Nov 2017 | No Comment

First contract between ESSP and KARI

ESSP has recently signed a framework Contract with KARI (Republic of Korea Aerospace Research Institute) to support them on the set-up of the future Korean Service Provider for KASS, the Korea Augmentation Satellite System similar to the European EGNOS. The signature was sealed last October 25th at the Toulouse Cité de l’Espace, between ESSP CEO Thierry Racaud and KARI Executive Director of SBAS, Dr. Gi Wook Nam. KASS system will be based on EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System) system fundamentals. EGNOS has been successfully operated by ESSP since 2011.

KASS is a project strongly supported by the European Commission, the European GNSS Agency (GSA), the European Space Agency, the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) and CNES (French Space Agency). The Republic of Korea will initially be using KASS to provide aeronautical applications services, including Safety- of -Life services so that it can be used during different flight phases, especially precision approaches and landings. It will eventually extend these services to other applications, including maritime, road or rail.

Professor Terry Moore receives Kepler award

The Institute of Navigation’s (ION) Satellite Division presented Professor Terry Moore with its Johannes Kepler Award September 29, 2017 at the ION GNSS+ Conference (Portland, Oregon) for his outstanding contributions to the development of satellite navigation through a sustained and distinguished professional career devoted to research and teaching.

Professor Terry Moore has over 30 years of research experience in surveying, positioning and navigation technologies, and is a consultant and advisor to European and UK government organizations and industry. He has taken a leading role in national and European initiatives aimed at integrating academic research and teaching activities in GNSS and interacting closely with industry. Prof. Moore is credited with extensive work on the introduction and implementation of WGS 84 as the standard reference systems for air and marine navigation, as well as the development of standard software tools for coordinate transformations and map projections used extensively through the aviation industry. n.

The Johannes Kepler Award recognizes and honors an individual for sustained and significant contributions to the development of satellite navigation. It is the highest honor bestowed by the ION’s Satellite Division.

Prolific earth gravity satellites end science mission

After more than 15 productive years in orbit, the U.S./German GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite mission has ended science operations. During their mission, the twin GRACE satellites have provided unprecedented insights into how our planet is changing by tracking the continuous movement of liquid water, ice and the solid Earth.

GRACE made science measurements by precisely measuring the distance between its twin satellites, GRACE-1 and GRACE-2, which required that both spacecraft and their instruments be fully functional. Following an age-related battery issue on GRACE-2 in September, it became apparent by mid-October that GRACE- 2’s remaining battery capacity would not be sufficient to operate its science instruments and telemetry transmitter. Consequently, the decision was made to decommission the GRACE-2 satellite and end GRACE’s science mission.

GRACE, a mission led by Principal Investigator Byron Tapley at the University of Texas at Austin, launched in March 2002 on a planned five-year mission to precisely map our planet’s ever-changing gravity field. It has revealed how water, ice and solid Earth mass move on or near Earth’s surface due to Earth’s changing seasons, weather and climate processes, earthquakes and even human activities, such as from the depletion of large aquifers. It did thisby sensing minute changes in the gravitational pull caused by local changes in Earth’s mass, which are due mostly to changes in how water is constantly being redistributed around our planet.

GRACE used a microwave ranging system to measure the change in distance between the twin satellites to within a fraction of the diameter of a human hair over 137 miles (220 kilometers). The ranging data were combined with GPS tracking for timing, star trackers for attitude information, and an accelerometer to account for non-gravitational effects, such as atmospheric drag and solar radiation. From these data, scientists calculated the planet’s gravity field monthly and monitored its changes over time.

GRACE established that measuring the redistribution of mass around Earth is an essential observation for understanding the Earth system. GRACE’s monthly maps of regional gravity variations have given scientists new insights into Earth system processes. Among its innovations, GRACE has monitored the loss of ice mass from Earth’s ice sheets, improved understanding of the processes responsible for sea level rise and ocean circulation, provided insights into where global groundwater resources may be shrinking or growing and where dry soils are contributing to drought, and monitored changes in the solid Earth. Users in more than 100 countries routinely download GRACE data for analyses.

JNTU, India opens GNSS laboratory in collaboration with Hexagon

The Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University-Hyderabad (JNTU-H) and Hexagon Capability Centre India (HCCI) have established a GNSS laboratory at the Centre for Spatial Information Technology, JNTU-H, Hyderabad, of Telangana state.

The lab is equipped with NovAtel GNSS receivers, antenna, systems, cables and other hardware components. The equipment enables reception, processing, analysis and development of navigational data and applications to augment curriculum for JNTU-H students for research and education. The establishment of the GNSS lab will also provide an opportunity to the students, scholars and faculty members to carry out research in satellite-based navigation and to develop advanced applications. HCCI will provide internship to the students with financial support and job opportunities. This provision will not only be for CSIT students, but also for students with geo-informatics background from other constituent units of JNTU-H.

Russia increases Glonass orbital grouping to 24 satellites

Russia has started using the Glonass-M No. 52 navigation satellite produced by the Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems Company pursuant to its designation, the press office of State Space Corporation Roscosmos reported on Tuesday. “With the launch of the Glonass-M No. 52 satellite into operation, the Glonass orbital grouping has again been increased to its standard number of 24 space vehicles,” the Roscosmos press office said. The Glonass-M No. 52 satellite orbited on September 22, 2017, has been accepted for operation following the results of checks into its functioning in flight conditions. It will be used instead of a satellite that had worked in the orbital grouping 1.5 times longer than the guaranteed service life.

Germany aims to modernize airspace, navigation infrastructure by 2029

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH has launched a comprehensive innovation program for the optimization and modernization of airspace and navigation infrastructure in Germany, according to DFS. The program aims to enable the transition from groundbased to modern surface navigation. By 2029, DFS said the flight procedures at more than 60 German airfields would be gradually transitioned to area navigation procedures involving satellite navigation. This, DFS said, takes account of the increasing demands on the transport capacity in the airspace. The introduction of surface navigation is based on parameters set by ICAO in 2012 and the announcement by the EU Commission on the implementation of these navigation procedures for European airspace, DFS said.

The organization has already begun planning for the introduction of the area navigation system in anticipation of the EU requirement.To achieve the transition by 2029, DFS said some 2,800 arrival and departure procedures have to be newly designed, and an adjustment of the airspace structure must be completed. The German airspace is divided into seven clusters, which contain airports that are in close proximity to one another and have dependencies, DFS said. It hopes to implement the changes in clusters based on air traffic safety requirements.

The transition is set to start after an extensive inspection process in the Elbe/Weser cluster at the end of 2020 in northern Germany, according to DFS.

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