With Galileo services set to take effect in December, the two European entities charged with the program are engaging manufacturers — the European Space Agency (ESA) in consumer markets, and the European GNSS Agency (GSA) in the government security sector, respectively.
“We put out an open call to satnav manufacturers offering testing with our laboratory facilities,” said the head of ESA’s Radio Frequency Systems, Payload, and Technology Division. “We have gone on to work with five mass-market chipset makers and a comparable number of professional receiver manufacturers.”
Available ESA facilities include:
- a hybrid localization solution rack for receiver plug-in; it generates simulated constellations of multiple satnav systems along with Wi-Fi or mobile networks. It can also simulate inputs from inertial devices.
- the octobox, a mini anechoic chamber into which phones or mobile devices can be placed, to feed them simulated satnav and cellular network signals.
- a telecommunications and navigation testbed vehicle for field tests, carrying its own extremely accurate receivers to assess the performance of the consumer devices under test.
“Thanks to earlier collaboration with ESA and the EU, the millions of multi-constellation satnav chips we sell annually have been equipped for Galileo signals since 2009,” stated Philip Mattos of ST Microelectronics, whose Teseo II receiver chips are used in satnavs and embedded in cars (see detailed technical article on page 36). “It will take only a software update to enable them to start using Galileo. This cooperation allows us to optimize our software based on access to actual signals and background technical information.”
Regulated Service. The GSA invited European industries and member states’ Public Regulated Service (PRS) authorities to share views and ideas on technologies at the user segment level for the adoption of the PRS. The PRS uses encrypted signals designed to resist jamming, involuntary interference, and spoofing. GSA’s objective is to ensure that PRS service is affordable and secure for all interested users while also ensuring that European industry maintains its competitive edge in the global satellite navigation marketplace.
GSA consultations will focus on:
- steps transforming technologies into products competitive enough in terms of cost, power, dimension;
- euro-manufacturing capability and capacity, especially nanotechnology;
- how to build the manufacturing lines capable of serving PRS user segment needs;
- main domains, elements, and interfaces that will benefit from standardization, allowing for a stronger market adoption of PRS.