Septentrio, QinetiQ Partnership Delivers Galileo PRS Signal Reception

March 12, 2012  - By

Another major milestone in the Galileo system’s development and deployment program has been achieved. Septentrio and QinetiQ, working in close partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) and their industrial partners, achieved the world’s first successful reception of the encrypted Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS) signal from the first Galileo satellites, launched in November 2011.

The signal was received on the Galileo PRS Test User Receiver (PRS-TUR) jointly developed by Septentrio and QinetiQ under an ESA contract. For the reception test, the receiver was installed in the Galileo Control Centre in Fucino, Italy and operated by technical experts from ESA. This milestone builds on a number of previous major Septentrio/QinetiQ achievements including:

  • First ever laboratory demonstration of the PRS signal acquisition and tracking in QinetiQ (Malvern, UK, 2006).
  • Successful RF compatibility test between a Galileo payload and the PRS-TUR (Portsmouth, UK, 2010).
  • Successful Galileo end-to-end system test including the Galileo Ground Mission Segment (GMS) and its key management facilities, satellite and PRS-TUR (Rome, Italy, 2011).

Septentrio and QinetiQ are long-term contributors to the Galileo Programme, working closely with ESA, the European GNSS Agency (GSA), and European industrial partners since 2003.

“Septentrio is extremely proud of this historic milestone for the Galileo programme,” said Peter Grognard, founder and CEO of Septentrio Satellite Navigation. “This is the most important milestone for Septentrio since the reception of the world’s first Galileo signal from space on January 12, 2006, with a Septentrio receiver. We are honoured and grateful for the excellent collaboration with ESA. Septentrio is marking another industry-first on the Galileo programme, and will continue playing a key role in this exciting and ambitious European project. Today, together with our partners, we take a decisive step in the early availability of commercial PRS receivers to foster user acceptance and market success of this Galileo service.”

“This achievement, together with Europe’s recent commitment to a full Galileo constellation, has been a necessary step in giving European industry confidence to start investing in developing commercial PRS receiver products ready for the launch of Galileo navigation services in a few years time,” Leo Quinn, CEO of QinetiQ, said.

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GPS World staff

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