Dec 2020 | No Comment

GSA releases the 3rd GNSS user technology report

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has just released its latest GNSS User Technology Report, providing a comprehensive analysis of latest GNSS trends and developments. With contributions from leading GNSS receiver and chipset manufacturers, the report serves as a valuable tool to support planning and decision-making with regards to developing, purchasing and using GNSS technology. Published biennially since 2016, the User Technology Report has become a point of reference for the GNSS industry, research and policy-makers.

The third edition of the report begins with a chapter devoted to technology trends common to all segments, be it on the receiver design, position processing or signal processing side. It also discusses protection measures against GNSS jamming and spoofing, such as authentication, including what – in combination with GNSS – 5G and other technologies and sensors can do. With multi-constellation now being the norm, the industry is moving towards the wide adoption of multifrequency receivers even for usually power- and cost-constrained consumer solutions. The Galileo E5 is becoming the preferred frequency with about 20% of all receiver models in the market already using it.

The report is built around four macrosegments defined on the basis of commonalities from a technology point of view: high volume, safety- and liability-critical, high-accuracy, and, newentry in this edition, timing devices and solutions. Each chapter starts with the macrosegment characteristics and receiver capabilities, depicts the industry landscape and typical receiver form factor, it then delves into the key current and future drivers and trends, and finishes with the added value of the EGNSS, Galileo and EGNOS, for the macrosegment at stake.

This year Editor’s special “Space Data for Europe” sheds light on the role that Copernicus and Galileo play within the European Space Programme in the data management and use, now and in the future. It also provides a vision of major transformations underway within our society and our economy and the benefits expected from this digital transformation, paving the way towards the European Data Strategy and Green Deal.

Spirent Federal chosen to support NASA for GNSS testing

Spirent Federal Systems has been selected by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for testing GNSS for lunar exploration.

The U.S. Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Policy tasks the NASA Administrator to develop and provide requirements for the use of GPS and its augmentations to support civil space systems. NASA is exploring the viability and enhancement of GPS and GNSS signals in the Space Service Volume (SSV) and beyond to support operational U.S. missions and civil space systems. Spirent GNSS solutions and expertise will support testing of the GNSS receivers intended to be deployed in the upcoming lunar exploration.

Coalition asks lawmakers to intervene in GPS-related FCC ruling

Farm Bureau and dozens of other organizations representing a broad range of industries is calling on lawmakers to help protect the satellite communications and GPS services that tens of millions of Americans rely on.

This spring, the Federal Communications Commission granted a petition filed by Ligado to provide 5G services. Ligado’s planned use of its spectrum is so near bands used by GPS, it could diminish the reception capability of GPS devices. This is a major problem for farmers and ranchers, who rely on precision agriculture technology and GPS so their farms and ranches can be more efficient, economical and environmentally responsible.

It would also put at risk GPS services used by the military and other national defense agencies, aviation safety agencies, mapping applications and many others.

The groups are asking the lawmakers to work with the FCC to set aside the flawed Ligado order in favor of a process that is responsive to the concerns of the incredibly broad crosssection of L-band operators and users.

The 60-plus organizations that signed the letter represent the aviation, aerospace, agriculture, GPS, ground transportation, mapping, marine, metrological, public safety, satellite communications and surveying industries and professions.

Public Release of GPS IIR and IIR-M antenna patterns

Partnering with the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN), U.S. Space Force and Lockheed Martin Space have released the GPS IIR/IIR-M satellite antenna patterns for world-wide public use. Additionally, the Institute of Navigation has offered a related ION Journal article free to the public to accompany the antenna patterns.

The GPS Block II Replenishment (IIR) space vehicle (SV) began improving upon its baseline design in 2003 with the launch of the first Block IIR SV retrofitted with a redesigned ‘improved’ antenna panel. This is the Earth-facing panel providing the GPS L-band broadcast signal. The improved antenna panel includes redesigned L-band elements mounted on the SV Earthfacing structure in the same manner as the original ‘legacy’ antenna panel.

The use of GPS signals for spacecraft navigation has increased in general over the last few decades and navigation employing GPS observations for spacecraft in low-Earth orbit is now considered routine. However, the situation is quite different for spacecraft that fly in the Space Service Volume above the GPS constellation, including MEO, GEO, HEO, and missions to the Moon and beyond. For these spacecraft, reception of GPS transmit antenna side lobe signals is essential to improve availability and performance of on-board navigation and timing. In this context, the knowledge of the full antenna pattern (main lobe and side lobes) from the transmitting antennas of each of the GPS satellites is essential.

Russia launches Glonass navigation satellite

“The Soyuz-2.1b middle class carrier rocket launched on October 25, at 22:08 Moscow time from Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk Region has successfully placed the Russian Glonass-K navigation spacecraft into the calculated orbit in the scheduled time,” the Def ministry noted.

The ministry’s information department pointed out that the launch and the operation were carried out as planned. It was also emphasized that the satellite was placed under control of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ ground aids.

The group of Glonass satellites comprises 24 spacecraft in circular orbits. At present, the group has 27 spacecraft with 24 of them operational, one is undergoing flight trials, another one is in the reserve, and yet another one is in maintenance. Two of the spacecraft are of the Glonass-K series (with the launched satellite to become third), while the rest are of the Glonass-M series. In the future, all spacecraft are planned to be changed for Glonass-K ones.

Service to monitor and alert the UK to GNSS disruption

CGI has been awarded a contract by The European Space Agency (ESA) to develop a GNSS Event Notification Service (GENS) capable of monitoring the UK GNSS spectrum to enable effective alerting and reporting of Position Navigation and Time (PNT) disruption. GENS will integrate CGI’s PNT Incident Event Monitoring (PNTIEM) System with existing UK developed sensors from Ordnance Survey’s (OS) OS NET network of GNSS Receivers and GMV NSL’s DETECTOR, GISMO and Strike 3 interface technologies. Bringing together existing systems will build on proven technologies, reducing the cost of development of a large scale monitoring network whilst providing the ability to introduce new services for detecting GNSS events and disruption. Supported by the OS and GMV NSL, CGI will lead the delivery of GENS using agile software delivery experience, supported by system design and DevSecOps development and integration skills. An open interface will be offered for future providers of GNSS measurements, or spectrum event data.

Alongside the GENS system technical delivery, The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) will develop a GNSS Guidance Document in partnership with UK government departments, agencies, CNI operators, professional institutes, academic institutes and commercial organisations to enable informed requirements development, procurement, deployment and support of HMG GNSS reliant services.

The full GENS system will enable users across both commercial and public sector services to subscribe to be informed of both GNSS quality and interference events for regions of interest.

Germany orders U.S. jamresistant GPS receivers

Germany has ordered jam-resistant GPS receivers from the United States military, becoming the first buyer of the advanced GPS user equipment under the Foreign Military Sales program.

Foreign Military Sales is the U.S. government’s program for transferring defense articles, services, and training to international partners. The Space and Missile Systems Center said Germany on Sept. 30 ordered an undisclosed quantity of Military Code (M-Code) capable military GPS user equipment. M-Code is an upgrade to GPS signals that provides enhanced secure positioning, navigation and timing, anti-jam and antispoofing.

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