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Workshop on tools and facilities for Galileo receivers

05/04/2006 612 views 0 likes
ESA / About Us / Business with ESA / Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

In late March 2006 a workshop on tools and facilities for Galileo receivers was held at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

The workshop was organised jointly by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Galileo Joint Undertaking (GJU), with the support of the European Union’s Sixth Framework Programme for Research & Technological Development (FP6).

Since the last workshop on receivers, held in April 2005, development of the Galileo system has made considerable progress. The first satellite has been launched and Galileo signals from space are available for the first time. The European satellite navigation programme is moving forward but the signals transmitted by GIOVE A are just the beginning.

Navigation signals alone are not useful – they must be translated into services. This is where the user segment plays its part and why a gathering like this workshop is important, providing an open forum where those involved in receiver development can share their experience.

Indeed, some 60 projects, with a total worth of around € 170 million and involving 300 companies, have been implemented. Two main areas are being addressed: core technology for the satellite navigation user segment and initial versions of commercially oriented applications.

Receiver development

More than one hundred attendees representing more than 40 companies, most of them small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and 19 universities gathered in ESTEC’s Newton conference facility and were welcomed by representatives of the joint organising bodies. ESA and GJU personnel gave the initial presentations:

Presentation subject Presenter
User segment development – receivers and applications Galileo Joint Undertaking
GIOVE A – An opportunity for Galileo receiver early experimentation European Space Agency
Early results with the Galileo signal: laboratory and GIOVE A European Space Agency

The rest of the morning session comprised eight, fifteen-minute presentations on Galileo receiver developments, followed by questions and open discussion.

Presentation subject Presenter
Tools and facilities for research and training on Galileo receivers Politecnico di Torino
GARDA / GIRASOLE – receiver development Alcatel Alenia Space Italia
Receiver developments at IfEN GmbH IfEN
NordNav hybrid Galileo / GPS real-time software receiver NordNav
Septentrio European receiver development Septentrio Satellite Navigation
ORUS hardware / software environment M3 Systems
GNSS receiver developments at the Danish GPS centre Aalborg University Danish GPS Centre
GAMMA: a mass market receiver development and associated tools Fraunhofer / Agilent

Last year, many presentations featured plans for receiver development programmes. At this year’s workshop, prototype and pre-production equipment was discussed, showing that steady progress is being made towards the implementation of the Galileo user segment.

Tools and facilities

The afternoon session was dedicated to tools and facilities for Galileo receiver development, testing and validation. Again eight, fifteen-minute presentations were followed by open discussion.

Presentation subject Presenter
ESTEC Navigation Laboratory set-up for Galileo receiver early validation European Space Agency
Tools for receiver testing and validation IfEN
GRANADA: software receiver and simulation tool Deimos Space
The DLR facility for testing of GNSS receivers with controlled reception pattern antennas German Aerospace Centre (DLR)
GNSS satellite simulators – an essential tool for all receiver developers and manufacturers Spirent Communications
The GSVF Galileo reference constellation radiofrequency signal simulator Thales Research and Technology
Concept and architecture of the Bavarian navigation signal experimentation facility EADS Astrium
Galileo four channel simulator Space Engineering

The equipment presented ranged from receiver test apparatus to systems able to simulate the entire Galileo constellation. As with the receivers themselves, much progress has been made. Many of the systems and facilities will be available for delivery or use later in 2006, with extensions and performance enhancements expected in 2007 and beyond.

During the closing discussions, ESA informed the participants that the 2006 Navitech workshop will be held in December at ESTEC and invited them to present their results obtained using the experimental Galileo signals. The deadline for abstract submission will be during June 2006. More information on this event will be made available on the ESA web site in the coming weeks.

This forum revealed the growing interest in Galileo and the need for continuing development in the key user segment while the space infrastructure is being prepared. With GIOVE A, the Galileo signals are now being broadcast, the GPS / Galileo interoperability is being demonstrated and soon the user segment developers will be able to include these real signals in their current work, along with the existing EGNOS augmentation signals.

Subject to the constraints of copyright and commercial confidentiality, ESA intends to make the presentations from the workshop available on-line as soon as the relevant permissions can be obtained.

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