Jul 2018 | No Comment

Russia launches Glonass-M navigation satellite

Russia has launched a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket from the Plesetsk space center to orbit a Glonass-M satellite, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

“The middle-class Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket launched on June 17 from the Plesetsk space center (Arkhangelsk Region) successfully put the Russian navigation Glonass-M spacecraft to the designated orbit.” Earlier, a satellite producer Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems reported that the signal interface control document for GLONASS would be updated in 2018, making radio signals to the satellite navigation system less susceptible to corruption.

Next european satellite navigation competition is sure to deliver innovation

Who knows what’s in store for this year’s 15th edition of the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC), which is currently scouting for new business ideas through July 31, 2018. The innovation competition annually awards the best services, products, and business ideas using satellite navigation in everyday life.

Since 2004 the competition has been proving that satellite navigation technologies open the door to countless applications. The international innovation competition is designed to serve as an accelerating instrument for space related entrepreneurs and startups, providing Europe with path breaking novelties. The spectrum of submitted business ideas reflects the manifold opportunities made possible by this future oriented technology: from healthcare and leisure to traffic management and other rail, sea, and air transport logistics, individuals and entire industries alike can benefit from satellite navigation.

No matter what stage a pioneering idea is at, the ESNC provides support for innovative ideas at each development stage, with the ultimate aim to turn them into real business cases. Thus, the diversity offered by the ESNC and its entire network are best described as “service all along the value chain”.

China’s plans to upgrade its Beidou navigation satellite system

By 2020, the Beidou satellites will form a complete global satellite navigation system, with 35 satellites.

Recently, it was announced that China would launch another eleven satellites in 2018 to add to its third-generation Beidou Navigation Satellite System (BDS).

Launched in 1994, the Beidou project began to serve China in 2000. Since 2000, 33 satellites have been launched for the network. Beidou began serving users in the Asia-Pacific region in December 2012. It is the world’s fourth navigation satellite system, following GPS in the United States, GLONASS in Russia and Galileo in the European Union.

Compared to earlier generation satellites, the Beidou-3 is able to send signals that are more compatible with other satellite navigation systems and provide satellitebased augmentation, as well as search and rescue services in accordance with international standards. Its positioning accuracy has reached 2.5 to 5 meters.

In 2019 and 2020, China will send six third-generation Beidou satellites into medium Earth orbits, as well as three to inclined geosynchronous satellite orbits and two to geostationary

Chinese first OTTC for ERA-GLONASS equipped vehicle is certified

Bureau Veritas has announced that Bureau Veritas VEO, a Bureau Veritas Group company, has successfully facilitated the first OTTC Certificate issuance in China for an ERA-GLONASS enabled vehicle with its localized solution in China.

OTTC is the certificate to vehicles exported to Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) member states. ERA-GLONASS, an automatic emergency call system, provides rapid assistance via emergency cellular service and reduces casualties in the event of an accident. ERA-GLONASS has been compulsory since 1 January, 2017 and is now an integral part of OTTC which requires In Vehicle Systems (IVS) within the EEC member states to be equipped with ERA-GLONASS.

As an intelligent telematics-based system, deployment of ERA-GLONASS is also an impetus to the Connected Vehicle. The EEC has brought ERAGLONASS certification into the legislation of OTTC to pave way for the continued realization of this project.

DARPA pursuing global positioning system alternatives

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking to develop alternative positioning, navigation and timing capabilities.

Dave Tremper, a program manager at the agency’s strategic technology office, said relying solely on GPS provides users with a single point of failure.

"GPS is so good that it’s kind of knocked all of the other players off the field,” he said. “What happens when it’s not there and what happens when your system still needs that degree of timing and you still need that degree of position? … We’re going back and scrubbing systems and saying, ‘We need to really think about having that redundancy to GPS.”’

One of the agency’s projects is the Spatial, Temporal and Orientation Information in Contested Environments program, he said. The effort, known as STOIC, is focused on developing a GPS backup, Tremper noted.

Part of the STOIC project leverages information gathered from a former program called Adaptable Navigation Systems, he said, which examined different types of signals for positioning, navigation and timing. One of these signal types included very low frequency transmissions, he said. These signals allowed for gathering location information that was about one to two kilometers off because it did not account for changes in the ionosphere, which is a layer of the atmosphere that can reflect and modify radio waves, he noted.

DARPA is examining low-frequency commercial receivers that can be used for military platforms. The antennas for the project are small enough to be used on ships and vehicles, he added.

FAA now has better, more precise GPS coverage across US

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting 5 Wide Area Augmentation System navigation payload, developed by Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services business, is now operational and fully integrated into the WAAS network. The GEO 5 payload joins two others already on orbit in correcting GPS satellite signal ionospheric disturbances, timing issues, and minor orbit adjustments, giving users increased coverage, improved accuracy, and better reliability.

In operation since 2003, WAAS increases GPS satellite signal accuracy from 10 meters to 1 meter, ensuring GPS signals meet rigorous air navigation performance and safety requirements for all classes of aircraft in all phases of flight.

WAAS provides precision navigation service to users across the United States from Maine to Alaska, as well as portions of Canada and Mexico. For aviation users, WAAS offers pilots more direct flight paths, precision airport approaches and access to remote landing sites without depending on local ground-based landing systems.

EGNOS geostationary navigation payload services

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) in preparation for the procurement of EGNOS geostationary navigation payload services: GEO-4 and GEO-5. The EGNOS space segment is provided by commercial satellite operators on the basis of service contracts. The GEO- 1, GEO-2 and GEO-3 service contracts currently cover the EGNOS space segment needs and the GEO-1 and GEO- 2 services will be the first of these to end. These will be replaced by GEO-4 and GEO-5 – the subject of this RFI.

The GSA is already planning how it will replace the services currently delivered by the GEO-1 and GEO-2 satellites. Ahead of this procurement, the Agency is conducting a preliminary market analysis and issuing an RFI to collect information about opportunities to embark navigation payloads on-board GEO satellites launched in a suitable timeframe.

Galileo to receive Orolia atomic clocks

Orolia has been awarded contracts totalling USD30.6 million to provide atomic clocks for the Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).

Under these contracts, Orolia will supply its Spectratime Rubidium Atomic Frequency Standard and its passive hydrogen maser physics package for an additional 12 Galileo satellites. Each satellite will carry two rubidium atomic clocks and two passive hydrogen masers.

SES gets Galileo services contract

Luxembourg satellite operator SES has landed a contract to help run Galileo.

The contract is with Spaceopal, the German firm that operates the Galileo satellite fleet under contract with the EU, SES said in a press release on 30 May:

“SES will provide Spaceopal with services to support the maintenance and seamless operations of the Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). SES will be responsible for in-orbit measurements for the Galileo satellite constellation”.

In addition, the Luxembourg firm will provide services for connecting Galileo ground stations.

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