Septentrio, designer and manufacturer of GNSS solutions recently awarded the winners of the Galileo Masters (Flanders Challenge) of the European Satellite Navigation Competition 2015 a special prize of the AsteRx-m UAS receiver for demonstrating the most innovative use of high precision GNSS positioning for their project: “UAV Flight Path Learning through GNSS “.
The judging panel were impressed with AiRobot’s Sense and Avoid technology outlined in their proposal. The AsteRx-m UAS GNSS module ensures accurate and robust location information when executing waypoint flying. The sensing technology enables the UAV to create a temporary map of its surroundings ensuring that it will not collide with objects in its path. These combined technologies form a solution permitting safe and effi cient horizontal fl ying in professional working environments.
AiRobot’s Sense and Avoid technology compliments their Ranger technology which was developed in conjunction with IMEC – a world leading researcher of nanoelectronics. Ranger is already known in the Benelux region (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg) for increasing safety, productivity and quality of professional UAV operations.
The navigation satellite set to become the 16th in the Galileo constellation has been taken through a Europe-wide rehearsal for its launch and early operations in space. Sitting in the cleanroom environment of ESA’s ESTEC technology centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, the satellite was recently linked to a trio of sites across the continent: the Galileo control centres in Fucino, Italy and Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, as well as ESA’s ESOC operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany.
“These System Compatibility Test Campaigns (STSCs) occur on a regular basis,” explained Liviu Stefanov, lead Flight Operations Director for the next Galileo launch in May.
“Last December saw a campaign using one of the two Galileo satellites due to be launched in May, while our February rehearsal used another satellite from the quadruplet being launched by Ariane 5 later this year.
“So with this most recent task, we have reached a frequency of three system tests in less than four months.”
A joint team from ESA and France’s CNES space agency oversee Galileo’s Launch and Early Operations Phase (LEOP) – the initial switching on and checking and confi guration of satellite systems. LEOP is run from either ESOC or CNES Toulouse, on an alternating basis.
ESOC will host the LEOP team for the next launch of two Galileo satellites by Soyuz from French Guiana in May. Then the team will switch to Toulouse for the fi rst launch of four Galileo satellites by Ariane 5, scheduled for this autumn.