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May 13, 2008

Galileo's GIOVE -B Spacecraft Transmits Signals

Europe's second Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element (GIOVE-B) satellite began transmitting navigation signals on May 7, including the common GPS-Galileo civil signal MBOC (multiplexed binary offset carrier).

Built under a cooperation between the European Space Agency (ESA) and European Union (EU), GIOVE-B was launched April 27 from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The MBOC signal design will be used by the future GPS L1C broadcasts as well as the Galileo Open Service in accordance with an agreement drawn up in July 2007 between the EU and the United States.

Locked to an on-board passive hydrogen maser clock, the GIOVE-B signals will help improve positioning accuracy in challenging environments with multipath and interference as well as better penetration for indoor navigation.

April 30, 2008

Galileo’s Drama: Different Set, Additional Actors, a New Play for Europe's GNSS?

Passage of a new regulation on Galileo sets the stage for the next phase of the €3.4-billion satellite navigation system's development under a public procurement but leaves many details to be worked out among the key players: the European Commission (EC), the European Council, the European Parliament, and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Meeting in Strasbourg, France, the parliament adopted the measure on April 22 with 607 votes in favor, 36 votes against, and 8 abstentions.

“Things are looking up, finally, for the European GNSS programs,” Paul Verhoef, head of the Galileo unit in the EC’s Directorate-General for Transport and Energy, told an April 23 plenary session of the European Navigation Conference 2008 in Toulouse, France.

Events • May 8, 2008

May 16: Deadline Extended for abstracts for NAVITEC 2008 - ESA workshop on satellite navigation user equipment technologies

The European Space Agency has extended until May 16 the deadline for paper abstracts for oral and poster presentations for NAVITEC 2008, ESA's fourth workshop on satellite navigation user equipment technologies.

This year's theme is "GNSS User Technologies in the Sensor Fusion Era." Galileo receiver technologies and experimentation are a special focus of this year's event.

The workshop will take place from December 10-12 at the European Space and Technology Centre in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

April 27, 2008

Galileo's GIOVE-B Satellite Opens New Era of GNSS Signals

A new generation of GNSS signals will become available soon as Europe's second Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element satellite (GIOVE-B) reached orbit, following successful launch on Sunday (April 27) from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Riding a Soyuz/Fregat launcher, the 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) spacecraft lifted off at 12:16 a.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST). The Fregat upper stage performed a series of maneuvers to reach a circular orbit at an altitude of about 23,200 kilometers inclined at 56 degrees to the equator. The two solar panels that generate electricity to power the spacecraft deployed correctly and were fully operational by 5:28 CEST.

The European space Agency (ESA) operational schedule called for Galileo signals at three L-band frequencies to begin transmitting within seven to eight hours after reaching orbit, according to Giuseppe Viriglio, ESA's director of telecommunications and navigation.

Ventures • April 20, 2008

May 1: First day to enter your idea in the 2008 European Satellite Navigation Competition

The European Satellite Navigation Competition (Galileo Masters), now in its fifth year, is seeking the best ideas for satellite navigation applications from companies, entrepreneurs, research institutes, universities, and individuals.

This year's contest will culminate with an awards ceremony in the Munich Residenz, Munich, Germany on Tuesday, October 21, 2008.

April 16, 2008

ESA Creates Galileo Directorate, Appoints Oosterlinck

In an April 15 meeting, the Council of the European Space Agency (ESA) has created a Galileo Directorate to accommodate the agency’s newly enhanced role in Europe’s GNSS program.

Acting on recommendations of ESA’s Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain, the council agreed to bring back René Oosterlinck, former head of the Navigation Department, to serve as the director of the Galileo program and navigation-related activities (D/GAL) through the end of 2010.

Ventures • April 11, 2008

IfEN Receives ESA EGNOS-Related Contract

The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded a contract to IfEN GmbH to develop a “New Generation” receiver breadboard for use at the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) Ranging and Integrity Monitoring Stations (RIMS).

The RIMS New Generation breadboard will be capable of receiving the new L2C and L5 signals, the Galileo E1, E5ab, and E6 signals and the GLONASS L1 signal in addition to GPS L1 and L2P signals.

April 8, 2008

GSA Releases Second Galileo SIS ICD

The European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) has released a new version of the provisional Galileo Open Service Signal-In-Space Interface Control Document (SIS ICD).

The new SIS ICD will enable developers to create products and applications that employ the Galileo system and signals. The new document is open for public consultation.

Inside GNSS • Spring 2008

The Art of ARTUS–A Second-Generation Galileo/GPS Receiver

Creation of new global navigation satellite systems and modernization of existing ones is introducing many new signals across a wide swath of RF spectrum now and in the near future. These developments are accompanied by a growing need to design new GNSS receivers that can work with new signal structures on an increasing number of frequencies.

Europe’s Galileo program has supported a number of activities intended to promote innovations in receiver design, such as prototype Galileo user equipment, reference receivers, and so on.

Inside GNSS • Spring 2008

Double Estimator–A New Receiver Principle for Tracking BOC signals

For the current civilian GPS C/A code transmission with which people
are most familiar, each GNSS satellite transmits an individual periodic
code employing the principle of code division multiple access (CDMA).

The code itself is modulated onto a carrier using a phase shift keying or PSK(fC) technique where fC is a code rate.

The aim of signal processing design, then, is to estimate the relative
delay in each incoming satellite signal, in order to compute the
location of the receiver.

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