Jun 2024 | No Comment

Two new satellites join the Galileo constellation

The European Galileo navigation system has two more satellites in orbit following their launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 on 28 April. With 30 satellites now in orbit, Galileo is expanding its constellation.

Since the conception of Galileo, 38 Galileo satellites have been developed and tested by ESA and European industry for the EU’s Galileo programme. Of these, four In-Orbit-Validation and 26 Full Operation Capability satellites have been placed in orbit with 12 launches.

The launch took place only a few days after the new Public Regulated Service (PRS) signals started to be broadcasted. This encrypted navigation service is specifically designed for authorised governmental users and sensitive applications, contributing to increase Europe’s autonomy and resilience in the critical domain of satellite navigation.

Finnair cancels flights amid increased GNSS jamming

Finnair, the sole international airline operating flights to Tartu, Estonia, has suspended its daily service to the city from April 29 to May 31, 2024. The decision comes in response to ongoing GNSS interferences and disruptions, including two instances where flights had to return to Helsinki, Finland, due to excessive jamming in the region.

The current approach methods at Tartu Airport rely heavily on GNSS signals, which have been disrupted frequently in the area. To address this, Finnair plans to use the one-month flight suspension period to develop and implement alternative navigation methods at Tartu Airport that can operate independently of GNSS. Finnair aims to enhance the safety and reliability of operations, preventing similar incidents in the future.

This suspension of flights highlights a broader issue of increasing GNSS jamming and spoofing, which has been a growing concern since the start of the Ukraine war in 2022 — specifically near Kaliningrad, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean.

UK government tests quantuminertial navigation technology

The UK has successfully completed commercial flight trials of advanced quantum-based navigation systems that cannot be jammed or spoofed by hostile actors.

While GPS jamming is currently relatively rare and does not directly impact an aircraft’s flight path, new quantum-based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) systems could, over time, offer one part of a larger solution to providing highly accurate and resilient navigation that complements current satellite systems – which could help ensure that the thousands of flights that take place around the world daily, proceed without disruption.

Infleqtion, a quantum technology firm, in collaboration with aerospace companies BAE Systems and QinetiQ, completed the trials at MoD Boscombe Down in Wiltshire, with Science Minister Andrew Griffith aboard the final test flight on Thursday 9 May. These tests are the first time that this sort of ground-breaking technology has been tested in the UK on an aircraft in flight, and the first such flights worldwide have been publicly acknowledged.

ComNav rolls out Survey Master 3.5.0

ComNav Technology Ltd. has released the latest version of the Survey Master software – Survey Master 3.5.0. This update focuses on addressing long-standing core issues for users, introducing a series of innovative features and enhancements. From this version onwards, users use ComNav controllers can automatically receive permanent registration rights to the software, accessing all features without the need for additional registration codes. x

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