this incident is how much our critical infrastructures, the telecom sector and financial services rely on GNSS-provided timing and synchronisation,” says GSA Head of Market Development Gian Gherardo Calini. “This reliance will only increase as smarter power grids are developed and more sophisticated mobile communication networks, such as 5G, are deployed in support of the Internet of Things (IoT) and other sensor networks.”

Increasing demand

According to the latest edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, the telecom sub-segment is the main driver of the global GNSS Timing and Synchronisation market. With the upgrade of the power distribution network, GNSS penetration in this market is expected to reach 10 % in 2017. “As this market segment continues to expand it will demand more and better synchronisation, for which the timing precision of Galileo’s free-of-charge Open Service is essential,” says Calini.

With the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services last year, the timing and synchronisation community can already take advantage of Galileo’s unique benefits, including:

  • interoperability with GPS
  • improved resilience
  • increased robustness to spoofing
  • independent European solutions under civilian control.   

One example of a company already taking advantage of Galileo is Meinberg, a German high-technology company specialising in the development and manufacturing of electronic devices and systems for time and frequency synchronisation and distribution. The company’s new Meinberg GNS181 receiver introduces multi-GNSS capabilities for all synchronisation applications and is one of the first commercially available time and synchronisation solutions with Galileo support.

The module can be configured to select up to three different GNSS constellations to be used in parallel, supporting GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, and Beidou, as well as combinations of the four satellite systems. It is also fully compatible with Meinberg’s Intelligent Modular Synchronization (IMS) product family, meaning users can easily add it as a second, redundant clock module to their already deployed IMS systems or field-replace their current IMS clock modules with the new multi-GNSS capable board.

According to Meinberg Managing Director Heiko Gerstung, although the GNS181 receiver can be used in all types of applications, one of the most popular uses is with stock exchanges. In fact, it is currently utilised by most of the world’s leading exchanges. “The Galileo capability means the receiver synchs trade systems within the individual exchanges, so every buy or sell transaction can be time stamped very accurately,” he says.

Gerstung goes on to explain how the addition of Galileo benefits customers at two levels. “First, it serves as another source of time, in addition to GPS, which adds a layer of redundancy and allows a user to compare the two times,” he says. “As Galileo is the only civilian run GNSS system, it also gives our customers the option of using a European, non-military based source of time – which many of our global customers value greatly.” 

Time as a service

The GSA supports further uptake of Galileo in this important market segment via various opportunities for funding. For example, the Horizon 2020-funded DEMETRA project has demonstrated the feasibility of delivering European GNSS’s (EGNSS) improved timing services to end-users by utilising an operational demonstrator and conducting tests with representative pilot applications and real users.

Watch the DEMETRA H2020 project video

Based on the current practice of national metrological laboratories, the project has defined and developed a prototype of a European time disseminator based on EGNSS. An array of important service features necessary for a wide variety of users has been added, including high-accuracy calibrated time transfer to a monitored and certified remote time-stamping.

With DEMETRA, time becomes a service, ensuring reliability, integrity, authentication and certification are available through optical, radio, space and internet links anywhere in the world. In other words, it’s a complete infrastructure dedicated to the provision of time services based on Galileo.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Meinberg’s multi-GNSS receiver can use an external antenna to receive, among others, Galileo satellite signals, decode them and use them as a reference source for the integrated, oscillator-based hardware clock.

Time as a service with Galileo

7.2.2017 17:20  
Published: 
07 February 2017

The timing services supplied by global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) are an increasingly important, but often unrecognised, part of today’s modern infrastructure.

This is because the vital role of space-based timing is only exposed when it fails – something that became abundantly clear in January 2016, when a software upload to US GPS satellites induced a 13-microsecond misalignment.

Although this might seem like a small difference, it had a big impact. The glitch caused GPS receivers to exhibit different and unwanted behaviour that led to a loss of synchronisation across a number of systems, including power grids and financial markets. Although the issue was quickly detected and resolved in a few hours, it nonetheless had a real global impact, with numerous digital TV and radio networks failing and some financial customers reporting issues.

“What we learn from this incident is how much our critical infrastructures, the telecom sector and financial services rely on GNSS-provided timing and synchronisation,” says GSA Head of Market Development Gian Gherardo Calini. “This reliance will only increase as smarter power grids are developed and more sophisticated mobile communication networks, such as 5G, are deployed in support of the Internet of Things (IoT) and other sensor networks.”

Increasing demand

According to the latest edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, the telecom sub-segment is the main driver of the global GNSS Timing and Synchronisation market. With the upgrade of the power distribution network, GNSS penetration in this market is expected to reach 10 % in 2017. “As this market segment continues to expand it will demand more and better synchronisation, for which the timing precision of Galileo’s free-of-charge Open Service is essential,” says Calini.

With the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services last year, the timing and synchronisation community can already take advantage of Galileo’s unique benefits, including:

  • interoperability with GPS
  • improved resilience
  • increased robustness to spoofing
  • independent European solutions under civilian control.   

One example of a company already taking advantage of Galileo is Meinberg, a German high-technology company specialising in the development and manufacturing of electronic devices and systems for time and frequency synchronisation and distribution. The company’s new Meinberg GNS181 receiver introduces multi-GNSS capabilities for all synchronisation applications and is one of the first commercially available time and synchronisation solutions with Galileo support.

The module can be configured to select up to three different GNSS constellations to be used in parallel, supporting GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, and Beidou, as well as combinations of the four satellite systems. It is also fully compatible with Meinberg’s Intelligent Modular Synchronization (IMS) product family, meaning users can easily add it as a second, redundant clock module to their already deployed IMS systems or field-replace their current IMS clock modules with the new multi-GNSS capable board.

According to Meinberg Managing Director Heiko Gerstung, although the GNS181 receiver can be used in all types of applications, one of the most popular uses is with stock exchanges. In fact, it is currently utilised by most of the world’s leading exchanges. “The Galileo capability means the receiver synchs trade systems within the individual exchanges, so every buy or sell transaction can be time stamped very accurately,” he says.

Gerstung goes on to explain how the addition of Galileo benefits customers at two levels. “First, it serves as another source of time, in addition to GPS, which adds a layer of redundancy and allows a user to compare the two times,” he says. “As Galileo is the only civilian run GNSS system, it also gives our customers the option of using a European, non-military based source of time – which many of our global customers value greatly.” 

Time as a service

The GSA supports further uptake of Galileo in this important market segment via various opportunities for funding. For example, the Horizon 2020-funded DEMETRA project has demonstrated the feasibility of delivering European GNSS’s (EGNSS) improved timing services to end-users by utilising an operational demonstrator and conducting tests with representative pilot applications and real users.

Watch the DEMETRA H2020 project video

Based on the current practice of national metrological laboratories, the project has defined and developed a prototype of a European time disseminator based on EGNSS. An array of important service features necessary for a wide variety of users has been added, including high-accuracy calibrated time transfer to a monitored and certified remote time-stamping.

With DEMETRA, time becomes a service, ensuring reliability, integrity, authentication and certification are available through optical, radio, space and internet links anywhere in the world. In other words, it’s a complete infrastructure dedicated to the provision of time services based on Galileo.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Meinberg’s multi-GNSS receiver can use an external antenna to receive, among others, Galileo satellite signals, decode them and use them as a reference source for the integrated, oscillator-based hardware clock.

Time as a service with Galileo

7.2.2017 17:20  
Published: 
07 February 2017

The timing services supplied by global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) are an increasingly important, but often unrecognised, part of today’s modern infrastructure. This is because the vital role of space-based timing is only exposed when it fails – something that became abundantly clear in January 2016, when a software upload to US GPS satellites induced a 13-millisecond misalignment

Although this might seem like a small difference, it had a big impact. The glitch caused GPS receivers to exhibit different and unwanted behaviour that led to a loss of synchronisation across a number of systems, including power grids and financial markets. Although the issue was quickly detected and resolved in a few hours, it nonetheless had a real global impact, with numerous digital TV and radio networks failing and some financial customers reporting issues. 

“What we learn from this incident is how much our critical infrastructures, the telecom sector and financial services rely on GNSS-provided timing and synchronisation,” says GSA Head of Market Development Gian Gherardo Calini. “This reliance will only increase as smarter power grids are developed and more sophisticated mobile communication networks, such as 5G, are deployed in support of the Internet of Things (IoT) and other sensor networks.” 

Increasing demand

According to the latest edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, the telecom sub-segment is the main driver of the global GNSS Timing and Synchronisation market. With the upgrade of the power distribution network, GNSS penetration in this market is expected to reach 10 % in 2017. “As this market segment continues to expand it will demand more and better synchronisation, for which the timing precision of Galileo’s free-of-charge Open Service is essential,” says Calini. 

With the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services last year, the timing and synchronisation community can already take advantage of Galileo’s unique benefits, including:

  • interoperability with GPS
  • improved resilience
  • increased robustness to spoofing
  • independent European solutions under civilian control.    

One example of a company already taking advantage of Galileo is Meinberg, a German high-technology company specialising in the development and manufacturing of electronic devices and systems for time and frequency synchronisation and distribution. The company’s new Meinberg GNS181 receiver introduces multi-GNSS capabilities for all synchronisation applications and is one of the first commercially available time and synchronisation solutions with Galileo support. 

The module can be configured to select up to three different GNSS constellations to be used in parallel, supporting GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, and Beidou, as well as combinations of the four satellite systems. It is also fully compatible with Meinberg’s Intelligent Modular Synchronization (IMS) product family, meaning users can easily add it as a second, redundant clock module to their already deployed IMS systems or field-replace their current IMS clock modules with the new multi-GNSS capable board. 

According to Meinberg Managing Director Heiko Gerstung, although the GNS181 receiver can be used in all types of applications, one of the most popular uses is with stock exchanges. In fact, it is currently utilised by most of the world’s leading exchanges. “The Galileo capability means the receiver synchs trade systems within the individual exchanges, so every buy or sell transaction can be time stamped very accurately,” he says. 

Gerstung goes on to explain how the addition of Galileo benefits customers at two levels. “First, it serves as another source of time, in addition to GPS, which adds a layer of redundancy and allows a user to compare the two times,” he says. “As Galileo is the only civilian run GNSS system, it also gives our customers the option of using a European, non-military based source of time – which many of our global customers value greatly.”  

Time as a service

The GSA supports further uptake of Galileo in this important market segment via various opportunities for funding. For example, the Horizon 2020-funded DEMETRA project has demonstrated the feasibility of delivering European GNSS’s (EGNSS) improved timing services to end-users by utilising an operational demonstrator and conducting tests with representative pilot applications and real users. 

Watch this: DEMETRA H2020 project video

Based on the current practice of national metrological laboratories, the project has defined and developed a prototype of a European time disseminator based on EGNSS. An array of important service features necessary for a wide variety of users has been added, including high-accuracy calibrated time transfer to a monitored and certified remote time-stamping. 

With DEMETRA, time becomes a service, ensuring reliability, integrity, authentication and certification are available through optical, radio, space and internet links anywhere in the world. In other words, it’s a complete infrastructure dedicated to the provision of time services based on Galileo.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Meinberg’s multi-GNSS receiver can use an external antenna to receive, among others, Galileo satellite signals, decode them and use them as a reference source for the integrated, oscillator-based hardware clock.

Time as a service with Galileo

7.2.2017 17:20  
Published: 
07 February 2017

The timing services supplied by global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) are an increasingly important, but often unrecognised, part of today’s modern infrastructure. This is because the vital role of space-based timing is only exposed when it fails – something that became abundantly clear in January 2016, when a software upload to US GPS satellites induced a 13-millisecond misalignment

Although this might seem like a small difference, it had a big impact. The glitch caused GPS receivers to exhibit different and unwanted behaviour that led to a loss of synchronisation across a number of systems, including power grids and financial markets. Although the issue was quickly detected and resolved in a few hours, it nonetheless had a real global impact, with numerous digital TV and radio networks failing and some financial customers reporting issues. 

“What we learn from this incident is how much our critical infrastructures, the telecom sector and financial services rely on GNSS-provided timing and synchronisation,” says GSA Head of Market Development Gian Gherardo Calini. “This reliance will only increase as smarter power grids are developed and more sophisticated mobile communication networks, such as 5G, are deployed in support of the Internet of Things (IoT) and other sensor networks.” 

Increasing demand

According to the latest edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, the telecom sub-segment is the main driver of the global GNSS Timing and Synchronisation market. With the upgrade of the power distribution network, GNSS penetration in this market is expected to reach 10 % in 2017. “As this market segment continues to expand it will demand more and better synchronisation, for which the timing precision of Galileo’s free-of-charge Open Service is essential,” says Calini. 

With the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services last year, the timing and synchronisation community can already take advantage of Galileo’s unique benefits, including:

  • interoperability with GPS
  • improved resilience
  • increased robustness to spoofing
  • independent European solutions under civilian control.    

One example of a company already taking advantage of Galileo is Meinberg, a German high-technology company specialising in the development and manufacturing of electronic devices and systems for time and frequency synchronisation and distribution. The company’s new Meinberg GNS181 receiver introduces multi-GNSS capabilities for all synchronisation applications and is one of the first commercially available time and synchronisation solutions with Galileo support. 

The module can be configured to select up to three different GNSS constellations to be used in parallel, supporting GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, and Beidou, as well as combinations of the four satellite systems. It is also fully compatible with Meinberg’s Intelligent Modular Synchronization (IMS) product family, meaning users can easily add it as a second, redundant clock module to their already deployed IMS systems or field-replace their current IMS clock modules with the new multi-GNSS capable board. 

According to Meinberg Managing Director Heiko Gerstung, although the GNS181 receiver can be used in all types of applications, one of the most popular uses is with stock exchanges. In fact, it is currently utilised by most of the world’s leading exchanges. “The Galileo capability means the receiver synchs trade systems within the individual exchanges, so every buy or sell transaction can be time stamped very accurately,” he says. 

Gerstung goes on to explain how the addition of Galileo benefits customers at two levels. “First, it serves as another source of time, in addition to GPS, which adds a layer of redundancy and allows a user to compare the two times,” he says. “As Galileo is the only civilian run GNSS system, it also gives our customers the option of using a European, non-military based source of time – which many of our global customers value greatly.”  

Time as a service

The GSA supports further uptake of Galileo in this important market segment via various opportunities for funding. For example, the Horizon 2020-funded DEMETRA project has demonstrated the feasibility of delivering European GNSS’s (EGNSS) improved timing services to end-users by utilising an operational demonstrator and conducting tests with representative pilot applications and real users. 

          Watch this: DEMETRA H2020 project video

Based on the current practice of national metrological laboratories, the project has defined and developed a prototype of a European time disseminator based on EGNSS. An array of important service features necessary for a wide variety of users has been added, including high-accuracy calibrated time transfer to a monitored and certified remote time-stamping. 

With DEMETRA, time becomes a service, ensuring reliability, integrity, authentication and certification are available through optical, radio, space and internet links anywhere in the world. In other words, it’s a complete infrastructure dedicated to the provision of time services based on Galileo.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Meinberg’s multi-GNSS receiver can use an external antenna to receive, among others, Galileo satellite signals, decode them and use them as a reference source for the integrated, oscillator-based hardware clock.

Positive messages from this year's Conference on European Space Policy

1.2.2017 12:47  
Published: 
01 February 2017

At the 9th Annual Conference on European Space Policy in Brussels, top officials discussed using Galileo, Europe's Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), now delivering initial services, for the betterment of society and the economy.

The new Space Strategy for Europe, unveiled by the European Commission last year, includes a range of actions enabling Europe to respond to growing global competition. One of the Strategy's stated goals is to promote the use of Galileo in mobile devices and critical infrastructures.

Speaking in Brussels at the Conference on European Space Policy,Executive Director of the European GNSS Agency (GSA) Carlo des Dorides said Galileo will be one very important element in a multi-system, multi-technology navigation solution that will also include GNSS augmentation and other systems.

"This is not going to be a GNSS-only solution," des Dorides said. "In the transport sector, for example, we look at autonomous driving applications, and this is now a very popular topic, and it is clear that we will have a combination of solutions."

The emerging paradigm, he said, has a number ofelements: "First is ubiquity, meaning there must be a navigation solution everywhere, wherever you are, from the mountains, in rural areas, to the cities, and inside the car parks. Everywhere you go, everywhere you will be, there must be a way to navigate. GNSS will be a part of this. Then we will have very soon ambient intelligence including user-to-user connectivity, and we will also have a strong focus on robustness and secure positioning data."

For the European GNSS community, des Dorides said, further developments have to push towards a multi-GNSS system, multi-frequency GNSS for accuracy and robustness, and full exploitation of the kind of authentication features that are exclusive to Galileo services.

The 'Internet of things', he said, will also play an important role in future positioning and navigation solutions. "Today there are more connected things than humans," des Dorides said, "and we expect that to double in the next several years."

He also referenced the new frontier represented by 'smart dust', a concept that emerged in the 1990s and is now increasingly being discussed in the context of positioning. "This is essentially where you have a very high number of very small elements for positioning and navigation, and they can be distributed and interconnected. And it is a really exciting concept that could change many things and lead to some very interesting applications."

In response to questions from conference participants, des Dorides cited some of Galileo's key aspects: "Galileo is hosting a search and rescue payload, with whichwe participate in the international Cospas-Sarsat programme. This allows for a distress signal to be sent, but there is also a unique 'back channel' with Galileo, which means itwill providean acknowledgement to the person in distress, to tell them that their call has been received and rescue serves are alerted to the situation."

On a similar subject, des Dorides reminded participants that GNSS and Galileo will play a fundamental role in the new European eCall system, by which emergency serviceswill be alerted automatically in the event of an automobile accident, including precise localisation of the incident. "The eCall regulation is in place," he said, "and so by 2018 all new model of cars to be sold in Europe must beequipped with this system, so this is another example of how we are working to bring this space-based technology to a real application for citizens on the ground."

Services and products

Joining des Dorides in a discussion on the topic of space services for society and the economy, Lowri Evans, Director-General of the European Commission's DG GROW, commented on the importance of a qualified workforce, suggesting there is still more work to be done in Europe. "We are not necessarily producing the right people to fill the positions where there are needs," she said, "and this at the same time when there is huge unemployment in the EU."

On the minds of both speakers and participants was the question of turning space services into money-making concerns for the European economy. For the GSA and the European Commission, said des Dorides, this continues to be a top priority. "With the Horizon 2020 funding programme, we were the first to introduce a specific requirement for a business plan. So that means when you respond to a call for proposals,you must demonstrate a concrete capacity to build something that can become a product."

Steady progress

In her opening comments to the conference,ElżbietaBieńkowska, European Commissioner for Single Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, expressed confidence in the progress being made on the Galileo system. This came in the wake of the recent setback announced by ESA concerning failed clocks on-board some of the Galileo satellites.

"There are always risks with such a large scale project and Galileo is no exception," Bieńkowska said. However, she added, the inbuilt redundancy of the system, with four clocks on each satellite where only one is needed, meant that all satellites are currently functioning and there are no negative effects on the full constellation or services.

Overall, the 9th Annual Conference on European Space Policy put forward dynamic and positive discussions with major players from the European institutions as well as industry expressing interest and optimism about the future of European GNSS.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

"We must encourage development of downstream markets for space services."

Positive messages from this year's Conference on European Space Policy

1.2.2017 12:47  
Published: 
01 February 2017

At the 9th Annual Conference on European Space Policy in Brussels, top officials discussed using Galileo, Europe's Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), now delivering initial services, for the betterment of society and the economy.

The new Space Strategy for Europe, unveiled by the European Commission last year, includes a range of actions enabling Europe to respond to growing global competition. One of the Strategy's stated goals is to promote the use of Galileo in mobile devices and critical infrastructures.

Speaking in Brussels at the Conference on European Space Policy,Executive Director of the European GNSS Agency (GSA) Carlo des Dorides said Galileo will be one very important element in a multi-system, multi-technology navigation solution that will also include GNSS augmentation and other systems.

"This is not going to be a GNSS-only solution," des Dorides said. "In the transport sector, for example, we look at autonomous driving applications, and this is now a very popular topic, and it is clear that we will have a combination of solutions."

The emerging paradigm, he said, has a number ofelements: "First is ubiquity, meaning there must be a navigation solution everywhere, wherever you are, from the mountains, in rural areas, to the cities, and inside the car parks. Everywhere you go, everywhere you will be, there must be a way to navigate. GNSS will be a part of this. Then we will have very soon ambient intelligence including user-to-user connectivity, and we will also have a strong focus on robustness and secure positioning data."

For the European GNSS community, des Dorides said, further developments have to push towards a multi-GNSS system, multi-frequency GNSS for accuracy and robustness, and full exploitation of the kind of authentication features that are exclusive to Galileo services.

The 'Internet of things', he said, will also play an important role in future positioning and navigation solutions. "Today there are more connected things than humans," des Dorides said, "and we expect that to double in the next several years."

He also referenced the new frontier represented by 'smart dust', a concept that emerged in the 1990s and is now increasingly being discussed in the context of positioning. "This is essentially where you have a very high number of very small elements for positioning and navigation, and they can be distributed and interconnected. And it is a really exciting concept that could change many things and lead to some very interesting applications."

In response to questions from conference participants, des Dorides cited some of Galileo's key aspects: "Galileo is hosting a search and rescue payload, with whichwe participate in the international Cospas-Sarsat programme. This allows for a distress signal to be sent, but there is also a unique 'back channel' with Galileo, which means itwill providean acknowledgement to the person in distress, to tell them that their call has been received and rescue serves are alerted to the situation."

On a similar subject, des Dorides reminded participants that GNSS and Galileo will play a fundamental role in the new European eCall system, by which emergency serviceswill be alerted automatically in the event of an automobile accident, including precise localisation of the incident. "The eCall regulation is in place," he said, "and so by 2018 all new model of cars to be sold in Europe must beequipped with this system, so this is another example of how we are working to bring this space-based technology to a real application for citizens on the ground."

Services and products

Joining des Dorides in a discussion on the topic of space services for society and the economy, Lowri Evans, Director-General of the European Commission's DG GROW, commented on the importance of a qualified workforce, suggesting there is still more work to be done in Europe. "We are not necessarily producing the right people to fill the positions where there are needs," she said, "and this at the same time when there is huge unemployment in the EU."

On the minds of both speakers and participants was the question of turning space services into money-making concerns for the European economy. For the GSA and the European Commission, said des Dorides, this continues to be a top priority. "With the Horizon 2020 funding programme, we were the first to introduce a specific requirement for a business plan. So that means when you respond to a call for proposals,you must demonstrate a concrete capacity to build something that can become a product."

Steady progress

In her opening comments to the conference, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Single Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, expressed confidence in the progress being made on the Galileo system. This came in the wake of the recent setback announced by ESA concerning failed clocks on-board some of the Galileo satellites.

"There are always risks with such a large scale project and Galileo is no exception," Bieńkowska said. However, she added, the inbuilt redundancy of the system, with four clocks on each satellite where only one is needed, meant that all satellites are currently functioning and there are no negative effects on the full constellation or services.

Overall, the 9th Annual Conference on European Space Policy put forward dynamic and positive discussions with major players from the European institutions as well as industry expressing interest and optimism about the future of European GNSS.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

"We must encourage development of downstream markets for space services."

Positive messages from this year's Conference on European Space Policy

1.2.2017 12:47  
Published: 
01 February 2017

At the 9th Annual Conference on European Space Policy in Brussels, top officials discussed using Galileo, Europe's Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), now delivering initial services, for the betterment of society and the economy.

The new Space Strategy for Europe, unveiled by the European Commission last year, includes a range of actions enabling Europe to respond to growing global competition. One of the Strategy's stated goals is to promote the use of Galileo in mobile devices and critical infrastructures.

Speaking in Brussels at the Conference on European Space Policy,Executive Director of the European GNSS Agency (GSA) Carlo des Dorides said Galileo will be one very important element in a multi-system, multi-technology navigation solution that will also include GNSS augmentation and other systems.

"This is not going to be a GNSS-only solution," des Dorides said. "In the transport sector, for example, we look at autonomous driving applications, and this is now a very popular topic, and it is clear that we will have a combination of solutions."

The emerging paradigm, he said, has a number ofelements: "First is ubiquity, meaning there must be a navigation solution everywhere, wherever you are, from the mountains, in rural areas, to the cities, and inside the car parks. Everywhere you go, everywhere you will be, there must be a way to navigate. GNSS will be a part of this. Then we will have very soon ambient intelligence including user-to-user connectivity, and we will also have a strong focus on robustness and secure positioning data."

For the European GNSS community, des Dorides said, further developments have to push towards a multi-GNSS system, multi-frequency GNSS for accuracy and robustness, and full exploitation of the kind of authentication features that are exclusive to Galileo services.

The 'Internet of things', he said, will also play an important role in future positioning and navigation solutions. "Today there are more connected things than humans," des Dorides said, "and we expect that to double in the next several years."

He also referenced the new frontier represented by 'smart dust', a concept that emerged in the 1990s and is now increasingly being discussed in the context of positioning. "This is essentially where you have a very high number of very small elements for positioning and navigation, and they can be distributed and interconnected. And it is a really exciting concept that could change many things and lead to some very interesting applications."

In response to questions from conference participants, des Dorides cited some of Galileo's key aspects: "Galileo is hosting a search and rescue payload, with which we participate in the international Cospas-Sarsat programme. This allows for a distress signal to be sent, but there is also a unique 'back channel' with Galileo, which means itwill providean acknowledgement to the person in distress, to tell them that their call has been received and rescue serves are alerted to the situation."

On a similar subject, des Dorides reminded participants that GNSS and Galileo will play a fundamental role in the new European eCall system, by which emergency serviceswill be alerted automatically in the event of an automobile accident, including precise localisation of the incident. "The eCall regulation is in place," he said, "and so by 2018 all new model of cars to be sold in Europe must beequipped with this system, so this is another example of how we are working to bring this space-based technology to a real application for citizens on the ground."

Services and products

Joining des Dorides in a discussion on the topic of space services for society and the economy, Lowri Evans, Director-General of the European Commission's DG GROW, commented on the importance of a qualified workforce, suggesting there is still more work to be done in Europe. "We are not necessarily producing the right people to fill the positions where there are needs," she said, "and this at the same time when there is huge unemployment in the EU."

On the minds of both speakers and participants was the question of turning space services into money-making concerns for the European economy. For the GSA and the European Commission, said des Dorides, this continues to be a top priority. "With the Horizon 2020 funding programme, we were the first to introduce a specific requirement for a business plan. So that means when you respond to a call for proposals,you must demonstrate a concrete capacity to build something that can become a product."

Steady progress

In her opening comments to the conference, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Single Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, expressed confidence in the progress being made on the Galileo system. This came in the wake of the recent setback announced by ESA concerning failed clocks on-board some of the Galileo satellites.

"There are always risks with such a large scale project and Galileo is no exception," Bieńkowska said. However, she added, the inbuilt redundancy of the system, with four clocks on each satellite where only one is needed, meant that all satellites are currently functioning and there are no negative effects on the full constellation or services.

Overall, the 9th Annual Conference on European Space Policy put forward dynamic and positive discussions with major players from the European institutions as well as industry expressing interest and optimism about the future of European GNSS.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

"We must encourage development of downstream markets for space services."

Don’t get left out in the cold!

30.1.2017 9:08  
Published: 
30 January 2017

Do winter weather conditions have an effect on the accuracy and use of mass-market GNSS devices? To find out, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) asked the experts working in Antarctica.

The holidays are over and all we are left with is another couple of months of cold, wet and foggy winter weather. And there’s nothing worse than having to travel in winter weather conditions. Whether it’s walking to a meeting or driving across town, at least you can depend on global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), including Galileo, to help guide you to your destination along the most efficient route possible. All you have to do is plug the coordinates into your smartphone or in-vehicle navigation device, bundle up and head out – letting GNSS take care of the rest.

This is of course assuming that GNSS isn’t affected by the rain, snow, fog and dense clouds that define winter in much of Europe. After all, if the satellite signals are delayed or unable to reach the receiver in your device, you might just find yourself left out in the cold!

To get to the bottom of this, we asked some experts about the effect, if any, that the winter weather has on your use of GNSS devices. 

Navigate like a penguin

If you really want to see how winter weather impacts the use of GNSS, there’s really no better place to conduct your research than Antarctica. Nicola Umberto, a researcher at Politecnico di Torino, recently travelled there to install a GNSS monitoring station – one of the first researchers to collect Galileo signals at high (and very cold) latitudes.

The DemoGRAPE project, funded by the Italian National Program for Research in Antarctica (PRNA), is a new prototype of support for satellite navigation in Antarctica. It includes an installed GNSS monitoring system at two research bases, which monitor the ionosphere behaviour, or space weather, over the continent and how it effects satellite signals. The project is being carried out in cooperation with the Italian Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology, the South African Space Agency and the Brazilian Space Agency, with the support of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC).

“The accuracy of satellite navigation in Antarctica is of paramount importance, both for logistic and for scientific purposes,” says Umberto. “There is always the danger that people and vehicles can fall into a crevasse during a snowstorm, when visibility is limited and travel is restricted to specified routes.”

GNSS high-precision applications in Antarctica – such as geodetic prospecting, land and glacier monitoring and airport traffic management – can be threatened by ionospheric scintillations, a physical phenomenon very similar to the one producing aurora. “Unfortunately, scintillations damage satellite signals, introducing amplitude and phase variations, which in turn impacts the quality and reliability of the position,” explains Fabio Dovis, a professor at Politecnico di Torino who is also involved with the project. “DemoGRAPE has contributed to the understanding of these threats to GNSS applications in polar regions and proposed new methods for optimising scientific and technological achievements.”

Granted most of us won’t be navigating through quite such extreme conditions, although at some point in the middle of February it might very well feel like we’re living in Antarctica. Nonetheless, the DemoGRAPE project’s findings are applicable to our everyday use of GNSS for navigating in more ‘normal’ winter weather conditions.  “As so often happens in science, results of experiments in particular conditions, such as Antarctica, can be exploited to better understand and characterise general phenomena,” adds Umberto.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

According to the experts, weather does not have a visible effect on GNSS. After all, GNSS was built to serve as an all-weather, 24/7 navigation tool. Furthermore, the vast majority of GNSS hardware currently on the market is built to operate in conditions down to -40 degrees Celsius; also the equipment is stored inside ground stations – with only an antenna mounted outside – meaning they protect against the most extreme levels of cold. 

“What this means is a mass-market user will not experience any effects during winter weather,” says S2Ds Navigation and GNSS Data Science Fellow at Nottingham University Lukasz Bonenberg. “That being said, work in the high-precision sector, where centimetre level accuracy is required, can be affected by space weather.”

However, unless you’re a farmer using precision agriculture to tend to a field in the middle of winter, you probably won’t see any weather-related effects on your use of GNSS for basic navigation. Even if you do, for some reason, find yourself working a snow-covered field in February, you should be fine – as the effects of space weather are primarily confined to the Earth’s poles.

In other words, regardless of how snowy or cold it is outside, you can’t use ‘my GNSS is frozen’ as an excuse for not making that appointment! 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Although most of us won’t be navigating through such extreme conditions, the DemoGRAPE project’s findings are applicable to using GNSS for navigating in more ‘normal’ winter weather conditions. ©PNRA

Farming by Satellite Prize winners announced

26.1.2017 9:00  
Published: 
26 January 2017

From a competitive field of submissions, the European GNSS Agency has awarded the 2017 Farming by Satellite Prize to projects coming from France, Kenya, the Czech Republic and Italy.

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has announced the winners of the 2017 Farming by Satellite Prize. The top prize went to a project that proposes using satellite navigation positioning, satellite data and cover crops to address the issues of managing nitrogen levels and solving soil compaction in an environmentally sustainable way. The project, submitted by a team from ISA Lille (France), received their EUR 5 000 prize during the International Green Week in Berlin.

This year’s Special Africa Prize was awarded to the Shamballite project, submitted by a team from Kenya. They were awarded EUR 4 000 for their innovative idea for a mobile, satellite-based Farming Information System. “We hope to be able to bring the project to the next level,” confirmed Wawa Abe, one excited member of the team.

The second prize went to TTT Solutions from the Czech Republic for their web-based service providing temporal analysis, spectral indices, crop behaviour and control and support for the payment of subsidies. Third place was awarded to Glorify, a new forecasting system from Italy that combines Earth observation and crop modelling to provide both quantitative and qualitative estimates for rice production. The projects received prizes of EUR 3 000 and EUR 1 000 respectively.

A competitive field

“I want to congratulate the winners,” says European Commission Vice President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič. “This young community is very agile and ready to embrace new technologies, making it a great time for entrepreneurs.” The winners were selected from a remarkably competitive field: over 85 individuals and teams from 13 European and eight African countries registered for the contest. From these submissions, judges shortlisted seven, including projects from Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy and two from Portugal. For the Special Africa Prize, finalists included two projects from Kenya and one from Morocco. 

Finalists were invited to come to DG Agriculture’s stand at International Green Week to make their final pitch in front of the judging panel (finalists for the Special Africa Prize made their presentations via video-link).

“The judges were particularly impressed with the high quality and professionalism of all the finalists, and in particular the ones from the Special Africa Prize,” says GSA Market Development Officer and member of the judging panel Reinhard Blasi. “It was both this professionalism and the project’s holistic approach to addressing a real challenge faced by Kenyan farmers that gave Shamballite the winning edge.”

“We really want to encourage tomorrow’s innovators to apply their talents to the agricultural sector, which is why we have supported the Farming by Satellite Prize since its first edition in 2012,” says CLAAS Head of Finance and Administration Christian Radons, one of this year’s sponsors. “With each edition we notice the submissions improving in quality and applicability – a great sign for the future of farming and food production.”

“There is a real opportunity to help farmers by using advanced technology in simple ways to better manage their business and to lower costs,” adds Bayer CropScience Digital Farming Technology Lead Alex Melnitchouck, whose company also sponsored this year’s prize. “This prize is an excellent way to raise awareness about these opportunities and to make them happen by tapping into the talents of young people.”

About the Farming by Satellite Prize

The Farming by Satellite Prize, which aims to promote the use of satellite technology in agriculture, is a joint initiative of the GSA and the European Environmental Agency. The prize is open to students and young farmers across Europe and Africa with innovative ideas for using satellite technology to improve agricultural production, efficiency and profit, or to reduce the sector’s environmental impact.

“For the young generation, the success of this Prize is proof that Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus have several synergies in precision agriculture and we can count on future farmers to build on European space programmes,” adds GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides.
Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link the article back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

All of the European finalists and judges gather during the 2017 Farming by Satellite Prize award ceremony at International Green Week in Berlin.

Second Galileo Hackathon: warming up the engines

25.1.2017 9:39  
Published: 
25 January 2017

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) is busy making plans for the next adventure in app building, and the new 2016 Galileo Hackathon video shows you what it’s all about.

Last year teams of passionate coders and geo-enthusiasts from around the world gathered to compete during the first GSA Galileo Hackathon. It was a great opportunity to showcase coding skills, connect with the Geo-IoT (Internet of Things) app development community, and gain a competitive insight on what Galileo location-based services (LBS) can bring to your mobile device.

The challenge: to come up with an innovative application that makes full use of Galileo’s unique capabilities in 24 hours or less. Following an energetic, busy and pizza-infused day, the judges announced the winners. Taking home the prize for the most innovative app was the Didactic Disco multi-player map game, described as “a fun map drawing game, but one that has potential for serious use too”. Meanwhile, the Rovers_Movers neighbourhood watch app won the prize for most potential to make an impact on society.

The highlight reel

Now, you can relive all the excitement of the first Galileo Hackathon – while already starting to think about the next edition – with a new video:


1st Galileo Hackathon - watch the video here

If that video leaves you excited and ready to empower your app with Galileo, there’s good news! The GSA is already planning the next adventure in app building, scheduled to coincide with infoShare 2017, 17 to 19 May in Gdansk, Poland.

“We will again be bringing together chipset manufacturers, mobile device manufacturers, academia and the best Geo-IoT and LBS app developers to learn about how to leverage the benefits of Galileo and to compete in our second hackathon,” says GSA Market Development Officer Justyna Redelkiewicz Musial.   

Hackathoners can expect prizes, webinars, learning opportunities and a chance to meet the people behind the hardware and software that enables satellite navigation and Galileo applications.

Interested in taking your location-based app to the next level? You can already pre-register here. And be sure to stay tuned for information on the next Galileo Hackathon.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The Galileo Hackathon: a unique opportunity to join forces to develop the next generation of location-based apps.

Two awards promote European GNSS in Asia

19.1.2017 9:33  
Published: 
19 January 2017

Two GSA-funded projects – BELS and GNSS.asia – are encouraging the use of European GNSS in Asia through the launch of two innovation competitions. 

According to the most recent edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, Asia is the ‘hot spot’ for global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). In fact, it is currently the primary region of global market growth in terms of in-use GNSS devices. The region is forecasted to grow 11 % per year, from 1.7 billion in 2014 to 4.1 billion devices in 2023 – more than the EU and North America combined. Furthermore, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) notes that the region is becoming increasingly active in chipset manufacturing, along with building its own constellations.

Asia is clearly an important market for GNSS and, as such, the GSA is dedicated to ensuring European businesses are in a position to benefit from it. As part of this effort, the GSA is actively engaged with two Horizon 2020-funded projects geared towards supporting European interests within the Asian GNSS market.

Also read: Promoting European interests in the Asian GNSS market

The BELS project aims to facilitate the breakthrough of European GNSS (EGNSS) technology in South-East Asia (SEA). To accomplish this, the project is conducting a set of coordinated activities to raise awareness and build capacities for the exploitation of EGNSS technologies. GNSS.asia, on the other hand, is dedicated to developing and implementing GNSS industrial cooperation between European and Asia-Pacific GNSS industries, with a focus on the downstream market. GNSS.asia maintains a team of GNSS and industry experts in its target regions of India, China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan that lend individual support to European companies.

Also read: Testing the NAVIS waters

In conjunction with last year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC), both projects have launched their own competitions.

The BELS Special Prize

The BELS Special Prize looks for innovative downstream applications that use Galileo and have a substantial positive impact on SEA countries. Participants compete for a EUR 2 000 cash prize that can be applied towards their research. In addition, the winner is invited to spend six months at a European incubator or research centre, where they can refine their idea and work towards developing a prototype. A budget of EUR 20 000 is provided to cover the associated travel and living expenses for two people.  

The latest prize was awarded to the Autism Trigger, Tracking and Trace (ATTracT) project from Malaysia. Approximately 9 000 children are born with autism in Malaysia every year. One of the key challenges for parents raising an autistic child is protecting them against their propensity to wander. The ATTracT project looks to solve this challenge with the help of a GNSS. The application sets up virtually defined movement zones that can be activated in accordance with a child’s daily schedule. If a child wanders outside the predefined zone, the parent will receive an alert on their mobile phone, which they can then use to track their child in real-time. The project is also working on a similar monitoring and tracking system that can be used by schools or rehabilitation centres. This system will allow the user to track the movement of all the children under their supervision at the same time.   

The GNSS.asia Challenge

The GNSS.asia Challenge is open to anyone from the Asia-Pacific region with an innovative business, service or product based on multi-GNSS. In addition to potential access to the impressive ENC prize pool, winners receive free business coaching from renowned GNSS experts and travel grants to attend award ceremonies in Manila and Madrid. Winners are also given the chance to meet GNSS industry partners from across Asia and Europe and to present their project at the GNSS.asia Industry Seminar.

This year, the GNSS.asia Challenge attracted a record 60 complete entries, making it the most successful ESNC region. The winner was Frank Tsai from the Taiwanese Institute for Information Industry for his Drone Video Capturing (DVC) concept. DVC combines drones with another rapidly developing GNSS market segment: the Internet of Things (IoT). The team is targeting the entertainment industry, allowing producers to capture aerial-based close-up shots of important people within large crowds or events. When a drone’s GNSS location matches that of a pre-registered individual in the crowd, it delivers content with customised close-ups of that particular person. The DVC application then enables interactive sharing and viewing of images and video among the user community and on established social networks.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

According to the most recent edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, Asia is the ‘hot spot’ for global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).

Two awards promote European GNSS in Asia

19.1.2017 9:33  
According to the most recent edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, Asia is the ‘hot spot’ for global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).
Published: 
19 January 2017

Two GSA-funded projects – BELS and GNSS.asia – are encouraging the use of European GNSS in Asia through the launch of two innovation competitions. 

According to the most recent edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, Asia is the ‘hot spot’ for global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). In fact, it is currently the primary region of global market growth in terms of in-use GNSS devices. The region is forecasted to grow 11 % per year, from 1.7 billion in 2014 to 4.1 billion devices in 2023 – more than the EU and North America combined. Furthermore, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) notes that the region is becoming increasingly active in chipset manufacturing, along with building its own constellations.

Asia is clearly an important market for GNSS and, as such, the GSA is dedicated to ensuring European businesses are in a position to benefit from it. As part of this effort, the GSA is actively engaged with two Horizon 2020-funded projects geared towards supporting European interests within the Asian GNSS market.

Also read: Promoting European interests in the Asian GNSS market

The BELS project aims to facilitate the breakthrough of European GNSS (EGNSS) technology in South-East Asia (SEA). To accomplish this, the project is conducting a set of coordinated activities to raise awareness and build capacities for the exploitation of EGNSS technologies. GNSS.asia, on the other hand, is dedicated to developing and implementing GNSS industrial cooperation between European and Asia-Pacific GNSS industries, with a focus on the downstream market. GNSS.asia maintains a team of GNSS and industry experts in its target regions of India, China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan that lend individual support to European companies.

Also read: Testing the NAVIS waters

In conjunction with last year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC), both projects have launched their own competitions.

The BELS Special Prize

The BELS Special Prize looks for innovative downstream applications that use Galileo and have a substantial positive impact on SEA countries. Participants compete for a EUR 2 000 cash prize that can be applied towards their research. In addition, the winner is invited to spend six months at a European incubator or research centre, where they can refine their idea and work towards developing a prototype. A budget of EUR 20 000 is provided to cover the associated travel and living expenses for two people.  

The latest prize was awarded to the Autism Trigger, Tracking and Trace (ATTracT) project from Malaysia. Approximately 9 000 children are born with autism in Malaysia every year. One of the key challenges for parents raising an autistic child is protecting them against their propensity to wander. The ATTracT project looks to solve this challenge with the help of a GNSS. The application sets up virtually defined movement zones that can be activated in accordance with a child’s daily schedule. If a child wanders outside the predefined zone, the parent will receive an alert on their mobile phone, which they can then use to track their child in real-time. The project is also working on a similar monitoring and tracking system that can be used by schools or rehabilitation centres. This system will allow the user to track the movement of all the children under their supervision at the same time.   

The GNSS.asia Challenge

The GNSS.asia Challenge is open to anyone from the Asia-Pacific region with an innovative business, service or product based on multi-GNSS. In addition to potential access to the impressive ENC prize pool, winners receive free business coaching from renowned GNSS experts and travel grants to attend award ceremonies in Manila and Madrid. Winners are also given the chance to meet GNSS industry partners from across Asia and Europe and to present their project at the GNSS.asia Industry Seminar.

This year, the GNSS.asia Challenge attracted a record 60 complete entries, making it the most successful ESNC region. The winner was Frank Tsai from the Taiwanese Institute for Information Industry for his Drone Video Capturing (DVC) concept. DVC combines drones with another rapidly developing GNSS market segment: the Internet of Things (IoT). The team is targeting the entertainment industry, allowing producers to capture aerial-based close-up shots of important people within large crowds or events. When a drone’s GNSS location matches that of a pre-registered individual in the crowd, it delivers content with customised close-ups of that particular person. The DVC application then enables interactive sharing and viewing of images and video among the user community and on established social networks.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

According to the most recent edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, Asia is the ‘hot spot’ for global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).

The Farming by Satellite Prize finalists are…

17.1.2017 9:31  
Published: 
17 January 2017

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) is set to announce the winners of the 2016 Farming by Satellite Prize on 23 January 2017 during the International Green Week exhibition in Berlin.

The GSA will announce the winners of its 2016 Farming by Satellite Prize on 23 January 2017 during the International Green Week exhibition being held at Messe Berlin. The prize awards students and young farmers submitting the most innovative ideas for using satellite technology to improve agricultural production, efficiency and profit. Entrants compete for a share of a EUR 13 000 cash prize, sponsored by key agriculture stakeholders, Claas and Bayer CropScience.

Over 85 individuals and teams registered for the contest, ultimately leading to 45 eligible submissions coming from 13 European and eight African countries (a separate, special prize is awarded to projects submitted by students and young farmers from Africa). From these submissions, an independent judging panel selected the following projects to make the final round:

  • Cleverlrrig (Portugal): software development to support agricultural water management using remote sensing data.
  • Eyecrop (Portugal): scanning pivots with multiple features, including irrigation decision support, plague and disease detection, weather monitoring and crop measurement.
  • Glorify (Italy): a new forecasting system, tested in Italy, combining Earth observation and crop modelling to provide both quantitative and qualitative estimates for rice production.
  • ISA Lille (France): connected cover crop, a technological application related to the optimisation of cover plants.
  • Logic Farm (Belgium): a wide-ranging project using satellite data to address municipal green spaces and the loss of carbon and organic matter in agricultural soils.
  • Niessen (Germany): add-on for implements enabling autonomous driving and optimal working depths.
  • TTT Solutions (Czech Republic): web-based service providing temporal analysis, spectral indices, crop behaviour, and control and support for the payment of subsidies.

For the special Africa prize:

  • Digifarm (Kenya): digital farm information access system that leverages mobile technology to provide farmers with real-time information on rainfall, wind patterns, plant health and the best crops to plant and market.
  • Munzansel (Morocco): geological mapping and soil characterisation in identifying agricultural related hazards using freely-available Copernicus and Sentinel data, leading to best-practices for sustainable agriculture.
  • 7 Saros (Kenya): using satellite technologies to optimise irrigation and fertiliser application. Project will support decisions on when to irrigate, which areas of a field to irrigate and whether or not conditions are optimal for applying fertiliser.

An expanding focus

The focus of many of this year’s entries was on the use of satellite information, remote sensing and GNSS for mapping in conjunction with geological, soil and vegetation data. “Entrants showed a good understanding of the potential for using the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) as a simple graphical indicator to analyse remote sensing measurements and to show the health and productivity of crops and other biomass,” says Judging Panel Chair Dr Andrew Speedy.

The judges also noted their pleasure in seeing some projects address novel crops, including rice in Europe and cocoa beans in Africa. The projects also covered a wide use of satellite information. “Projects covered irrigation requirements, insecticide use and soil organic matter remediation,” says GSA Market Development Officer and fellow judge Reinhard Blasi. “There were also several entries related to fisheries and aquaculture, all of which demonstrates another fertile field for the application of satellite systems, particularly remote sensing and resource mapping.”

In making their decision, the judges looked for relevance, feasibility, innovation and potential marketability. And although there can be only one winner, the entire judging panel agrees that all of the finalist projects clearly demonstrate the enormous potential that applying GNSS and Earth observation to agriculture can bring. “All of these excellent finalists make it clear that satellite information systems are being included in many university and college curricula throughout Europe,” says Dr Speedy. “The potential for engineering applications needs further encouragement and can only be achieved through the public-private collaboration seen in this prize.”

About the prize

The prize, an initiative of the GSA and the European Environment Agency, is open to students and young farmers across Europe and Africa with innovative ideas for using satellite technology to improve agricultural production, efficiency and profit, or to reduce the sector’s environmental impact.

Launched in 2012, the Farming by Satellite Prize, is held every two years.

The award ceremony is scheduled for 14:00 on Monday, 23 January 2017 at the European Commission’s Stand (number 3.2) in Messe Berlin. The announcement is being held as part of the GSA’s participation in International Green Week, a global tradeshow for the food, agriculture and gardening industries. Feel free to join the competitors.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

In making their decision, the judges looked for relevance, feasibility, innovation and potential marketability.

The Farming by Satellite Prize finalists are…

17.1.2017 9:31  
Published: 
17 January 2017

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) is set to announce the winners of the 2016 Farming by Satellite Prize on 23 January 2017 during the International Green Week exhibition in Berlin.

The GSA will announce the winners of its 2016 Farming by Satellite Prize on 23 January 2017 during the International Green Week exhibition being held at Messe Berlin. The prize awards students and young farmers submitting the most innovative ideas for using satellite technology to improve agricultural production, efficiency and profit. Entrants compete for a share of a EUR 13 000 cash prize, sponsored by key agriculture stakeholders, Claas and Bayer CropScience.

Over 85 individuals and teams registered for the contest, ultimately leading to 45 eligible submissions coming from 13 European and eight African countries (a separate, special prize is awarded to projects submitted by students and young farmers from Africa). From these submissions, an independent judging panel selected the following projects to make the final round:

  • Cleverlrrig (Portugal): software development to support agricultural water management using remote sensing data.
  • Eyecrop (Portugal): scanning pivots with multiple features, including irrigation decision support, plague and disease detection, weather monitoring and crop measurement.
  • Glorify (Italy): a new forecasting system, tested in Italy, combining Earth observation and crop modelling to provide both quantitative and qualitative estimates for rice production.
  • ISA Lille (France): connected cover crop, a technological application related to the optimisation of cover plants.
  • Logic Farm (Belgium): a wide-ranging project using satellite data to address municipal green spaces and the loss of carbon and organic matter in agricultural soils.
  • Niessen (Germany): add-on for implements enabling autonomous driving and optimal working depths.
  • TTT Solutions (Czech Republic): web-based service providing temporal analysis, spectral indices, crop behaviour, and control and support for the payment of subsidies.

For the special Africa prize:

  • Digifarm (Kenya): digital farm information access system that leverages mobile technology to provide farmers with real-time information on rainfall, wind patterns, plant health and the best crops to plant and market.
  • Munzansel (Morocco): geological mapping and soil characterisation in identifying agricultural related hazards using freely-available Copernicus and Sentinel data, leading to best-practices for sustainable agriculture.
  • 7 Saros (Kenya): using satellite technologies to optimise irrigation and fertiliser application. Project will support decisions on when to irrigate, which areas of a field to irrigate and whether or not conditions are optimal for applying fertiliser.

An expanding focus

The focus of many of this year’s entries was on the use of satellite information, remote sensing and GNSS for mapping in conjunction with geological, soil and vegetation data. “Entrants showed a good understanding of the potential for using the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) as a simple graphical indicator to analyse remote sensing measurements and to show the health and productivity of crops and other biomass,” says Judging Panel Chair Dr Andrew Speedy.

The judges also noted their pleasure in seeing some projects address novel crops, including rice in Europe and cocoa beans in Africa. The projects also covered a wide use of satellite information. “Projects covered irrigation requirements, insecticide use and soil organic matter remediation,” says GSA Market Development Officer and fellow judge Reinhard Blasi. “There were also several entries related to fisheries and aquaculture, all of which demonstrates another fertile field for the application of satellite systems, particularly remote sensing and resource mapping.”

In making their decision, the judges looked for relevance, feasibility, innovation and potential marketability. And although there can be only one winner, the entire judging panel agrees that all of the finalist projects clearly demonstrate the enormous potential that applying GNSS and Earth observation to agriculture can bring. “All of these excellent finalists make it clear that satellite information systems are being included in many university and college curricula throughout Europe,” says Dr Speedy. “The potential for engineering applications needs further encouragement and can only be achieved through the public-private collaboration seen in this prize.”

About the prize

The prize, an initiative of the GSA and the European Environment Agency, is open to students and young farmers across Europe and Africa with innovative ideas for using satellite technology to improve agricultural production, efficiency and profit, or to reduce the sector’s environmental impact.

Launched in 2012, the Farming by Satellite Prize, is held every two years.

The award ceremony is scheduled for 14:00 on Monday, 23 January 2017 at the European Commission’s Stand (number 3.2) in Messe Berlin. The announcement is being held as part of the GSA’s participation in International Green Week, a global tradeshow for the food, agriculture and gardening industries. Feel free to join the competitors.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

In making their decision, the judges looked for relevance, feasibility, innovation and potential marketability.

Vidal Ashkenazi, one of the ‘Fathers’ of Galileo, named Officer of the Order of the British Empire

16.1.2017 8:58  
Published: 
16 January 2017

Professor Vidal Ashkenazi, who in 2003 helped lay the groundwork for what would become Galileo, was recently named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his service to science.

Professor Vidal Ashkenazi was recently named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his service to science. The news, which was published in the recent New Year’s Honours List, is in recognition of his commitment to developing the geodetic aspects of positioning by using satellites – a commitment that goes back to the field’s earliest days.

In 1976, the US National Geodetic Survey (NGS) invited Prof. Ashkenazi to assist with the development of geodetic coordinate systems, work that resulted in a framework that is still used by satellite navigation and mapping systems today. Building from this experience, he founded Nottingham Scientific Ltd, one of the leading space geodesy research institutes in Europe and where he currently serves as Chief Executive Officer. It was here that he began to focus on the power of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), noting that although GPS was designed as a military system, its main advantage to the USA was in fact economic.

In 2003 he went to Brussels to share these findings with the Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee of the European Parliament. Here he stressed the economic benefits that GNSS could bring to Europe and the need for the EU to build its own satellite navigation system – thus laying the groundwork for what would become Galileo.

On 15 December 2016, just weeks before receiving the OBE honour, he saw his idea became a reality. With the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services, for the first time ever, users around the world are being guided using the positioning, navigation and timing information provided by Galileo’s global satellite constellation.

As Prof. Ashkenazi predicted, with Galileo, Europe is poised to promote substantial economic growth. This is because the use of satellite navigation has helped drive many advancements, particularly in the transport sector. The additional accuracy and availability provided by Galileo is expected to enable a range of new applications and services that will benefit from increased positioning reliability, thus further driving economic growth in Europe and beyond.

“Twenty years ago, Professor Ashkenazi recognised the need for a European-controlled satellite system,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “Thanks to his foresight and ongoing work with the European Union, today the EU has successfully launched and implemented the world’s first GNSS programme completely under civil control. I am very pleased to see that we live in a society that values professional excellence and vision. On behalf of everyone at the GSA, I congratulate Professor Ashkenazi on this well-deserved award.

“I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded an OBE,” adds Prof. Ashkenazi. “But more importantly, this award recognises the contribution of scientists and technologists to society in terms of satellite positioning, navigation and timing.”

Prof. Ashkenazi will soon be invited to London to receive his OBE from a member of the British Royal Family.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Prof. Ashkenazi will receive his OBE from a member of the British Royal Family in London.

Vidal Ashkenazi, one of the ‘Fathers’ of Galileo, named Officer of the Order of the British Empire

16.1.2017 8:58  
Published: 
16 January 2017

Professor Vidal Ashkenazi, who in 2003 helped lay the groundwork for what would become Galileo, was recently named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his service to science.

Professor Vidal Ashkenazi was recently named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his service to science. The news, which was published in the recent New Year’s Honours List, is in recognition of his commitment to developing the geodetic aspects of positioning by using satellites – a commitment that goes back to the field’s earliest days.

In 1976, the US National Geodetic Survey (NGS) invited Prof. Ashkenazi to assist with the development of geodetic coordinate systems, work that resulted in a framework that is still used by satellite navigation and mapping systems today. Building from this experience, he founded Nottingham Scientific Ltd, one of the leading space geodesy research institutes in Europe and where he currently serves as Chief Executive Officer. It was here that he began to focus on the power of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), noting that although GPS was designed as a military system, its main advantage to the USA was in fact economic.

In 2003 he went to Brussels to share these findings with the Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee of the European Parliament. Here he stressed the economic benefits that GNSS could bring to Europe and the need for the EU to build its own satellite navigation system – thus laying the groundwork for what would become Galileo.

On 15 December 2016, just weeks before receiving the OBE honour, he saw his idea became a reality. With the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services, for the first time ever, users around the world are being guided using the positioning, navigation and timing information provided by Galileo’s global satellite constellation.

As Prof. Ashkenazi predicted, with Galileo, Europe is poised to promote substantial economic growth. This is because the use of satellite navigation has helped drive many advancements, particularly in the transport sector. The additional accuracy and availability provided by Galileo is expected to enable a range of new applications and services that will benefit from increased positioning reliability, thus further driving economic growth in Europe and beyond.

“Twenty years ago, Professor Ashkenazi recognised the need for a European-controlled satellite system,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “Thanks to his foresight and ongoing work with the European Union, today the EU has successfully launched and implemented the world’s first GNSS programme completely under civil control. I am very pleased to see that we live in a society that values professional excellence and vision. On behalf of everyone at the GSA, I congratulate Professor Ashkenazi on this well-deserved award.

“I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded an OBE,” adds Prof. Ashkenazi. “But more importantly, this award recognises the contribution of scientists and technologists to society in terms of satellite positioning, navigation and timing.”

Prof. Ashkenazi will soon be invited to London to receive his OBE from a member of the British Royal Family.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Prof. Ashkenazi will receive his OBE from a member of the British Royal Family in London.

Use Galileo today!

5.1.2017 10:01  
Published: 
05 January 2017

With last month’s Declaration of Galileo Initial Services, anyone with a mass-market device containing a Galileo-enabled chipset, such as a smartphone or a vehicle navigation device, can be guided using the positioning, navigation and timing information provided by Galileo’s global satellite constellation.

“Clearly, the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services is big news for chipset, receiver and device manufacturers and application developers operating in the GNSS market, whose Galileo-enabled products can now start using Galileo signals,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “Today, we invite the industry to showcase their Galileo-enabled products to the media and to users.”

Market ready

The strong cooperation between the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and receiver industry has made it possible for Galileo to arrive onto the market even before the declaration of Initial Services. For example, Broadcom and Qualcomm, the market leaders for global smartphone chips supply, had already built Galileo into their products. As a result, many smartphones coming onto the market this year will arrive Galileo-ready.
“Accurate, reliable and rapid position location is an important part of the mobile experience,” says Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Senior Vice President Product Management Alex Katouzian. “Qualcomm Technologies is helping to improve consumers’ experiences with location-based services by adding Galileo support to our IZat location platform and deploying it broadly across our modem and application processor portfolios.”
Over the course of the past several years and in anticipation of Galileo Initial Services, such key chipset manufacturers as Intel, Mediatek, u-blox and STM have all announced Galileo-ready chips. Overall, more than 95% of the global satellite navigation supply market produce Galileo-ready chips.

Road and surveying now, aviation and maritime soon

Currently, most Galileo-enabled chipsets and receivers are found in the automotive, consumer, agriculture and surveying sectors. For example, in the road sector, satellites help with vehicle navigation and fleet management. “Today, Galileo ensures the accuracy of the satellite signals these services depend on and, in the near future, Galileo will help autonomous driving and connected vehicles,” says GSA Head of Market Development Gian Gherardo Calini.
In the high-precision market, all leading receiver developers have integrated Galileo into their products, including Trimble, Leica Geosystems, Javad, TopCon, Septentrio and NovAtel. “The availability of the first three Galileo services validates our confidence that Europe is ready to join the world’s operators of global navigation satellite systems,” says NovAtel President and CEO Michael Ritter. “NovAtel’s high precision GNSS receivers, antennas and certified ground-reference station receivers have supported Galileo signals in anticipation of the complete constellation.”
Galileo will soon be providing support to location based operations in all other market segments. For example, receivers for Unmanned Autonomous Systems (UAS) are already capable of tracking the Galileo signal. On the maritime side, Galileo is helping to ensure safer navigation on the water, and has been recognised by the International Maritime Organisation as part of its Worldwide Radio Navigation System.
“The GSA is excited to continue its close cooperation with chipset and receiver manufacturers in the coming years as we further optimise Galileo performance and maximise user benefits,” says Calini. Along these lines, the 2017 Annual Receiver Workshop is scheduled for March 21 at GSA headquarters in Prague. This regular event is an excellent opportunity for the GNSS receiver community to learn the latest about the Galileo programme.

First Galileo smartphones

With Galileo, the positioning information provided by smartphones is more accurate and reliable – particularly in urban environments where narrow streets and tall buildings often block satellite signals and limit the usefulness of many mobile services. One of the first device manufacturers to take advantage of the increased accuracy and reliability that Galileo provides is BQ, the Spanish technology company that launched the first European-designed Galileo smartphone to hit the market.
“It is a great privilege for BQ to be one of the first in the world to offer Galileo in our devices,” says BQ Assistant General Manager Rodrigo del Prado. “This is a clear demonstration of Europe’s robust technological capabilities.”
Other smartphone manufacturers are also preparing to activate Galileo capability on their devices. In fact, just prior to the Declaration of Initial Services, the Huawei Mate 9 added Galileo support to the phone’s technical specifications.

Up-to-date info on using Galileo

To keep users up-to-date with detailed information on all available Galileo-compatible products, the GSA launched www.useGalileo.eu. From this dedicated website users can easily browse the list of currently available Galileo products and devices and search for devices based on user segment. 
Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link the article back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

During the recent Declaration of Initial Services event in Brussels, the five leading chipset manufacturers showcased their Galileo products at the European Commission’s headquarters. © De Ribaucourt Photography

Use Galileo today!

5.1.2017 10:01  
Published: 
05 January 2017

With last month’s Declaration of Galileo Initial Services, anyone with a mass-market device containing a Galileo-enabled chipset, such as a smartphone or a vehicle navigation device, can be guided using the positioning, navigation and timing information provided by Galileo’s global satellite constellation.

“Clearly, the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services is big news for chipset, receiver and device manufacturers and application developers operating in the GNSS market, whose Galileo-enabled products can now start using Galileo signals,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “Today, we invite the industry to showcase their Galileo-enabled products to the media and to users.”

Market ready

The strong cooperation between the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and receiver industry has made it possible for Galileo to arrive onto the market even before the declaration of Initial Services. For example, Broadcom and Qualcomm, the market leaders for global smartphone chips supply, had already built Galileo into their products. As a result, many smartphones coming onto the market this year will arrive Galileo-ready.
“Accurate, reliable and rapid position location is an important part of the mobile experience,” says Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Senior Vice President Product Management Alex Katouzian. “Qualcomm Technologies is helping to improve consumers’ experiences with location-based services by adding Galileo support to our IZat location platform and deploying it broadly across our modem and application processor portfolios.”
Over the course of the past several years and in anticipation of Galileo Initial Services, such key chipset manufacturers as Intel, Mediatek, u-blox and STM have all announced Galileo-ready chips. Overall, more than 95% of the global satellite navigation supply market produce Galileo-ready chips.

Road and surveying now, aviation and maritime soon

Currently, most Galileo-enabled chipsets and receivers are found in the automotive, consumer, agriculture and surveying sectors. For example, in the road sector, satellites help with vehicle navigation and fleet management. “Today, Galileo ensures the accuracy of the satellite signals these services depend on and, in the near future, Galileo will help autonomous driving and connected vehicles,” says GSA Head of Market Development Gian Gherardo Calini.
In the high-precision market, all leading receiver developers have integrated Galileo into their products, including Trimble, Leica Geosystems, Javad, TopCon, Septentrio and NovAtel. “The availability of the first three Galileo services validates our confidence that Europe is ready to join the world’s operators of global navigation satellite systems,” says NovAtel President and CEO Michael Ritter. “NovAtel’s high precision GNSS receivers, antennas and certified ground-reference station receivers have supported Galileo signals in anticipation of the complete constellation.”
Galileo will soon be providing support to location based operations in all other market segments. For example, receivers for Unmanned Autonomous Systems (UAS) are already capable of tracking the Galileo signal. On the maritime side, Galileo is helping to ensure safer navigation on the water, and has been recognised by the International Maritime Organisation as part of its Worldwide Radio Navigation System.
“The GSA is excited to continue its close cooperation with chipset and receiver manufacturers in the coming years as we further optimise Galileo performance and maximise user benefits,” says Calini. Along these lines, the 2017 Annual Receiver Workshop is scheduled for March 21 at GSA headquarters in Prague. This regular event is an excellent opportunity for the GNSS receiver community to learn the latest about the Galileo programme.

First Galileo smartphones

With Galileo, the positioning information provided by smartphones is more accurate and reliable – particularly in urban environments where narrow streets and tall buildings often block satellite signals and limit the usefulness of many mobile services. One of the first device manufacturers to take advantage of the increased accuracy and reliability that Galileo provides is BQ, the Spanish technology company that launched the first European-designed Galileo smartphone to hit the market.
“It is a great privilege for BQ to be one of the first in the world to offer Galileo in our devices,” says BQ Assistant General Manager Rodrigo del Prado. “This is a clear demonstration of Europe’s robust technological capabilities.”
Other smartphone manufacturers are also preparing to activate Galileo capability on their devices. In fact, just prior to the Declaration of Initial Services, the Huawei Mate 9 added Galileo support to the phone’s technical specifications.

Up-to-date info on using Galileo

To keep users up-to-date with detailed information on all available Galileo-compatible products, the GSA launched www.useGalileo.eu. From this dedicated website users can easily browse the list of currently available Galileo products and devices and search for devices based on user segment. 
Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link the article back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

During the recent Declaration of Initial Services event in Brussels, the five leading chipset manufacturers showcased their Galileo products at the European Commission’s headquarters. © De Ribaucourt Photography

Europe’s aviation community enthusiastic about EGNOS adoption

22.12.2016 11:47  
Published: 
22 December 2016

The European GNSS Agency (GSA), together with EUROCONTROL, recently held a two-day meeting at its Prague headquarters. More than 120 people participated, including national air navigation service providers and authorities, civil and military aircraft operators, pilots, international aviation associations, equipment manufacturers and rotorcraft operators. 

“The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) was originally built for the aviation sector, and the significant interest in this meeting is evidence of how the value of EGNOS is strongly recognised by the entire aviation community,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides.
Whereas the first day served as an opportunity for the many GSA-funded aviation projects to gather together and share their experiences in regards to EGNOS adoption, the second day was dedicated to the 11th meeting of the Area Navigation (RNAV) Approach implementation Support Group (RAiSG). On its agenda were such aviation-critical topics as implementation updates, status of the EGNOS service provision, SBAS CAT I operational safety assessment guidance, and the latest developments coming from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). RAiSG is charged with coordinating the activities necessary for the implementation of RNAV approach procedures.
“The GSA supports the implementation of EGNOS not just through funding, but also by providing technical assistance, support and close cooperation with such aviation user associations as the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), along with overseeing the development of the GNSS user group,” explains GSA Market Development Officer Carmen Aguilera.

The EGNOS effect
During the first day, projects funded under the first and second calls of the EGNOS adoption aviation grant programme had an opportunity to present and discuss the challenges, successes, lessons learnt and best practices experienced by their projects. Presenters included operators, airport managers, air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and national civil aviation authorities.
Highlights included discussions on:

“With these projects we are creating a snowball effect for the adoption of EGNOS,” says Aguilera. “For example, the development of supplemental-type certificates during the first call allowed other projects to begin creating retrofit solutions for over 260 aircraft.”
According to Aguilera, one of the most popular topics for discussion was rotorcraft operations using EGNOS. “By bringing together all relevant players in one room, we are helping to foster adoption in this important sector and harmonising EGNOS-based rotorcraft operations in Europe,” she says.
“This event was a resounding success because it provided a unique opportunity for aviation stakeholders to come together and learn from each other’s experiences in regards to implementing projects that benefit the aviation community as a whole,” adds EUROCONTROL Director of Pan-European Sky Adriaan Heerbaart. 

A partnership for aviation
The workshop was organised within the context of the Framework Partnership Agreement between EUROCONTROL and the GSA. Since 2014, the two organisations have worked together to develop advanced systems and operations for aviation based on space technology. In particular, they are focused on improving airport accessibility, aviation efficiency and air traffic management capacity, while also reducing safety risks and costs.
Signed in 2015, the Framework Partnership Agreement covers a 7-year period and focuses on a range of activities, including:

  • aviation user requirements for EGNOS and Galileo
  • supporting the use of European GNSS services in the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) area
  • coordinating research and development (R&D) within the aviation sector;
  • standardising aviation regulations
  • monitoring aviation-specific GNSS performance
  • supporting the uptake of European GNSS for aviation at the international level

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link the article back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Building a E-GNSS engine the self-driving car

19.12.2016 15:58  
Published: 
19 December 2016

In 2015, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) launched Fundamental Elements, an R&D funding mechanism supporting the development of global navigation satellite system-(GNSS) enabled chipsets, receivers and antennas. The mechanism aims to support the development of innovative chipset and receiver technology that industry would not invest in on its own initiative, thus accelerating their integration of Galileo and EGNOS into market-ready devices. The end goal is to develop close-to-market chipsets, receivers and antennas in targeted markets. The first project to come out Fundamental Elements is dedicated to the automotive segment.      

With connected vehicles and autonomous driving vehicles being the most relevant trend in the automotive sector – both now and for the foreseeable future – there is a clear need to provide accurate and reliable positioning information for safety-critical applications. Within the context of road transportation, safety-critical applications are defined as those that possess the potential to, directly or indirectly, avoid causing harm to humans, destroying the vehicle or damaging external property or the environment. Autonomous driving, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and dangerous goods transportation are all included in this group.

Also read: Driving towards the autonomous vehicle

The traditional way of providing the required accurate and reliable positioning information is to make use of multiple sources of sensor data. The problem with this approach is that it requires the use of such sophisticated equipment as radar/lidar-based sensor and cameras, which tend to be expensive. Furthermore, as this equipment is not specifically designed for use with automotive consumer applications, it is not fully suitable to provide reliable positioning information.

A dedicated solution
The European Safety Critical Applications Positioning Engine (ESCAPE) project aims to overcome these multiple challenges by developing a dedicated, reliable and accurate engine, specifically designed for automotive safety-critical applications. The ESCAPE project is funded under the Fundamental Elements Development of E-GNSS engine for safety-critical multi-applications in road transport call.

Read this: Satellite navigation at core of future connected car systems

The project consortium includes stakeholders from across the automotive value chain, including Renault, FICOSA, GMV and ST. Under the ESCAPE umbrella, these companies are pooling their complementary competences and pre-existing knowledge to develop an innovative positioning engine that exploits European GNSS (E-GNSS) differentiators and will be available for future commercialisation. Ultimately, the project will develop the first multi-constellation Galileo chipset receiver with multi-frequency capability specifically adapted to road applications – and in particular autonomous vehicles. 

Re-defining the state of the art
According to project researchers, the ESCAPE engine will surpass current definitions of ‘state of the art’. “For the first time, an E-GNSS engine will provide an integrity-focused, safety-critical positioning system that fully integrates GNSS, on-board sensors, cameras and maps,” says GSA Head of Market Development Gian Gherardo Calini. The engine’s core features include:

  • a GNSS/Galileo multi-constellation, multi-frequency chipset for road applications
  • use of the precise point positioning (PPP) service
  • hybridisation of cameras, maps, vehicle sensors and GNSS integrated into a tight coupling filter
  • provision of an integrity layer to the exploited technologies
  • optional capability to implement navigation message authentication

Over the course of three years, these technologies will be integrated into the resulting ESCAPE engine. At that point, the engine will be close to commercialisation, with rapid market uptake expected.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Building the E-GNSS engine for self-driving car

19.12.2016 15:58  
Published: 
19 December 2016

In 2015, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) launched Fundamental Elements, an R&D funding mechanism supporting the development of global navigation satellite system-(GNSS) enabled chipsets, receivers and antennas. The mechanism aims to support the development of innovative chipset and receiver technology that industry would not invest in on its own initiative, thus accelerating their integration of Galileo and EGNOS into market-ready devices. The end goal is to develop close-to-market chipsets, receivers and antennas in targeted markets. The first project to come out Fundamental Elements is dedicated to the automotive segment.      

With connected vehicles and autonomous driving vehicles being the most relevant trend in the automotive sector – both now and for the foreseeable future – there is a clear need to provide accurate and reliable positioning information for safety-critical applications. Within the context of road transportation, safety-critical applications are defined as those that possess the potential to, directly or indirectly, avoid causing harm to humans, destroying the vehicle or damaging external property or the environment. Autonomous driving, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and dangerous goods transportation are all included in this group.

Also read: Driving towards the autonomous vehicle

The traditional way of providing the required accurate and reliable positioning information is to make use of multiple sources of sensor data. The problem with this approach is that it requires the use of such sophisticated equipment as radar/lidar-based sensor and cameras, which tend to be expensive. Furthermore, as this equipment is not specifically designed for use with automotive consumer applications, it is not fully suitable to provide reliable positioning information.

A dedicated solution
The European Safety Critical Applications Positioning Engine (ESCAPE) project aims to overcome these multiple challenges by developing a dedicated, reliable and accurate engine, specifically designed for automotive safety-critical applications. The ESCAPE project is funded under the Fundamental Elements Development of E-GNSS engine for safety-critical multi-applications in road transport call.

Read this: Satellite navigation at core of future connected car systems

The project consortium includes stakeholders from across the automotive value chain, including Renault, FICOSA, GMV and ST. Under the ESCAPE umbrella, these companies are pooling their complementary competences and pre-existing knowledge to develop an innovative positioning engine that exploits European GNSS (E-GNSS) differentiators and will be available for future commercialisation. Ultimately, the project will develop the first multi-constellation Galileo chipset receiver with multi-frequency capability specifically adapted to road applications – and in particular autonomous vehicles. 

Re-defining the state of the art
According to project researchers, the ESCAPE engine will surpass current definitions of ‘state of the art’. “For the first time, an E-GNSS engine will provide an integrity-focused, safety-critical positioning system that fully integrates GNSS, on-board sensors, cameras and maps,” says GSA Head of Market Development Gian Gherardo Calini. The engine’s core features include:

  • a GNSS/Galileo multi-constellation, multi-frequency chipset for road applications
  • use of the precise point positioning (PPP) service
  • hybridisation of cameras, maps, vehicle sensors and GNSS integrated into a tight coupling filter
  • provision of an integrity layer to the exploited technologies
  • optional capability to implement navigation message authentication

Over the course of three years, these technologies will be integrated into the resulting ESCAPE engine. At that point, the engine will be close to commercialisation, with rapid market uptake expected.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Galileo goes live

16.12.2016 11:38  

 

With the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services, Galileo officially moves from a testing phase to the provision of live services. For the first time ever, users around the world can be guided using the positioning, navigation and timing information provided by Galileo’s global satellite constellation. Starting now, any mass-market device containing a Galileo-enabled chipset, such as smartphones and vehicle navigation devices, can use Galileo.

“Today we are really making history,” says European Commission Vice President responsible for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič. “With Galileo, Europe gains its own satellite navigation system that will improve a range of everyday services for our citizens and strengthens Europe’s strategic autonomy.”

“Galileo is now alive and kicking,” says Elzbieta Bienkowska European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. “Galileo Initial Services is the result of a concerted effort to design and build the most accurate navigation system in the world. It demonstrates the technological excellence of Europe and its commitment to delivering space-based services and applications and, as such, represents a special achievement of a united Europe.”

GSA in the driver’s seat

With the launch of Initial Services, Galileo officially transitions from a system in testing to a system in service. As Europe’s link between space technology and user needs, the GSA has been delegated the responsibility for the Galileo service provision by the European Commission. As of 1 January 2017, the GSA will have the core task of ensuring a return on investment from Galileo in the form of clear, across-the-board services and applications for end users.

Watch this: Galileo goes live, Initial Services declaration

“The GSA is now putting into practice all that it has been preparing for,” adds GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “The centre of gravity for the Galileo programme is now the user and, meaning European citizens, businesses and entrepreneurs can benefit from the many innovative opportunities created by European GNSS.”

In overseeing the Galileo service provision, the GSA will:

  • oversee the operation of such key service facilities as the Galileo Security Monitoring Centre (GSMC) in France and the United Kingdom, the GSC in Spain and the Galileo Reference Centre (GRC) in the Netherlands;
  • maximise adoption across user market segments and fostering EU economic and industrial benefits;
  • make the Public Regulated Service (PRS) the service of choice for all authorised users, providing the same high level of availability and robustness that is otherwise only available from military-based GNSS systems (GPS, GLONASS, Beidou);
  • position Galileo as the first constellation of choice in search and rescue beacons.

What Galileo Initial Services means for you

With Galileo Initial Services, users benefit from a more accurate navigation and positioning that saves time and allows one to travel safer. For example, thanks to Galileo’s Search and Rescue service, locating distress beacons is substantially improved. As a result, after someone activates a distress beacon, the time to find them, whether they are lost at sea or in the mountains, is reduced from up to three hours to just ten minutes. Additionally, the distress beacon’s location can be more accurately determined, to within 5km – a substantial improvement on the current 10km.

Europe will also enjoy substantial economic growth. This is because the use of satellite navigation has helped drive world economic growth, particularly in high-tech industries. Experts predict that the global satellite navigation market will itself grow by more than 18% up until 2019. The additional resiliency provided by Galileo is expected to enable a range of new applications and services that will benefit from increased positioning reliability, thus further driving economic growth in Europe and beyond.

Galileo compatible products available today

The Declaration of Galileo Initial Services is also excellent news for chipset and receiver manufacturers and application developers, whose Galileo-enabled products can now start using Galileo signals.
 
Today, 17 companies, representing more than 95% of the global satellite navigation supply market, produce Galileo-ready chips. These include such key chipset manufacturers as u-blox, Broadcom, Mediatek, Intel and Qualcomm. There are also a number of Galileo-ready devices on the market, including smartphones and in-vehicle navigation systems.

You can find up-to-date information on all available Galileo compatible products at www.useGalileo.eu

Understanding Initial Services

Galileo is Europe’s Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS). The Declaration of Initial Services – a combined effort of the European Commission, European GNSS Agency (GSA), and European Space Agency (ESA) – is the first step towards reaching full operational capability.

The first services offered by Galileo include the Open Service, Public Regulated Service (PRS) and Search and Rescue Service (SaR). All of these services are available free of charge.

Galileo Initial Services are fully interoperable with GPS – a combination that provides users with considerable improvements, with stronger performance and service levels. With Galileo satellites working in conjunction with GPS, there are more satellites available, meaning more accurate and reliable positioning for end users. In particular, navigation in cities, where satellite signals can often be blocked by tall buildings, benefit from the increased positioning accuracy this provides.
History in the making

Galileo is unique in that it is the only civil-based GNSS initiative. Whereas the United States’ GPS, Russia’s GLONASS, and China’s Beidou systems – among others – are all operated by their respective militaries, Europe’s Galileo programme stands alone as the world’s only option for GNSS under civil control. This is an important distinction, especially as the world’s dependence on GNSS continues to increase. From individuals to private businesses, the public sector and academia, as more and more services become dependent on the availability of an accurate GNSS signal, the implications of a possible signal failure becomes increasingly dangerous.

With some foresight, 20 years ago the EU recognised the need for a European-controlled satellite navigation system. In the years since, the EU has successfully launched and implemented EGNOS and, today, Galileo Initial Services.

Initial Services is the first step toward full operational capability, which will occur when the Galileo constellation is complete by 2020. Between the declaration of Initial Services and full operational capability, additional satellites will be added to the constellation, allowing new services to become available.

Learn more

The GSA’s Galileo Initial Services pagee

The European GNSS Service Centre is the place to go for all things related to developing Galileo-capable products and services. 

GSA Ready for Initial Services

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link the article back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Galileo goes live

16.12.2016 11:38  
Published: 
16 December 2016

With the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services, Galileo officially moves from a testing phase to the provision of live services. For the first time ever, users around the world can be guided using the positioning, navigation and timing information provided by Galileo’s global satellite constellation. Starting now, any mass-market device containing a Galileo-enabled chipset, such as smartphones and vehicle navigation devices, can use Galileo.

“Today we are really making history,” says European Commission Vice President responsible for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič. “With Galileo, Europe gains its own satellite navigation system that will improve a range of everyday services for our citizens and strengthens Europe’s strategic autonomy.”

“Galileo is now alive and kicking,” says Elzbieta Bienkowska European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. “Galileo Initial Services is the result of a concerted effort to design and build the most accurate navigation system in the world. It demonstrates the technological excellence of Europe and its commitment to delivering space-based services and applications and, as such, represents a special achievement of a united Europe.”

GSA in the driver’s seat

With the launch of Initial Services, Galileo officially transitions from a system in testing to a system in service. As Europe’s link between space technology and user needs, the GSA has been delegated the responsibility for the Galileo service provision by the European Commission. As of 1 January 2017, the GSA will have the core task of ensuring a return on investment from Galileo in the form of clear, across-the-board services and applications for end users.

 

“The GSA is now putting into practice all that it has been preparing for,” adds GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “The centre of gravity for the Galileo programme is now the user and, meaning European citizens, businesses and entrepreneurs can benefit from the many innovative opportunities created by European GNSS.”

In overseeing the Galileo service provision, the GSA will:

  • oversee the operation of such key service facilities as the Galileo Security Monitoring Centre (GSMC) in France and the United Kingdom, the GSC in Spain and the Galileo Reference Centre (GRC) in the Netherlands;
  • maximise adoption across user market segments and fostering EU economic and industrial benefits;
  • make the Public Regulated Service (PRS) the service of choice for all authorised users, providing the same high level of availability and robustness that is otherwise only available from military-based GNSS systems (GPS, GLONASS, Beidou);
  • position Galileo as the first constellation of choice in search and rescue beacons.

What Galileo Initial Services means for you

With Galileo Initial Services, users benefit from a more accurate navigation and positioning that saves time and allows one to travel safer. For example, thanks to Galileo’s Search and Rescue service, locating distress beacons is substantially improved. As a result, after someone activates a distress beacon, the time to find them, whether they are lost at sea or in the mountains, is reduced from up to three hours to just ten minutes. Additionally, the distress beacon’s location can be more accurately determined, to within 5km – a substantial improvement on the current 10km.

Europe will also enjoy substantial economic growth. This is because the use of satellite navigation has helped drive world economic growth, particularly in high-tech industries. Experts predict that the global satellite navigation market will itself grow by more than 18% up until 2019. The additional resiliency provided by Galileo is expected to enable a range of new applications and services that will benefit from increased positioning reliability, thus further driving economic growth in Europe and beyond.

Galileo compatible products available today

The Declaration of Galileo Initial Services is also excellent news for chipset and receiver manufacturers and application developers, whose Galileo-enabled products can now start using Galileo signals.
 
Today, 17 companies, representing more than 95% of the global satellite navigation supply market, produce Galileo-ready chips. These include such key chipset manufacturers as u-blox, Broadcom, Mediatek, Intel and Qualcomm. There are also a number of Galileo-ready devices on the market, including smartphones and in-vehicle navigation systems.

You can find up-to-date information on all available Galileo compatible products at www.useGalileo.eu

Understanding Initial Services

Galileo is Europe’s Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS). The Declaration of Initial Services – a combined effort of the European Commission, European GNSS Agency (GSA), and European Space Agency (ESA) – is the first step towards reaching full operational capability.

The first services offered by Galileo include the Open Service, Public Regulated Service (PRS) and Search and Rescue Service (SaR). All of these services are available free of charge.

Galileo Initial Services are fully interoperable with GPS – a combination that provides users with considerable improvements, with stronger performance and service levels. With Galileo satellites working in conjunction with GPS, there are more satellites available, meaning more accurate and reliable positioning for end users. In particular, navigation in cities, where satellite signals can often be blocked by tall buildings, benefit from the increased positioning accuracy this provides.
History in the making

Galileo is unique in that it is the only civil-based GNSS initiative. Whereas the United States’ GPS, Russia’s GLONASS, and China’s Beidou systems – among others – are all operated by their respective militaries, Europe’s Galileo programme stands alone as the world’s only option for GNSS under civil control. This is an important distinction, especially as the world’s dependence on GNSS continues to increase. From individuals to private businesses, the public sector and academia, as more and more services become dependent on the availability of an accurate GNSS signal, the implications of a possible signal failure becomes increasingly dangerous.

With some foresight, 20 years ago the EU recognised the need for a European-controlled satellite navigation system. In the years since, the EU has successfully launched and implemented EGNOS and, today, Galileo Initial Services.

Initial Services is the first step toward full operational capability, which will occur when the Galileo constellation is complete by 2020. Between the declaration of Initial Services and full operational capability, additional satellites will be added to the constellation, allowing new services to become available.

Learn more

The GSA’s Galileo Initial Services page

The European GNSS Service Centre is the place to go for all things related to developing Galileo-capable products and services. 

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link the article back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Galileo goes live

16.12.2016 11:38  

 

With the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services, Galileo officially moves from a testing phase to the provision of live services. For the first time ever, users around the world can be guided using the positioning, navigation and timing information provided by Galileo’s global satellite constellation. Starting now, any mass-market device containing a Galileo-enabled chipset, such as smartphones and vehicle navigation devices, can use Galileo.

“Today we are really making history,” says European Commission Vice President responsible for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič. “With Galileo, Europe gains its own satellite navigation system that will improve a range of everyday services for our citizens and strengthens Europe’s strategic autonomy.”

“Galileo is now alive and kicking,” says Elzbieta Bienkowska European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. “Galileo Initial Services is the result of a concerted effort to design and build the most accurate navigation system in the world. It demonstrates the technological excellence of Europe and its commitment to delivering space-based services and applications and, as such, represents a special achievement of a united Europe.”

GSA in the driver’s seat

With the launch of Initial Services, Galileo officially transitions from a system in testing to a system in service. As Europe’s link between space technology and user needs, the GSA has been delegated the responsibility for the Galileo service provision by the European Commission. As of 1 January 2017, the GSA will have the core task of ensuring a return on investment from Galileo in the form of clear, across-the-board services and applications for end users.


 

 

“The GSA is now putting into practice all that it has been preparing for,” adds GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “The centre of gravity for the Galileo programme is now the user and, meaning European citizens, businesses and entrepreneurs can benefit from the many innovative opportunities created by European GNSS.”

In overseeing the Galileo service provision, the GSA will:

  • oversee the operation of such key service facilities as the Galileo Security Monitoring Centre (GSMC) in France and the United Kingdom, the GSC in Spain and the Galileo Reference Centre (GRC) in the Netherlands;
  • maximise adoption across user market segments and fostering EU economic and industrial benefits;
  • make the Public Regulated Service (PRS) the service of choice for all authorised users, providing the same high level of availability and robustness that is otherwise only available from military-based GNSS systems (GPS, GLONASS, Beidou);
  • position Galileo as the first constellation of choice in search and rescue beacons.

What Galileo Initial Services means for you

With Galileo Initial Services, users benefit from a more accurate navigation and positioning that saves time and allows one to travel safer. For example, thanks to Galileo’s Search and Rescue service, locating distress beacons is substantially improved. As a result, after someone activates a distress beacon, the time to find them, whether they are lost at sea or in the mountains, is reduced from up to three hours to just ten minutes. Additionally, the distress beacon’s location can be more accurately determined, to within 5km – a substantial improvement on the current 10km.

Europe will also enjoy substantial economic growth. This is because the use of satellite navigation has helped drive world economic growth, particularly in high-tech industries. Experts predict that the global satellite navigation market will itself grow by more than 18% up until 2019. The additional resiliency provided by Galileo is expected to enable a range of new applications and services that will benefit from increased positioning reliability, thus further driving economic growth in Europe and beyond.

Galileo compatible products available today

The Declaration of Galileo Initial Services is also excellent news for chipset and receiver manufacturers and application developers, whose Galileo-enabled products can now start using Galileo signals.
 
Today, 17 companies, representing more than 95% of the global satellite navigation supply market, produce Galileo-ready chips. These include such key chipset manufacturers as u-blox, Broadcom, Mediatek, Intel and Qualcomm. There are also a number of Galileo-ready devices on the market, including smartphones and in-vehicle navigation systems.

You can find up-to-date information on all available Galileo compatible products at www.useGalileo.eu

Understanding Initial Services

Galileo is Europe’s Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS). The Declaration of Initial Services – a combined effort of the European Commission, European GNSS Agency (GSA), and European Space Agency (ESA) – is the first step towards reaching full operational capability.

The first services offered by Galileo include the Open Service, Public Regulated Service (PRS) and Search and Rescue Service (SaR). All of these services are available free of charge.

Galileo Initial Services are fully interoperable with GPS – a combination that provides users with considerable improvements, with stronger performance and service levels. With Galileo satellites working in conjunction with GPS, there are more satellites available, meaning more accurate and reliable positioning for end users. In particular, navigation in cities, where satellite signals can often be blocked by tall buildings, benefit from the increased positioning accuracy this provides.
History in the making

Galileo is unique in that it is the only civil-based GNSS initiative. Whereas the United States’ GPS, Russia’s GLONASS, and China’s Beidou systems – among others – are all operated by their respective militaries, Europe’s Galileo programme stands alone as the world’s only option for GNSS under civil control. This is an important distinction, especially as the world’s dependence on GNSS continues to increase. From individuals to private businesses, the public sector and academia, as more and more services become dependent on the availability of an accurate GNSS signal, the implications of a possible signal failure becomes increasingly dangerous.

With some foresight, 20 years ago the EU recognised the need for a European-controlled satellite navigation system. In the years since, the EU has successfully launched and implemented EGNOS and, today, Galileo Initial Services.

Initial Services is the first step toward full operational capability, which will occur when the Galileo constellation is complete by 2020. Between the declaration of Initial Services and full operational capability, additional satellites will be added to the constellation, allowing new services to become available.

Learn more

The GSA’s Galileo Initial Services pagee

The European GNSS Service Centre is the place to go for all things related to developing Galileo-capable products and services. 

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link the article back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Galileo goes live

16.12.2016 11:38  

 

With the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services, Galileo officially moves from a testing phase to the provision of live services. For the first time ever, users around the world can be guided using the positioning, navigation and timing information provided by Galileo’s global satellite constellation. Starting now, any mass-market device containing a Galileo-enabled chipset, such as smartphones and vehicle navigation devices, can use Galileo.

“Today we are really making history,” says European Commission Vice President responsible for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič. “With Galileo, Europe gains its own satellite navigation system that will improve a range of everyday services for our citizens and strengthens Europe’s strategic autonomy.”

“Galileo is now alive and kicking,” says Elzbieta Bienkowska European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. “Galileo Initial Services is the result of a concerted effort to design and build the most accurate navigation system in the world. It demonstrates the technological excellence of Europe and its commitment to delivering space-based services and applications and, as such, represents a special achievement of a united Europe.”

GSA in the driver’s seat

With the launch of Initial Services, Galileo officially transitions from a system in testing to a system in service. As Europe’s link between space technology and user needs, the GSA has been delegated the responsibility for the Galileo service provision by the European Commission. As of 1 January 2017, the GSA will have the core task of ensuring a return on investment from Galileo in the form of clear, across-the-board services and applications for end users.

 

“The GSA is now putting into practice all that it has been preparing for,” adds GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “The centre of gravity for the Galileo programme is now the user and, meaning European citizens, businesses and entrepreneurs can benefit from the many innovative opportunities created by European GNSS.”

In overseeing the Galileo service provision, the GSA will:

  • oversee the operation of such key service facilities as the Galileo Security Monitoring Centre (GSMC) in France and the United Kingdom, the GSC in Spain and the Galileo Reference Centre (GRC) in the Netherlands;
  • maximise adoption across user market segments and fostering EU economic and industrial benefits;
  • make the Public Regulated Service (PRS) the service of choice for all authorised users, providing the same high level of availability and robustness that is otherwise only available from military-based GNSS systems (GPS, GLONASS, Beidou);
  • position Galileo as the first constellation of choice in search and rescue beacons.

What Galileo Initial Services means for you

With Galileo Initial Services, users benefit from a more accurate navigation and positioning that saves time and allows one to travel safer. For example, thanks to Galileo’s Search and Rescue service, locating distress beacons is substantially improved. As a result, after someone activates a distress beacon, the time to find them, whether they are lost at sea or in the mountains, is reduced from up to three hours to just ten minutes. Additionally, the distress beacon’s location can be more accurately determined, to within 5km – a substantial improvement on the current 10km.

Europe will also enjoy substantial economic growth. This is because the use of satellite navigation has helped drive world economic growth, particularly in high-tech industries. Experts predict that the global satellite navigation market will itself grow by more than 18% up until 2019. The additional resiliency provided by Galileo is expected to enable a range of new applications and services that will benefit from increased positioning reliability, thus further driving economic growth in Europe and beyond.

Galileo compatible products available today

The Declaration of Galileo Initial Services is also excellent news for chipset and receiver manufacturers and application developers, whose Galileo-enabled products can now start using Galileo signals.
 
Today, 17 companies, representing more than 95% of the global satellite navigation supply market, produce Galileo-ready chips. These include such key chipset manufacturers as u-blox, Broadcom, Mediatek, Intel and Qualcomm. There are also a number of Galileo-ready devices on the market, including smartphones and in-vehicle navigation systems.

You can find up-to-date information on all available Galileo compatible products at www.useGalileo.eu

Understanding Initial Services

Galileo is Europe’s Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS). The Declaration of Initial Services – a combined effort of the European Commission, European GNSS Agency (GSA), and European Space Agency (ESA) – is the first step towards reaching full operational capability.

The first services offered by Galileo include the Open Service, Public Regulated Service (PRS) and Search and Rescue Service (SaR). All of these services are available free of charge.

Galileo Initial Services are fully interoperable with GPS – a combination that provides users with considerable improvements, with stronger performance and service levels. With Galileo satellites working in conjunction with GPS, there are more satellites available, meaning more accurate and reliable positioning for end users. In particular, navigation in cities, where satellite signals can often be blocked by tall buildings, benefit from the increased positioning accuracy this provides.
History in the making

Galileo is unique in that it is the only civil-based GNSS initiative. Whereas the United States’ GPS, Russia’s GLONASS, and China’s Beidou systems – among others – are all operated by their respective militaries, Europe’s Galileo programme stands alone as the world’s only option for GNSS under civil control. This is an important distinction, especially as the world’s dependence on GNSS continues to increase. From individuals to private businesses, the public sector and academia, as more and more services become dependent on the availability of an accurate GNSS signal, the implications of a possible signal failure becomes increasingly dangerous.

With some foresight, 20 years ago the EU recognised the need for a European-controlled satellite navigation system. In the years since, the EU has successfully launched and implemented EGNOS and, today, Galileo Initial Services.

Initial Services is the first step toward full operational capability, which will occur when the Galileo constellation is complete by 2020. Between the declaration of Initial Services and full operational capability, additional satellites will be added to the constellation, allowing new services to become available.

Learn more

The GSA’s Galileo Initial Services pagee

The European GNSS Service Centre is the place to go for all things related to developing Galileo-capable products and services. 

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link the article back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Galileo goes live

16.12.2016 11:38  

 

With the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services, Galileo officially moves from a testing phase to the provision of live services. For the first time ever, users around the world can be guided using the positioning, navigation and timing information provided by Galileo’s global satellite constellation. Starting now, any mass-market device containing a Galileo-enabled chipset, such as smartphones and vehicle navigation devices, can use Galileo.

“Today we are really making history,” says European Commission Vice President responsible for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič. “With Galileo, Europe gains its own satellite navigation system that will improve a range of everyday services for our citizens and strengthens Europe’s strategic autonomy.”

“Galileo is now alive and kicking,” says Elzbieta Bienkowska European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. “Galileo Initial Services is the result of a concerted effort to design and build the most accurate navigation system in the world. It demonstrates the technological excellence of Europe and its commitment to delivering space-based services and applications and, as such, represents a special achievement of a united Europe.”

GSA in the driver’s seat

With the launch of Initial Services, Galileo officially transitions from a system in testing to a system in service. As Europe’s link between space technology and user needs, the GSA has been delegated the responsibility for the Galileo service provision by the European Commission. As of 1 January 2017, the GSA will have the core task of ensuring a return on investment from Galileo in the form of clear, across-the-board services and applications for end users.

 

“The GSA is now putting into practice all that it has been preparing for,” adds GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “The centre of gravity for the Galileo programme is now the user and, meaning European citizens, businesses and entrepreneurs can benefit from the many innovative opportunities created by European GNSS.”

In overseeing the Galileo service provision, the GSA will:

  • oversee the operation of such key service facilities as the Galileo Security Monitoring Centre (GSMC) in France and the United Kingdom, the GSC in Spain and the Galileo Reference Centre (GRC) in the Netherlands;
  • maximise adoption across user market segments and fostering EU economic and industrial benefits;
  • make the Public Regulated Service (PRS) the service of choice for all authorised users, providing the same high level of availability and robustness that is otherwise only available from military-based GNSS systems (GPS, GLONASS, Beidou);
  • position Galileo as the first constellation of choice in search and rescue beacons.

What Galileo Initial Services means for you

With Galileo Initial Services, users benefit from a more accurate navigation and positioning that saves time and allows one to travel safer. For example, thanks to Galileo’s Search and Rescue service, locating distress beacons is substantially improved. As a result, after someone activates a distress beacon, the time to find them, whether they are lost at sea or in the mountains, is reduced from up to three hours to just ten minutes. Additionally, the distress beacon’s location can be more accurately determined, to within 5km – a substantial improvement on the current 10km.

Europe will also enjoy substantial economic growth. This is because the use of satellite navigation has helped drive world economic growth, particularly in high-tech industries. Experts predict that the global satellite navigation market will itself grow by more than 18% up until 2019. The additional resiliency provided by Galileo is expected to enable a range of new applications and services that will benefit from increased positioning reliability, thus further driving economic growth in Europe and beyond.

Galileo compatible products available today

The Declaration of Galileo Initial Services is also excellent news for chipset and receiver manufacturers and application developers, whose Galileo-enabled products can now start using Galileo signals.
 
Today, 17 companies, representing more than 95% of the global satellite navigation supply market, produce Galileo-ready chips. These include such key chipset manufacturers as u-blox, Broadcom, Mediatek, Intel and Qualcomm. There are also a number of Galileo-ready devices on the market, including smartphones and in-vehicle navigation systems.

You can find up-to-date information on all available Galileo compatible products at www.useGalileo.eu

Understanding Initial Services

Galileo is Europe’s Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS). The Declaration of Initial Services – a combined effort of the European Commission, European GNSS Agency (GSA), and European Space Agency (ESA) – is the first step towards reaching full operational capability.

The first services offered by Galileo include the Open Service, Public Regulated Service (PRS) and Search and Rescue Service (SaR). All of these services are available free of charge.

Galileo Initial Services are fully interoperable with GPS – a combination that provides users with considerable improvements, with stronger performance and service levels. With Galileo satellites working in conjunction with GPS, there are more satellites available, meaning more accurate and reliable positioning for end users. In particular, navigation in cities, where satellite signals can often be blocked by tall buildings, benefit from the increased positioning accuracy this provides.
History in the making

Galileo is unique in that it is the only civil-based GNSS initiative. Whereas the United States’ GPS, Russia’s GLONASS, and China’s Beidou systems – among others – are all operated by their respective militaries, Europe’s Galileo programme stands alone as the world’s only option for GNSS under civil control. This is an important distinction, especially as the world’s dependence on GNSS continues to increase. From individuals to private businesses, the public sector and academia, as more and more services become dependent on the availability of an accurate GNSS signal, the implications of a possible signal failure becomes increasingly dangerous.

With some foresight, 20 years ago the EU recognised the need for a European-controlled satellite navigation system. In the years since, the EU has successfully launched and implemented EGNOS and, today, Galileo Initial Services.

Initial Services is the first step toward full operational capability, which will occur when the Galileo constellation is complete by 2020. Between the declaration of Initial Services and full operational capability, additional satellites will be added to the constellation, allowing new services to become available.

Learn more

The GSA’s Galileo Initial Services page

The European GNSS Service Centre is the place to go for all things related to developing Galileo-capable products and services. 

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link the article back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Galileo goes live

16.12.2016 11:38  

 

 

With the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services, Galileo officially moves from a testing phase to the provision of live services. For the first time ever, users around the world can be guided using the positioning, navigation and timing information provided by Galileo’s global satellite constellation. Starting now, any mass-market device containing a Galileo-enabled chipset, such as smartphones and vehicle navigation devices, can use Galileo.

“Today we are really making history,” says European Commission Vice President responsible for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič. “With Galileo, Europe gains its own satellite navigation system that will improve a range of everyday services for our citizens and strengthens Europe’s strategic autonomy.”

“Galileo is now alive and kicking,” says Elzbieta Bienkowska European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. “Galileo Initial Services is the result of a concerted effort to design and build the most accurate navigation system in the world. It demonstrates the technological excellence of Europe and its commitment to delivering space-based services and applications and, as such, represents a special achievement of a united Europe.”

GSA in the driver’s seat

With the launch of Initial Services, Galileo officially transitions from a system in testing to a system in service. As Europe’s link between space technology and user needs, the GSA has been delegated the responsibility for the Galileo service provision by the European Commission. As of 1 January 2017, the GSA will have the core task of ensuring a return on investment from Galileo in the form of clear, across-the-board services and applications for end users.

Watch this: Galileo goes live, Initial Services declaration

“The GSA is now putting into practice all that it has been preparing for,” adds GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “The centre of gravity for the Galileo programme is now the user and, meaning European citizens, businesses and entrepreneurs can benefit from the many innovative opportunities created by European GNSS.”

In overseeing the Galileo service provision, the GSA will:

  • oversee the operation of such key service facilities as the Galileo Security Monitoring Centre (GSMC) in France and the United Kingdom, the GSC in Spain and the Galileo Reference Centre (GRC) in the Netherlands;
  • maximise adoption across user market segments and fostering EU economic and industrial benefits;
  • make the Public Regulated Service (PRS) the service of choice for all authorised users, providing the same high level of availability and robustness that is otherwise only available from military-based GNSS systems (GPS, GLONASS, Beidou);
  • position Galileo as the first constellation of choice in search and rescue beacons.

What Galileo Initial Services means for you

With Galileo Initial Services, users benefit from a more accurate navigation and positioning that saves time and allows one to travel safer. For example, thanks to Galileo’s Search and Rescue service, locating distress beacons is substantially improved. As a result, after someone activates a distress beacon, the time to find them, whether they are lost at sea or in the mountains, is reduced from up to three hours to just ten minutes. Additionally, the distress beacon’s location can be more accurately determined, to within 5km – a substantial improvement on the current 10km.

Europe will also enjoy substantial economic growth. This is because the use of satellite navigation has helped drive world economic growth, particularly in high-tech industries. Experts predict that the global satellite navigation market will itself grow by more than 18% up until 2019. The additional resiliency provided by Galileo is expected to enable a range of new applications and services that will benefit from increased positioning reliability, thus further driving economic growth in Europe and beyond.

Galileo compatible products available today

The Declaration of Galileo Initial Services is also excellent news for chipset and receiver manufacturers and application developers, whose Galileo-enabled products can now start using Galileo signals.
 
Today, 17 companies, representing more than 95% of the global satellite navigation supply market, produce Galileo-ready chips. These include such key chipset manufacturers as u-blox, Broadcom, Mediatek, Intel and Qualcomm. There are also a number of Galileo-ready devices on the market, including smartphones and in-vehicle navigation systems.

You can find up-to-date information on all available Galileo compatible products at www.useGalileo.eu

Understanding Initial Services

Galileo is Europe’s Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS). The Declaration of Initial Services – a combined effort of the European Commission, European GNSS Agency (GSA), and European Space Agency (ESA) – is the first step towards reaching full operational capability.

The first services offered by Galileo include the Open Service, Public Regulated Service (PRS) and Search and Rescue Service (SaR). All of these services are available free of charge.

Galileo Initial Services are fully interoperable with GPS – a combination that provides users with considerable improvements, with stronger performance and service levels. With Galileo satellites working in conjunction with GPS, there are more satellites available, meaning more accurate and reliable positioning for end users. In particular, navigation in cities, where satellite signals can often be blocked by tall buildings, benefit from the increased positioning accuracy this provides.
History in the making

Galileo is unique in that it is the only civil-based GNSS initiative. Whereas the United States’ GPS, Russia’s GLONASS, and China’s Beidou systems – among others – are all operated by their respective militaries, Europe’s Galileo programme stands alone as the world’s only option for GNSS under civil control. This is an important distinction, especially as the world’s dependence on GNSS continues to increase. From individuals to private businesses, the public sector and academia, as more and more services become dependent on the availability of an accurate GNSS signal, the implications of a possible signal failure becomes increasingly dangerous.

With some foresight, 20 years ago the EU recognised the need for a European-controlled satellite navigation system. In the years since, the EU has successfully launched and implemented EGNOS and, today, Galileo Initial Services.

Initial Services is the first step toward full operational capability, which will occur when the Galileo constellation is complete by 2020. Between the declaration of Initial Services and full operational capability, additional satellites will be added to the constellation, allowing new services to become available.

Learn more

The GSA’s Galileo Initial Services pagee

The European GNSS Service Centre is the place to go for all things related to developing Galileo-capable products and services. 

GSA Ready for Initial Services

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link the article back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

GSA Signs Galileo Service Operator Contract

15.12.2016 13:58  
Published: 
15 December 2016

 

Following a lengthy and complex tendering process that started in January 2015, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) awarded the Galileo Service Operator (GSOp) contract, with a value of up to EUR 1.5 billion, to Spaceopal at a special event in Brussels. Spaceopal is a joint venture between the German Aerospace Agency (DLR) and Italy’s Telespazio.

“With its emphasis on service performance, this contract will shape the future of Galileo,” says 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 management, the contract awarded to Spaceopal includes:

  • Secure operations of Galileo from two mission control centres (GCC), located in Germany and Italy, and the European GNSS Service Centre (GSC) for user support services in Spain;
  • Management of the Galileo Data Distribution Network (GDDN);
  • Integrated logistics support and maintenance for the entire space and ground infrastructure;
  • Monitoring of the system performance;
  • Support the completion of the Galileo infrastructure and associated launches.

The GSOp contract marks the official transition of Galileo from a testing phase to a system in service. 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 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 CEO Giuseppe 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.” 

According to des Dorides, Galileo will now go through three key phrases: commitment, partnership and service delivery. “I look forward to working with the Spaceopal to address the real challenge of translating Galileo’s signal in space into tangible services that will improve the lives of all EU citizens,” he says. “The centre of gravity of the programme is now the user.”

The contract was signed by Carlo des Dorides, on behalf of the GSA, and for Spaceopal by Giuseppe Lenzo and Simon Plum, the company’s COO, at an official ceremony in Brussels on 15 December. The ceremony was featured in an event organised on the occasion of the European Commission’s Declaration of Galileo Initial Services.

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

With its emphasis on service performance, the Galileo Service Operator contract will shape the future of Galileo

GSA welcomes EUROCAE Working Group to Prague Headquarters

8.12.2016 9:27  
Published: 
08 December 2016

 

The 42nd meeting of the European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE) Working Group 62 (WG-62) was hosted by the European GNSS Agency (GSA) at its Prague Headquarters from 28 – 30 November. Established in 2002, the WG-62 focuses its work on Galileo deployment, the modernisation of GPS and the implementation and evolution of EGNOS as they apply to civil aviation.

The GSA has been a long-time partner of EUROCAE. “As the GSA’s strategy is to focus on user needs, we continue to contribute to the EUROCAE Galileo Working Group and the development of standards for Satellite-based Augmentation Systems (SBAS),” says GSA Chief Executive Carlo des Dorides. “This group allows us to work directly with receiver manufacturers and other international partners in developing the right standards for satellite navigation receivers used in the civil aviation sector.”

On WG-62’s agenda at this meeting were the development of:

  • Guidance document on the development of a single constellation Galileo OS receiver Minimum Operational Performance Standard (MOPS)
  • SBAS Dual Frequency GPS/Galileo Receiver MOPS

A unique opportunity

As to EGNOS V3, the GSA said it is currently working with the European Space Agency (ESA) on the acquisition process. When operational, the multi-frequency/multi-constellation EGNOS V3 will improve the accuracy and reliability of the positioning information provided not only by GPS, but also Galileo. “This new generation of EGNOS will be the world’s first SBAS system to augment two constellations and the two frequencies used by aviation,” says des Dorides. 

Also read: GSA and EUROCAE working together to build a win-win strategy for Europe

The GSA is currently working on securing the procurement of the DFMC (Dual Frequency Multi Constellation) Aviation prototype receiver (to be used for flight tests) and the GEO-3 Navigation Payload services, in addition to various standardisation tasks. According to des Dorides, it is essential that the GSA have aviation receivers on the market for users to equip their aircraft when EGNOS V3 becomes available, which is expected to happen around 2023. This is because the combination of GPS and Galileo will provide users with a more robust solution and better performance.

“As Europe is the first to deploy the new technology using SBAS to augment Galileo and GPS, we have a unique opportunity to set the standard,” adds des Dorides. “Although we would like to develop this standard with our RTCA partners in the US, nevertheless, European industry should seize this chance to become the first to provide this technology for aviation receivers.”

Currently, the GNSS elements approval scheme, as proposed in the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) new GNSS ConOps, is under discussion by receiver manufacturers. Their decision will serve as the basis for the WG-62’s next round of standards discussions, scheduled for 27-29 June.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

As the GSA’s strategy is to focus on user needs, it continues to contribute to the EUROCAE Galileo Working Group and the development of standards for Satellite-based Augmentation Systems.

GSA welcomes EUROCAE Working Group to Prague Headquarters

8.12.2016 9:27  
Published: 
08 December 2016

 

The 42nd meeting of the European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE) Working Group 62 (WG-62) was hosted by the European GNSS Agency (GSA) at its Prague Headquarters from 28 – 30 November.

Established in 2002, the WG-62 focuses its work on Galileo deployment, the modernisation of GPS and the implementation and evolution of EGNOS as they apply to civil aviation.

The GSA has been a long-time partner of EUROCAE. “As the GSA’s strategy is to focus on user needs, we continue to contribute to the EUROCAE Galileo Working Group and the development of standards for Satellite-based Augmentation Systems (SBAS),” says GSA Chief Executive Carlo des Dorides. “This group allows us to work directly with receiver manufacturers and other international partners in developing the right standards for satellite navigation receivers used in the civil aviation sector.”

On WG-62’s agenda at this meeting were the development of:

  • Guidance document on the development of a single constellation Galileo OS receiver Minimum Operational Performance Standard (MOPS)
  • SBAS Dual Frequency GPS/Galileo Receiver MOPS

A unique opportunity

As to EGNOS V3, the GSA said it is currently working with the European Space Agency (ESA) on the acquisition process. When operational, the multi-frequency/multi-constellation EGNOS V3 will improve the accuracy and reliability of the positioning information provided not only by GPS, but also Galileo. “This new generation of EGNOS will be the world’s first SBAS system to augment two constellations and the two frequencies used by aviation,” says des Dorides. 

Also read: GSA and EUROCAE working together to build a win-win strategy for Europe

The GSA is currently working on securing the procurement of the DFMC (Dual Frequency Multi Constellation) Aviation prototype receiver (to be used for flight tests) and the GEO-3 Navigation Payload services, in addition to various standardisation tasks. According to des Dorides, it is essential that the GSA have aviation receivers on the market for users to equip their aircraft when EGNOS V3 becomes available, which is expected to happen around 2023. This is because the combination of GPS and Galileo will provide users with a more robust solution and better performance.

“As Europe is the first to deploy the new technology using SBAS to augment Galileo and GPS, we have a unique opportunity to set the standard,” adds des Dorides. “Although we would like to develop this standard with our RTCA partners in the US, nevertheless, European industry should seize this chance to become the first to provide this technology for aviation receivers.”

Currently, the GNSS elements approval scheme, as proposed in the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) new GNSS ConOps, is under discussion by receiver manufacturers. Their decision will serve as the basis for the WG-62’s next round of standards discussions, scheduled for 27-29 June.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

As the GSA’s strategy is to focus on user needs, it continues to contribute to the EUROCAE Galileo Working Group and the development of standards for Satellite-based Augmentation Systems.

GSA celebrates four years in Prague

7.12.2016 10:44  
Published: 
07 December 2016

 

The second annual GSA Open Days was a chance for the public to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Galileo and EGNOS space programmes.

Four years ago, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) moved its headquarters from Brussels to Prague. To celebrate this anniversary and to highlight the many benefits the GSA brings to both Europe and, in particular, the Czech Republic, the Agency held its second annual Open Days on 2 – 3 December 2016.

This year’s event follows on the heels of the successful Ariane 5 rocket launch, which added four new satellites to the Galileo constellation. The launch increased the number of satellites in orbit to 18 and represents an important milestone as the programme moves towards the declaration of Initial Services later this year.

“Over the past four years, the GSA has been transitioning the Galileo programme from a deployment phase to an exploitation phase,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “The upcoming declaration of Galileo Initial Services will confirm the GSA’s role in overseeing the service provision and monitoring the security of the overall system, with our Prague Headquarters serving as the epicentre of this mission.”

This year the GSA welcomed over 2500 visitors who came to learn more about the many ways Europe’s space programmes impact their daily lives. As the theme of this year’s Open Days was Travel from Space to Business, several successful Czech space-based companies were on hand to discuss how their businesses are powered by satellite navigation. The agenda also included an array of lectures and workshops explaining satellite navigation and the GSA (in both Czech and English), along with numerous competitions and interactive exhibits.

Visitors of all ages enjoyed the opportunity to explore a Galileo satellite model in its various configurations, take a space selfie, attempt to land an aircraft using satellite navigation and see the Earth from the vantage point of a satellite. In addition, nearly 500 local students attended Satellite Navigation + Europe = GSA, a special event for schools.

Benefiting the Czech Republic

In addition to giving locals a chance to get an inside look at all that is happening at the GSA, Open Days also serves as an opportunity to highlight how the GSA’s location in Prague benefits the Czech Republic. “We planted the seeds by relocating here, and today we are seeing the results as more space applications and products are coming onto the market that originate from the Czech Republic,” says des Dorides.

According to a GSA study, the Agency’s move has impacted the Czech economy both directly and indirectly. For example, since 2012, the direct benefits to the Czech Economy has reached CZK 800 million. Czech companies also benefit from the GSA’s location in Prague, with an increasing number of companies and consortia of Czech companies and institutions applying for R&D funding via the EU’s Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Over 2500 visitors came to the GSA to learn about the many ways Europe’s space programmes impact their lives.

GSA celebrates four years in Prague

7.12.2016 10:44  
Published: 
07 December 2016

 

The 2016 GSA Open Days was a chance for the public to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Galileo and EGNOS space programmes.

Four years ago, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) moved its headquarters from Brussels to Prague. To celebrate this anniversary and to highlight the many benefits the GSA brings to both Europe and, in particular, the Czech Republic, the Agency held its second annual Open Days on 2 – 3 December 2016.

This year’s event follows on the heels of the successful Ariane 5 rocket launch, which added four new satellites to the Galileo constellation. The launch increased the number of satellites in orbit to 18 and represents an important milestone as the programme moves towards the declaration of Initial Services later this year.

“Over the past four years, the GSA has been transitioning the Galileo programme from a deployment phase to an exploitation phase,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “The upcoming declaration of Galileo Initial Services will confirm the GSA’s role in overseeing the service provision and monitoring the security of the overall system, with our Prague Headquarters serving as the epicentre of this mission.”

This year the GSA welcomed over 2500 visitors who came to learn more about the many ways Europe’s space programmes impact their daily lives. As the theme of this year’s Open Days was Travel from Space to Business, several successful Czech space-based companies were on hand to discuss how their businesses are powered by satellite navigation. The agenda also included an array of lectures and workshops explaining satellite navigation and the GSA (in both Czech and English), along with numerous competitions and interactive exhibits.

Visitors of all ages enjoyed the opportunity to explore a Galileo satellite model in its various configurations, take a space selfie, attempt to land an aircraft using satellite navigation and see the Earth from the vantage point of a satellite. In addition, nearly 500 local students attended Satellite Navigation + Europe = GSA, a special event for schools.

Benefiting the Czech Republic

In addition to giving locals a chance to get an inside look at all that is happening at the GSA, Open Days also serves as an opportunity to highlight how the GSA’s location in Prague benefits the Czech Republic. “We planted the seeds by relocating here, and today we are seeing the results as more space applications and products are coming onto the market that originate from the Czech Republic,” says des Dorides.

According to a GSA study, the Agency’s move has impacted the Czech economy both directly and indirectly. For example, since 2012, the direct benefits to the Czech Economy has reached CZK 800 million. Czech companies also benefit from the GSA’s location in Prague, with an increasing number of companies and consortia of Czech companies and institutions applying for R&D funding via the EU’s Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Over 2500 visitors attended the 2016 GSA Open Days to discover how Europe’s space programmes impact their lives.

Galileo Reference Centre breaks ground in the Netherlands

5.12.2016 9:06  
Published: 
05 December 2016

 

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) helps lay the ceremonial first brick to officially commence construction on the Galileo Reference Centre (GRC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

With the laying of the ceremonial first brick, the construction of the Galileo Reference Centre (GRC) has officially commenced. The First Brick Ceremony, a Dutch ground breaking tradition, was held 24 November in Noordwijk, the future home of the GRC.

"With four satellites launched last week, the countdown to Galileo Initial Services has started,” said European Commission DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Programme Manager for Galileo and EGNOS, Paul Flament. “The GRC will help ensure that Galileo users are provided with very high quality signals that can be used by an array of new navigation applications.”

GSA Galileo Operations and Maintenance Manager, Davide Castellazzi, added to this, noting that the GRC will play an important role in the Galileo service provision. “The GRC is a cornerstone of the Galileo service provision, from Initial Services to full operational capability and beyond,” he said. “It will be instrumental in monitoring the performance of the system and the service operator, and serves as the door through which Member States can contribute to these tasks.”

“Satellite systems like Galileo are opening up new opportunities in every sector – from water to mobility, energy, agriculture, climate change and food security – and the Netherlands is eager to take full advantage of these opportunities,” said Netherlands Space Office (NSO) Director Ger Nieuwpoort. “This is why the NSO is dedicated to stimulating the use of satellite navigation within government processes and why I am happy to join the European space community here in the Netherlands to officially start building the GRC.” Through a commission by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the NSO serves as project manager for the GRC construction process.

An important facility in the Galileo programme

Announced at last year’s European Space Solutions Conference in The Hague, the GRC’s core mission is to perform independent monitoring of and reporting on Galileo’s performance. Operated by the GSA, the GRC provides the Agency with an independent system to evaluate the performance of the Galileo Services and, consequently, the Galileo Service Operator, and the quality of the signals in space.

The Noordwijk facility, set to become operational in 2017, will actively integrate contributions from the EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland. The facility is charged with generating performance evaluation products, performing dedicated campaign-based analyses, and reporting on their findings.

“By providing the building for the GRC, the Netherlands underlines the importance it attaches to the Galileo programme and the Noordwijk space cluster,” said Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment Director of International Affairs Bart van Bolhuis. He also stressed the excellent cooperation between all the parties involved in the project, including the European Commission, the GSA, the European Space Agency (ESA), the municipality of Noordwijk and various government organisations. “This coordinated effort has resulted in a relatively short definition phase for the building and a rapid start of the building activities,” he said.

“The GSA appreciates the efforts made by the Netherlands to ensure a state-of-the-art GRC building that provides excellent working conditions and is capable of handling the tasks entrusted to it,” added Castellazzi. “We look forward to making use of the new building soon.”

The GRC in Brief

  • The GRC is one of the Galileo Service Facilities: a facility to support the provision of services to the Galileo Core System and Galileo users.
  • The GRC is fully independent of the system and the Galileo Service Operator with respect to both the technical solution and operations.
  • Data and products from cooperating entities in the Member States support both daily operations and specific campaigns.
  • The GRC will benefit from and contribute to maintaining the long-term competences and expertise at the Member State level.
  • All of the components of the GRC are being implemented using a versioning approach, with the first step expected to take place immediately following the declaration of Initial Services.
  • Following the 22 November signing of the contract for GRC development, operations support and hosting services, the GSA is now ready to establish the link between the hosting state and the manufacturer.
  • The GRC was recently nominated by the European Commission as the European Monitoring and Analysis Centre for Galileo, part of a joint project of the United Nations that includes contributions from the United States (GPS), Russia (Glonass) and China (Beidou).

 

The Galileo Services Operator

The Galileo Services Operator (GSOp), under a contract with the GSA, will operate and maintain the Galileo global component. This includes ensuring that the core Galileo services (Open Service, Commercial Service and Public Regulated Service) are provided in compliance with all performance requirements.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The First Brick Ceremony, a Dutch ground breaking tradition, was held 24 November in Noordwijk, the future home of the GRC.

EGNOS earns new distinction

2.12.2016 9:05  
Published: 
02 December 2016

 

France’s Air and Space Academy recognises EGNOS for its significant contribution to European space.

The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) was recently recognised by France’s Air and Space Academy (AAE). In honour of its significant scientific and technical contribution to European space, EGNOS was awarded the AAE’s Vermeil Medal during its 25 November 2016 plenary session in Toulouse. The medal is awarded annually to an individual or organisation that has achieved international notoriety in the field of aerospace. 

“I’m pleased to share this distinction with the EGNOS team and the entire GSA, which has dedicated many years to the success of this programme,” says GSA EGNOS Exploitation Programme Manager Jean-Marc Piéplu. “Many of my colleagues have personally contributed to the development of EGNOS, and this medal belongs to all of them.” 

Also read: EGNOS lays the foundation for Galileo

Joining Jean-Marc in receiving the award was European Space Agency (ESA) Head of EGNOS and SBAS Division Didier Flament and ENAIRE (Spain’s air navigation management organisation) Head of International Affairs and SESAR Coordinator Mariluz de Mateo.    

EGNOS also played a role in this year’s Great Prize winner, which went to the EGNOS-equipped Airbus A350-XWB.

About the AAE

Founded in 1983 in Toulouse, the AAE encourages the development of high quality scientific, technical, cultural and human actions in both air and space. To do so, it promotes knowledge sharing across the industry and serves as a focal point for aerospace activities. Its members – who come from all walks of aerospace life and include pilots, astronauts, scientists, engineers, doctors, manufactures, economists, lawyers and artists from France and Europe – work together to achieve these essential goals.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

EGNOS was awarded the AAE’s Silver Medial in honour of its contribution to European space.

GNSS mobile apps: using Nougat to access raw GNSS measurements

1.12.2016 9:25  
Published: 
01 December 2016

 

The ability to access raw GNSS measurements opens up a range of opportunities for mobile app developers, but how do you access the data? During the first European GNSS Agency (GSA) Galileo Hackathon at the WhereCamp ‘unconference’ in Berlin Dr Lukasz Bonenberg from the University of Nottingham explained how app-developers can access raw GNSS measurements on smartphones via the latest release of the Android operating system.

The technical briefing for app-developers at the first GSA Hackathon at Beuth Hochschule für Technik in Berlin covered the latest developments and opportunities for GNSS and Location Based Services (LBS) including both hardware and software.

The hardware that the hackers used in the Hackathon - the Galileo-enabled BQ Aquaris X5 Plus Android smartphone - was described by Alvaro Fructuoso and Olaja Segura from the phone’s manufacturer. At the heart of the phone is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 chip that provides a true multi-constellation GNSS experience.

Digging down in Nougat

The next generation of Android operating system (7.0) is named Nougat and allows access to GNSS raw measurements using a new version of Google’s application programme interfaces (APIs) that give more flexible and deeper access to positioning data. Dr Lukasz Bonenberg from the University of Nottingham opened up the ‘black box’ that is the modern smartphone and shed some light on where hackers and coders needed to look to get access to this data.

Currently, location in Android is accessed via Google Play Services GMS Location providing activity and location awareness that can be easily harnessed by coders to provide enhanced location data (e.g. geofencing, near services etc.) for their apps. New Android Nougat (API v24) adds extra capacities. It directly accesses sensor data via android.location. This data has previously been hidden away in physical drivers, but access now opens up possibilities for higher accuracy and deployment of algorithms currently restricted to more advanced GNSS receivers.

While access to the raw data becomes easier, its use is still a challenging task. The key to reading GNSS measurements is the synching of clocks between the phone and the GNSS satellites to give pseudoranges – effectively the distance from the phone to the satellite degraded by the clock errors. To get an accurate and reliable fix requires signals – and therefore calculated pseudoranges - from at least four GNSS satellites, explained Bonenberg.

MatLab codes

To support this Google has released the MatLlab code demonstrating both the data collection (GNSS data logger application) as well as calculation details for obtaining observations and calculating position. To further support the development community, Bonenberg is developing a version of the processing code in the Python programming language. It is available at his GitHub together with his edits to the original Google MatLab code.

“The ability to access raw data opens up a range of possibilities and opportunities,” claimed Bonenberg. These comprise the use of external corrections including existing differential-GNSS and augmentations services such as EGNOS for high precision. More opportunities come with advanced algorithms to reduce errors in urban areas by, for example, removing satellites that are blocked by buildings from the positioning calculation, and the ability to fuse GNSS data with data from other phone based sensors such as the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU).

Work is also carried out using carrier phase measurements offering even better positional performance. Not only do these developments promise improved accuracy, availability and reliability or data fusion for mass market applications, but also the ability to use those devices in the domains currently reserved for much more expensive and dedicated GNSS receivers Bonenberg concluded.

“The ability to access GNSS raw data on Android devices opens up a range of possibilities and opportunities.”

More information:

WhereCamp
Android Developers: Location
Lukasz Bonenberg’s GitHub on Android GNSS

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

The ability to access GNSS raw data on Android devices opens up a range of possibilities and opportunities.
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