Get a Galileo Position Fix? ESA Wants to Give You a Prize

March 14, 2014  - By 0 Comments
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Javier Benedicto, ESA’s Galileo Project Manager, looks on as Europe’s own satellite navigation system performs its historic first position fix of longitude, latitude and altitude. The position fix took place at the Navigation Laboratory at ESA’s technical heart ESTEC, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands on the morning of March 12, 2013, with an accuracy between 10 and 15 meters — expected taking into account the limited infrastructure deployed so far. Horizontal accuracy reached as high as 6 m. The left-side screen shows the position fix while the right side screen shows the position of the four Galileo satellites and their current signal coverage.

Did you get a fix on four Galileo satellites? Then there could be a certificate in it for you! ESA will recognize Galileo pioneers with commemorative certificates to the first 50 entities who document their achievement of a past or present fix. Details of how to apply are provided here.

To mark the first anniversary of Galileo’s historic first satnav positioning measurement, ESA plans to award certificates to groups who picked up signals from the four satellites in orbit to perform their own fixes.

In 2011 and 2012 the first four satellites were launched — the minimum number needed for navigation fixes.

Europe’s Galileo satnav system.

Europe’s Galileo satnav system.

On March 12, 2013, Galileo’s space and ground elements came together for the first time to perform the historic first determination of a ground location — the Navigation Laboratory of ESA’s Technical Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

From this point, generation of navigation messages enabled full testing of the entire Galileo system — not just by ESA and its industry and institutional partners but also by any entity with a customized satnav receiver.

ESA’s Galileo team has heard about position fixes carried out by organizations and companies all over Europe and beyond, including as far away as Vietnam.

A year after the first fix, ESA is recognizing these Galileo pioneers with commemorative certificates to the first 50 entities who document their achievement of a past or present fix.

Applicants should send in their name, address, details of the receiver they used, the start and end time of their fixes in Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) and a plot of their latitude/longitude position fixes overlaid on a map, such as Google Earth. Submissions should be sent to IOV.fix.certification@esa.int within the next two months. Certificates will be sent out after May 12, along with an online results update. See details of how to apply here.

The first Galileo services are scheduled to begin later this year, as more satellites are delivered into orbit. The next launches will occur in the second half of this year, each with two satellites aboard a Soyuz ST-B. They will take place in close succession to build up the constellation.

Many satnav receiver chips are already technically Galileo ready, requiring only software upgrades from their manufacturer to begin working with Galileo signals along with GPS and other international satnav systems.

Dual-frequency Galileo positioning performance during the In-Orbit Validation phase: positioning accuracy is an average 8 m horizontal and 9 m vertical (95% of the time). Its average timing accuracy is 10 nanoseconds on average. Plot courtesy of ESA.

Dual-frequency Galileo positioning performance during the In-Orbit Validation phase: positioning accuracy is an average 8 m horizontal and 9 m vertical (95% of the time). Its average timing accuracy is 10 nanoseconds on average. Plot courtesy of ESA.

 

GPS World staff

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