Septentrio announced today that a PolaRx2 receiver has reached more than 330 hours of successful operation on board “Technologie-Erprobungs-Träger 1” (TET-1), the first satellite of the German On-Orbit-Verification program. The Septentrio receiver is the backbone of the Navigation and Occultation Experiment (NOX) developed by German Aerospace Center (DLR). The purpose of the experiment is to prove the suitability of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology for use in space missions.
The receiver provides GPS observations on the L1 and L2 frequencies, which are used for precise orbit determination and atmospheric sounding. The dual-frequency observations allow reconstructing the orbit of TET-1 with decimeter or better 3D accuracy. A dedicated antenna pointed into the anti-flight direction of the satellite is used to collect measurements during GPS radio occultations, where the signals are tracked through the Earth’s atmosphere.
After the first activation on July 26, 2012, the receiver has operated flawlessly in the harsh environment 500 km above the Earth’s surface and has been unaffected so far by space radiation. The receiver demonstrates quick acquisition of GPS signals and tracks a sufficient number of satellites even under challenging visibility conditions. The short time-to-first-fix together with the high availability of position and timing information from the navigation solution make the PolaRx2 a very suitable receiver for space-borne applications.
“We are proud to see a new illustration that our standard commercial receivers perform flawlessly even in the harshest circumstances,” said Peter Grognard, Septentrio’s founder and CEO. “Our customers benefit every day from the same high quality and robustness for their demanding industrial applications on earth ”