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Galileo Update

May 2010 | Comments Off on Galileo Update


Eurocopter and Funkwerk Avionics

Eurocopter and Funkwerk Avionics have successfully completed a helicopter test flight with an EC145 in the Galileo test bed GATE in Berchtesgaden, Southern Germany. The test flight was observed by IFEN GmbH, the operator of the GATE test bed. The test marked the first time that signals from Galileo were used for navigation in a helicopter. In the “Galileo Test and Development Environment” (GATE), transmission antennas on six mountain peaks simulate the Galileo signals. In recent months, these so-called “pseudolites” had been upgraded to the current Galileo signal definition. The test flight was one of three demonstration campaigns as part of the European research project Mature Applications of Galileo for Emergency Services (MAGES).

EGNOS and aviation ready for take off in 2010

The aviation industry is preparing to use EGNOS once it becomes certified for the sector later this year, said speakers at Galileo Application Days. The aviation sector is one of the primary reasons EGNOS was launched by the European Community. The EGNOS Open Signal became operational in October 2009. The safety-of-life signal is expected to be certified for use in civil aviation later this year, said Hans de With, Market Development Officer with GSA. Studies have shown that the full adoption of EGNOS-enabled flight procedures, such as localised performance with vertical guidance (LPV), could produce savings of up to €4 billion in Europe. Using EGNOS to guide landing can help airports reduce noise, delayed flights, and timeslots for aircraft arrival could be more accurately predicted compared to the current relative block system.

Saving lives

The Mature Applications of Galileo for Emergency Scenarios (MAGES) project received funding from the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme for Research (FP6) and recently showcased its results in this area at a workshop in Brussels. The project showed how accurate location-based services and products can add value to field operations in emergencies, and highlighted the benefits through five real-life demonstrations.

GNSS Science

ESA has opened an Announcement of Opportunity for scientific studies in areas of advanced GNSS research under the European GNSS Evolution Programme. With this call, the Agency intends to foster the scientific utilisation of EGNOS and Galileo and to gather feedback from the scientists for the designers and integrators of the next generation of navigation satellites, with a view to maximising the scientific value of the exploitation of European GNSS signals and data.

SpectraTime to supply atomic clocks

SpectraTime shall supply advanced atomic space clocks, including Crystal oscillators, Rubidium Atomic Frequency Standards, and Passive Hydrogen Masers, for the first 14 Full Operational Capability satellites and the ground mission segment (GMS) of the Galileo global navigation satellite system.

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