Galileo Update


Mar 2014 | No Comment

STMicroelectronics’ Galileo- Compatible Satellite- Tracking Chips are ready for eCall approval

STMicroelectronics has released Teseo II single-chip satellite-tracking IC to the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission Joint Research Center (JRC) for testing for eCall approval. The testing campaign is coordinated by the European GNSS Agency (GSA) as part of its effort to accelerate Galileo adoption.

The Galileo tests will be conducted by the ESA and JRC over the next months to validate ST’s latest firmware release. In addition, the tests will evaluate Teseo II compatibility with the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) and with Galileo for the eCall in-vehicle system that automatically sends notification messages from vehicles involved in an accident.

10,000 km road trip proves Galileo satnav works, says ESA

ESA boffins revealed this week that since March 2013 test vehicles around the world have run tests to determine the accuracy of positions returned by Galileo satellites in what was called the “ In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase” of testing. More than 10,000 kilometres of driving later, “Many terabytes of IOV data were gathered,” according to Marco Falcone, ESA’s Galileo system manager, and once they had been analysed the data showed that “Galileo’s observed dual-frequency positioning accuracy is an average 8 m horizontal and 9 m vertical, 95% of the time. Its average timing accuracy is 10 billionths of a second”.

The tests also showed that 77 per cent of simulated distress locations could be located to within two kilometres and 95 per cent to within five kilometres. Alerts reached Galileo’s mission control in 90 seconds, nicely below the design requirement of ten minutes.

Galileo Achieves In- Orbit Validation

The in-orbit validation of Galileo has been achieved, according to the ESA. Europe now has the operational nucleus of its own satellite navigation constellation in place — the world’s first civilowned and operated satnav system.

“IOV was required to demonstrate that the future performance that we want to meet when the system is deployed is effectively reachable,” said Sylvain Loddo, ESA’s Galileo Ground Segment manager. “It was an intermediate step with a reduced part of the system to effectively give evidence that we are on track.”

Preparation for Satnav mass market

The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with European manufacturers of mass-market satnav chips and receivers to ensure that their products are Galileo-ready.

“Our objective is to make sure, ahead of the European Union’s declaration of early Galileo services that massmarket devices are ready and able to make use of them,” explained Riccardo de Gaudenzi, head of ESA’s Radio Frequency Systems, Payload and Technology Division.

“In coordination with the European GNSS Agency, we put out an open call to satnav manufacturers offering testing with our laboratory facilities.”

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