Galileo

Galileo

Mon, 09/18/2017
Latest Apple iPhone 8 uses Galileo.

The new features of the latest iPhone, launched on September 13, include built-in support for the European Galileo satellite system, among other GNSS. This multi-constellation support means that the new phones will offer more accurate positioning, making it harder for iPhone users to get lost, wherever they are.

Apple unveiled its iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, in addition to the iPhone X, at a much-anticipated event held at the Apple campus in Cupertino, California on September 13.

Among the new features of the latest Apple offerings is the fact that the newest versions of the iPhone are Galileo-enabled. The resulting ‘multi-constellation’ capability means that users of the new iPhones will be able to benefit from more precise positioning that combines GPS, Glonass and Galileo signals. The use of multi-constellation increases signal availability, especially in urban environments, where buildings obstruct the sky and limit the number of satellites visible. In terms of accuracy, Galileo’s modern signal structure has better resistance to multipath, which helps users maintain their position fix when navigating in cities.

European Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, noted that the launch of Galileo Initial Services had provided an impetus to industry to adopt the technology. “Since we launched Galileo last year, more and more device manufacturers are starting to incorporate its signals, which is a demonstration of the excellence and added-value of European technology" she said, adding that “the success of Galileo lies in its use in everyday devices such as mobile phones and car navigation.”

Timely Galileo support

The iPhone has had built-in support for GPS for some time, and added support for the Russian GNSS system Glonass to the iPhone 4S model, which was launched in 2011. The iPhone X and the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are the first Apple phones to support Galileo. This new feature is well-timed, as Galileo Initial Services have been available since December 2016. 

“This latest development is proof of the value that Galileo brings to the market,” said GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “The work started by the GSA years ago to engage with industry has started to deliver following the declaration of Galileo Initial Services. Now, companies accounting for around 50%1 of the smartphone market offer Galileo-enabled navigation.”

By supporting Galileo, the new iPhones join the growing list of smartphones that support the European satellite system, including a range of phones from BQ, Huawei and Samsung, in addition to models from Meizu and Sony.

For up-to-date information on all Galileo-enabled products, check out: www.useGalileo.eu

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

 

1 According to IBC: www.idc.com/promo/smartphone-market-share/vendor

Thu, 01/05/2017

With last month’s Declaration of Galileo Initial Services, anyone with a mass-market device containing a Galileo-enabled chipset, such as a smartphone or a vehicle navigation device, can be guided using the positioning, navigation and timing information provided by Galileo’s global satellite constellation.

“Clearly, the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services is big news for chipset, receiver and device manufacturers and application developers operating in the GNSS market, whose Galileo-enabled products can now start using Galileo signals,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “Today, we invite the industry to showcase their Galileo-enabled products to the media and to users.”

Market ready

The strong cooperation between the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and receiver industry has made it possible for Galileo to arrive onto the market even before the declaration of Initial Services. For example, Broadcom and Qualcomm, the market leaders for global smartphone chips supply, had already built Galileo into their products. As a result, many smartphones coming onto the market this year will arrive Galileo-ready.
“Accurate, reliable and rapid position location is an important part of the mobile experience,” says Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Senior Vice President Product Management Alex Katouzian. “Qualcomm Technologies is helping to improve consumers’ experiences with location-based services by adding Galileo support to our IZat location platform and deploying it broadly across our modem and application processor portfolios.”
Over the course of the past several years and in anticipation of Galileo Initial Services, such key chipset manufacturers as Intel, Mediatek, u-blox and STM have all announced Galileo-ready chips. Overall, more than 95% of the global satellite navigation supply market produce Galileo-ready chips.

Road and surveying now, aviation and maritime soon

Currently, most Galileo-enabled chipsets and receivers are found in the automotive, consumer, agriculture and surveying sectors. For example, in the road sector, satellites help with vehicle navigation and fleet management. “Today, Galileo ensures the accuracy of the satellite signals these services depend on and, in the near future, Galileo will help autonomous driving and connected vehicles,” says GSA Head of Market Development Gian Gherardo Calini.
In the high-precision market, all leading receiver developers have integrated Galileo into their products, including Trimble, Leica Geosystems, Javad, TopCon, Septentrio and NovAtel. “The availability of the first three Galileo services validates our confidence that Europe is ready to join the world’s operators of global navigation satellite systems,” says NovAtel President and CEO Michael Ritter. “NovAtel’s high precision GNSS receivers, antennas and certified ground-reference station receivers have supported Galileo signals in anticipation of the complete constellation.”
Galileo will soon be providing support to location based operations in all other market segments. For example, receivers for Unmanned Autonomous Systems (UAS) are already capable of tracking the Galileo signal. On the maritime side, Galileo is helping to ensure safer navigation on the water, and has been recognised by the International Maritime Organisation as part of its Worldwide Radio Navigation System.
“The GSA is excited to continue its close cooperation with chipset and receiver manufacturers in the coming years as we further optimise Galileo performance and maximise user benefits,” says Calini. Along these lines, the 2017 Annual Receiver Workshop is scheduled for March 21 at GSA headquarters in Prague. This regular event is an excellent opportunity for the GNSS receiver community to learn the latest about the Galileo programme.

First Galileo smartphones

With Galileo, the positioning information provided by smartphones is more accurate and reliable – particularly in urban environments where narrow streets and tall buildings often block satellite signals and limit the usefulness of many mobile services. One of the first device manufacturers to take advantage of the increased accuracy and reliability that Galileo provides is BQ, the Spanish technology company that launched the first European-designed Galileo smartphone to hit the market.
“It is a great privilege for BQ to be one of the first in the world to offer Galileo in our devices,” says BQ Assistant General Manager Rodrigo del Prado. “This is a clear demonstration of Europe’s robust technological capabilities.”
Other smartphone manufacturers are also preparing to activate Galileo capability on their devices. In fact, just prior to the Declaration of Initial Services, the Huawei Mate 9 added Galileo support to the phone’s technical specifications.

Up-to-date info on using Galileo

To keep users up-to-date with detailed information on all available Galileo-compatible products, the GSA launched www.useGalileo.eu. From this dedicated website users can easily browse the list of currently available Galileo products and devices and search for devices based on user segment. 
Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link the article back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Thu, 12/15/2016

 

Following a lengthy and complex tendering process that started in January 2015, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) awarded the Galileo Service Operator (GSOp) contract, with a value of up to EUR 1.5 billion, to Spaceopal at a special event in Brussels. Spaceopal is a joint venture between the German Aerospace Agency (DLR) and Italy’s Telespazio.

“With its emphasis on service performance, this contract will shape the future of Galileo,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “We look forward to building a strong partnership with Spaceopal as Galileo moves towards full operational capability under the responsibility of the GSA from January 2017.”

Specifically, under GSA management, the contract awarded to Spaceopal includes:

  • Secure operations of Galileo from two mission control centres (GCC), located in Germany and Italy, and the European GNSS Service Centre (GSC) for user support services in Spain;
  • Management of the Galileo Data Distribution Network (GDDN);
  • Integrated logistics support and maintenance for the entire space and ground infrastructure;
  • Monitoring of the system performance;
  • Support the completion of the Galileo infrastructure and associated launches.


The GSOp contract marks the official transition of Galileo from a testing phase to a system in service. To ensure a balance between ongoing deployment needs and the priority of the service provision, the contract includes clear and tangible performance indicators (KPIs).

Spaceopal served as the contractor for Galileo operations since 2010 under the Galileo Full Operational Capability (FOC) Operations Framework Contract. “Spaceopal is committed to continuing to support the deployment and completion of the Galileo system,” says Spaceopal CEO Giuseppe Lenzo. “We are proud that the GSA has selected us to further contribute by bringing the Galileo signal in space to users and providing best-in-class satellite navigation services.” 

According to des Dorides, Galileo will now go through three key phrases: commitment, partnership and service delivery. “I look forward to working with the Spaceopal to address the real challenge of translating Galileo’s signal in space into tangible services that will improve the lives of all EU citizens,” he says. “The centre of gravity of the programme is now the user.”

The contract was signed by Carlo des Dorides, on behalf of the GSA, and for Spaceopal by Giuseppe Lenzo and Simon Plum, the company’s COO, at an official ceremony in Brussels on 15 December. The ceremony was featured in an event organised on the occasion of the European Commission’s Declaration of Galileo Initial Services.

 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Tue, 11/29/2016

 

With more signals and better accuracy, Galileo is an invaluable resource for mobile developers working on precise positioning applications. During the first Galileo Hackathon at the WhereCamp in Berlin, experts from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) shared how Galileo is boosting accuracy and making positioning applications more precise.

App-developers at the first GSA Hackathon in Berlin got a full technical briefing on the latest developments and opportunities for GNSS and Location Based Services (LBS) at Beuth Hochschule für Technik. The packed briefing session heard why the GSA wants the developer community to play with Galileo data, how it hopes to stimulate the community to use Galileo signals to enhance their applications and, therefore, bring the two closer together.

To give the users further insight on the various data outputs and capabilities of Galileo, and GNSS in general, Michele Bavaro of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) described his work in testing Galileo ready receiver hardware.


1st Galileo Hackathon - watch the video here

Testing hardware

Broadly, two main categories of GNSS receivers exist: professional precision receivers and mass-market (currently only single frequency) receivers. Professional receivers are used for applications requiring high-accuracy, typically at decimetre, centimetre and even millimetre level. The mass-market category includes the chipsets found in smartphones, tablets, sat-navs, trackers, cheap drones and wearable electronics.

Last year JRC was involved in the assessment of Galileo-compliance and also characterised the effects of interference for a total of seven precision receivers. More recently, JRC has worked closely with the GSA and assessed the availability and consistency of the Galileo observables on the BQ Aquaris X5 Plus smartphone.

In the video we can see the list of all GPS and all GALILEO satellites the device has in sight. We can see values such as the ID of the satellite, SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio), Elevation, and Azimuth. The flags show if the satellite is Used in Fix, whether that satellite provides the Almanac for the constellation and the Ephemeris.

“Galileo is different to the current GPS system,” Bavaro stated. “It has more signals and better accuracy: essentially I believe it is the future of navigation.” He showed the results of simulated and real world testing of combined GPS + Galileo signals in both static and mobile situations. All the receiver manufacturers had been extremely supportive during the testing.

Bavaro said that the residuals of the Galileo E1 signal were smaller than those of the equivalent GPS L1 signal and that the performance of the combined (GPS+Galileo) signals was always better in both nominal and interference testing scenarios. The accuracy in live mobile testing could only be partially assessed due to the limited number of Galileo satellites available at the time.

The results of the testing showed that Galileo support is mature in most precision professional receivers and, where it is not, manufacturers are ready to implement changes and improve their firmware. Chipsets for the mass-market mainly support Galileo as an adaptation of their legacy GPS technology, so the full potential benefits of the modernised Galileo Signal in Space (SIS) are not necessarily exploited. Those chipsets, unlike professional ones, are also required to maintain minimal battery power drain and have to rely on simplified front ends and antennas.

Galileo for smartphones

Smartphones and tablets are often connected to Internet, allowing them to fully explore web based Assisted GNSS (reducing their time to first fix (TTFF) to a few seconds). In other words the navigation information (on satellite orbits and clocks), which normally needs to be decoded from live SIS can be retrieved from the Internet instead, with a validity of several days. In addition the computational core of the GNSS receiver is a small piece of silicon Intellectual Property (IP) inside a System on Chip (SoC) which also integrates the application processor.

“The Galileo E1 Open Service (OS) signals are designed with an in-phase pair of data and pilot,” explained Bavaro. “The availability of a (data-less) pilot channel represents a unique asset for smartphones as it allows a level of processing gain, and therefore sensitivity, only bounded by the quality of the receiver's internal oscillator.”

Such oscillators have greatly improved in the last decade driven by the need for high data-rates on cellular networks (4G) and WiFi. From a 200 milliseconds signal snapshot a smartphone can derive a very precise, unambiguous ranging signal to Galileo satellites by leveraging the pilot codes. This is much harder to do with GPS signals.

The Galileo E1BC signals also overlap in frequency with GPS L1 thus they don't require additional radio frequency circuitry inside a GNSS chip, just more silicon for digital signal processing. The binary offset carrier (BOC) modulation used by Galileo is more robust compared to GPS in most modern receiver architectures and another obvious advantage of Galileo E1BC modulation is that it has three times higher accuracy than the legacy GPS.

Galileo uses longer codes compared to GPS, which makes the code synchronisation search longer and more difficult to perform for a receiver, but in turn the ranging has much larger ambiguity of 1200 km compared to 300 km for GPS. Again this greatly reduces the search space for all receivers.

Trends in GNSS

Bavaro identified the major trends in GNSS research as Protect, Toughen and Augment (PTA). There is a need to introduce rules to protect the valuable spectrum which is the basis for provision of position and time globally. In parallel GNSS vulnerabilities must be addressed, making satellite navigation more resilient to malicious attacks or involuntary-induced signal anomalies such as jamming and spoofing. And finally synergies with other technologies must be assessed that can increase availability and robustness.

Today everyone carries at least one GNSS receiver and the mass market needs ever increasing availability, accuracy and reliability. With the advent of drones and self-driving vehicles coexisting with humans’ personal space there is a requirement for even more accuracy, availability and reliability. This means there is a need for both an enhanced Signal in Space and the integrity service provided by EGNOS.

“Today satellite positioning is done by billions of people using signals designed 40 years ago as secondary channels for military users - GPS L1 C/A stands for ‘Coarse Acquisition’,” says Bavaro. “Europe has a unique opportunity to provide the new de-facto standard for GNSS. It is obvious that, if all the vulnerabilities are accounted for, it is time to start building user accuracy, availability and reliability on top of a modern PNT system, and Galileo may well be all or part of that system.”

“Galileo signals are inherently more accurate. The future for locations is based on accuracy, so Galileo is an answer,” he concluded. “Galileo was born to be compatible with GPS so it is also relatively cheap and easy to integrate with existing GNSS receiver technology.”

“Galileo signals are inherently more accurate. The future for location is based on accuracy.”

More information:
WhereCamp
European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC)

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Thu, 09/15/2016

 

Are you a passionate coder wanting to shape the future of Location Based Services (LBS) and Geo-IoT (Internet of Things)? Maybe you’re already working on an LBS-based application? Or perhaps you want to test your skills while developing a prototype?

Either way, the Galileo Hackathon is for you. 

The two-day hackathon is a unique opportunity to showcase your coding skills, connect with the GEO-IoT app development community, gain a competitive advantage for your future projects and compete for a chance to win exciting prizes. Competitors will also be amongst the very first to utilise Galileo-enabled mobile phones.

As Europe’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), Galileo provides improved positioning and timing information that will greatly benefit European services and users – including the LBS community. Being fully compatible with all existing and future GNSS (i.e., GPS, GLONASS, etc.), Galileo enables a seamless and accurate experience for multi-constellation users worldwide. With Galileo Initial Services set to launch this year, the Galileo Hackathon is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get in on the ground floor and help shape the future of Location Based Services.


1st Galileo Hackathon - watch the video here

The challenge

The challenge to you is to come up with innovative applications that make full use of the Galileo’s numerous capabilities. There are no limitations on the types of applications you can submit, so be creative and show us how your application will bring an added commercial or societal value by using Galileo services.

Judges from the mobile technology and LBS industry, along with GNSS experts, will evaluate applications based on their level of innovation, benefit(s) to society, market readiness, usefulness, usability and design. Two winners will be announced, one for the most innovative Galileo app and one for the app having the most substantial societal impact, with both winners receiving a cash prize of EUR 500.00 and having their work featured on the GSA website.

The details

The Hackathon is open to any individual or team of two to four people interested in developing new applications using Galileo. The Hackathon will be held November 3 – 4 during WhereCamp, the ‘unconference’ dedicated to geolocation enthusiasts and professionals, at Berlin’s Beuth University of Applied Sciences. All participants must register for both WhereCamp Berlin and the Galileo Hackathon and must commit to participating in both days of the event. Registration is free. Galileo-enabled mobile phones will be provided, so all you need to bring is your laptop and a good idea. On-site technical support will also be available.

More information and registration can be found here.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Tue, 08/02/2016

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has formally accepted the new Loyola de Palacio facility, which houses the European GNSS Service Centre (GSC), from the Spanish government – a key milestone towards the declaration of Galileo Initial Services.

Recently, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) formally accepted the new Loyola de Palacio facility, which houses the European GNSS Service Centre (GSC), from the Spanish government. This handover represents a significant milestone in the development of the Galileo programme and its service provisions, which is scheduled to begin later this year with the declaration of Initial Services. 

“The GSC is a key asset for the Galileo programme; it is Galileo's door to the GNSS world,” said GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “Today, the GSA is pleased to accept this excellent facility from Spain. It is a symbol of the upcoming service phase and the single, unique interface for Galileo users.”

“Carlo des Dorides has been on board the Galileo programme from the beginning. He has played a consistent role in taking the programme forward, and his re-election as GSA Executive Director by unanimity was not by chance,” added Spanish Secretary General for Transport, Carmen Librero Pintado. “Rest assured, Spain will always be side-by-side with you.”

 

Ignacio Azqueta Ortiz, Director General of Spain’s National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA) said, “With this handover and the milestones to be reached in the near future, we look forward to continuing our tradition of collaboration with the GSA and working together towards the success of the Galileo programme.”

In his concluding remarks, Spanish Secretary of Defence Pedro Arguelles Salaverria underlined, “Now more than ever, Europe must show the world its strengths, and Galileo is one of them. Spain underlines its strong support of Europe and Galileo.”

The essential role of the GSC

By delegation from the European Commission, the GSA is charged with overseeing the operation and service provision for both the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) (since 2015) and Galileo (as of 2017), along with managing the security accreditation and general security provision for both programmes. The GSA has been fully responsible for the GSC since its inception in 2014, a responsibility that includes serving as the GSC design authority, managing the GSC nucleus’ (GSC-n) operations and overseeing preparation contracts on infrastructure, operations and hosting service provision for the fully-fledged GSC (v1).

 

Ignacio Azqueta Ortiz, Director General of INTA, Carmen Librero Pintado, Secretary General for Transport, Pedro Argüelles Salaverría, Secretary of State for Defence, Carlo des Dorides, Executive Director, European GNSS Agency (GSA), Begoña Cristeto, Secretary General of Industry (click to enlarge)

Ignacio Azqueta Ortiz, Director General of INTA, Carmen Librero Pintado, Secretary General for Transport, Pedro Argüelles Salaverría, Secretary of State for Defence, Carlo des Dorides, Executive Director, European GNSS Agency (GSA), Begoña Cristeto, Secretary General of Industry (click to enlarge)

Under the hosting agreement between the European Commission and Spain, INTA served as the hosting entity, with the Spanish government providing the site as an in-kind contribution. The GSC offers over 1,100 square metres of space, is home to some of the programme’s most state-of-the-art technology, and employees over 40 people

Since 2013, the GSC-n has been providing limited services and working as a precursor to GSC v1. Its key work includes supporting the lead up to the Galileo Initial Services provision, along with operating the GSC Helpdesk, disseminating orbital products to the Search and Rescue (SAR) community, supporting GNSS-related R&D and industry and monitoring user satisfaction. Once operational, GSC v1 will be connected to the Galileo core system, thus enabling the Commercial Service. It is expected to enter operations by mid-2017.

A truly European agency

The GSA is unique in that is one of the EU’s only multi-site agencies. With its headquarters in Prague, it also will run operational sites in the Netherlands, France, and the UK. With the handover of the Loyola de Palacio facility, it now adds Spain to this list. Each of the sites has its own specific function and will be staffed by specialists from the GSA and its contractors. Once the Galileo Operations Contract is awarded and Initial Services officially declared, the GSC is expected to see an increase in staff.

The site acceptance meeting was attended by representatives from the Spanish departments of defence, transport and industry, among others. Attendees were also given an overview presentation on the GSC’s role within the Galileo programme, along with a tour of the facilities.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Mon, 07/18/2016
Momentum is now building for autonomous vehicles, with GNSS as a key component.

At the joint ‘Insurance Telematics’ and ‘Connected Cars’ conference in London, vehicle manufacturers, software engineers, public authorities and many more heard how GNSS- and internet-enabled vehicles are changing the road transport landscape.

Major vehicle manufacturers are now delivering motor vehicles with connected services for drivers, including real-time traffic and weather reports and accident or road works warnings. More applications are on the way, and the technology systems that support them will enable the increasing number of autonomous vehicles that will soon be cruising down our roads and highways.

A key message from the conference was to see integrated GNSS systems as providing more than just positioning and navigation. For example, with GNSS a wide range of other key services are made possible, including:

  • Precise navigation systems
  • Autonomous vehicles and assisted driving
  • Cooperative ITS
  • Usage-based insurance schemes
  • Road pricing and congestion charging
  • Automated eCall distress signals
  • Intelligent speed adaptation

As to the use of GNSS within the connected car, the trend is for carmakers to take a more important role within GNSS-related services. In fact, by 2020 more and more vehicles with built-in GNSS and fewer ‘nomadic devices’ like portable GNSS receivers will be coming onto the market. This trend is already being seen in prototype autonomous driving cars, where GNSS is viewed as a fundamental enabling technology.

Another advantage that GNSS has within the connected car is that it is complementary to and interoperable with other automotive technologies. Although today we talk about sensor-based versus connection-based solutions for a variety of vehicle services, a ‘converged solution’ seems to be the best alternative, combining the best of both approaches. By integrating sensor data and connectivity-based information operators can reduce the need for the most expensive sensors and, at the same time, save money on infrastructure. Accurate and secure GNSS will help drastically reduce costs, with a single, integrated ‘GNSS engine’ embedded within the vehicle that will provide positioning, navigation and timing for all needs – including many different applications and car functions.

Protecting your car from cyber attacks

With the advent and rapid spread of connectivity in cars, cyber security has suddenly become a major concern within the automotive industry. At a special session on cyber security, Anna Stylianou from SBD explained how new connected technologies, including those specifically aimed at increasing safety, have actually increased the attack surface available to hackers. “As vehicles become completely autonomous, they become more reliant on connected services and GNSS, and even ‘driver fall-back’ in case of error will no longer be an option,” she said. “As a result, the risks associated with hacking or GNSS jamming and spoofing will be even greater.”

Luckily, Galileo, which is set to launch initial services later this year, will play a key role in combating these security threats. “There is an increasing need to deliver a robust GNSS module that can provide an efficient, resilient and low-cost defence against jamming or spoofing attacks,” said GSA Deputy Head of Market Development Fiametta Diani. “Galileo will be a dual frequency service, so it will be resistant to atmospheric interference, and it will have greater resistance to multipath interference, or interference due to signal reflections off buildings and other objects, such as in urban canyons.”

Galileo will also have an authentication signal to detect intentional interference, such as spoofing attacks. “This authentication feature is essentially a digital signature that will be available on the E1 Open Service frequency, but also on the Commercial Service E6 frequency, which will certainly be interesting for autonomous driving,” said Diani.

In a key announcement, Diani cited a new independent study by Broadcom, a major international wireless and broadband company, which confirms Galileo mitigation of multipath effects. “Recent tests by Broadcom show that Galileo E1 is a better solution against multipath than GPS L1,” she said. “The strength of the Galileo signal, together with an advanced code modulation, makes Galileo better at mitigating multipath effects, especially in E5, but also in E1.”

Receivers that support Galileo show better performance in a multipath environment. This is because by supporting more constellations, one increases the chances of being able to select only direct line-of-sight signals. Not only that, but E1 measurements from Galileo satellites are more accurate in multipath environments than L1 measurements from GPS satellites – meaning the effect of multipath is two times smaller with Galileo E1 compared to GPS L1.

The authentication feature will be operational in the Open Service from 2018, at which time Galileo will be the sole and unique GNSS constellation offering such a security feature.

Europe in push for autonomous vehicles

Momentum is now building for autonomous vehicles, with GNSS as a key component, and here the European Union is delivering the policy support to back up this movement. Last April, for example, the transport ministers of all 28 EU Member States signed the ‘Amsterdam Declaration’ during an informal meeting of the Transport Council. The document lays out the specific steps necessary for the development of self-driving technologies in the EU. With this new Declaration, the European Commission and its Member States, along with the transport industry, have pledged to develop rules and regulations for autonomous vehicles – meaning Europe has a shared strategy on connected and autonomous driving.

This clear commitment on the part of the EU means the GSA can move forward with confidence in its support for research in this exciting new area. In fact, several ongoing research projects are already being funded by the GSA under the EU’s research framework budget, including Horizon 2020 projects , ‘Indrive’ and ‘Inlane’; many of which involve such European big-name players as TomTom, Fiat or Renault.

In November, a new call for proposals under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme will be launched. The call will have a total budget of €33 million and is specifically targeting research in support of GNSS, including autonomous vehicle technologies.

Stay tuned to the GSA website for more information.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Mon, 07/04/2016
CNES president Jean-Yves Le Gall was elected as the new chair of the GSA Administrative Board.

The European GNSS Agency elected CNES President and France’s inter-ministerial coordinator for European satellite navigation programmes Jean-Yves Le Gall as the new chair of its Administrative Board.

During the 45th meeting of the European GNSS Agency’s (GSA) Administrative Board, CNES (the French Space Agency) president and France’s inter-ministerial coordinator for European satellite navigation programmes Jean-Yves Le Gall was elected as its new chair. The Board also elected Mark Bacon, representing the United Kingdom, as its new deputy chair.

“I am honoured to have been elected chair of the GSA Administrative Board, with Galileo now poised to enter its operational phase,” says Le Gall. “This election confirms the desire of Member States to join forces on the cusp of a prolific period for European space as we move Galileo towards full operational capability.”

Le Gall thanked outgoing chair Sabine Dannelke of the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure for her leadership over the last few years and went on to say, “I look forward to working hand-in-hand with Executive Director Carlo des Dorides and everyone at the GSA, whom I already know well from my role at CNES.”

“With Galileo Initial Services set to launch later this year and the subsequent transfer of responsibility for Galileo operations to the GSA, this is a critical time for the agency,” says des Dorides. “I am pleased that the Member States continue to support the agency with confidence and I look forward to working closely with both Jean-Yves and Mark as Europe’s space programmes enter this new chapter.”

“I am very pleased to have been elected to work with the Board and I look forward to helping the GSA deliver on the Galileo and EGNOS programmes over the coming years,” adds Bacon.

The GSA Administrative Board is composed of representatives from each EU Member State, the European Commission, and the EU parliament. The Board meets three times per year to take various decisions (budget, work programme, etc.) and ensure that the Agency performs its entrusted tasks according to the regulation.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Fri, 07/01/2016
From a country that has given us such international icons as wooden shoes, windmills, canals and narrow houses, perhaps nothing symbolises the Netherlands more than the bicycle.

The European Space Expo in The Hague showcased how cycling and motorcycling are benefiting from GNSS positioning information.

From a country that has given us such international icons as wooden shoes, windmills, canals and narrow houses, perhaps nothing symbolises the Netherlands more than the bicycle. So when the European Space Expo landed in The Hague’s Het Plein, it was only natural that it came with a special exhibition on the role space solutions play in cycling and motor biking.

The Space Solutions for Biking event showcased the many innovative biking applications powered by satellite navigation (EGNOS and Galileo) and Earth observation (Copernicus) technology. Exhibiting companies covered an array of applications, including bike sharing, smart bike riding and emergency detection for motorbike riders. 

For example, BikePredict is a mobile application that makes self-service bike riding easy by providing information on the number of available bikes and docks, both in real time and in the near future. “What is unique about our product is that we can predict where the bikes are going to be located,” says Chief Marketing Officer Clement Collignon. “As a user, you can log onto our app and see that there’s a 90 % chance of finding a bike or an open parking spot at a particular bike station in 30 minutes, which lets the user better plan their route.”

The app works similarly for the self-service bike operators, telling them how many bikes are docked where. “Trucks have to move bikes from station to station in order to rebalance the system, and this is a fairly significant cost to the operator,” says Collignon. “With BikePredict’s redistribution function, we estimate that we can help operators reduce costs by up to 25 %.”

Likewise, Bike Citizens used the event to show off how GNSS technology can benefit urban cyclists. The innovative app, which was designed by bike couriers, uses positioning information to guide users towards cycle paths and away from busy streets. There’s even no need to look down at the map, as Bike Citizens provides voice prompts about when and where to turn – meaning you can always keep your eyes on the road.

“Not only does it create the most efficient and bike-friendly route, the app will also provide information on points of interest as you ride,” says company Business Advisor Paul Mayer. “And our pre-packaged, themed routes – designed by local cyclists – are the perfect way to explore a new city.”

The app is available in cities worldwide. Furthermore, the company shares the data it collects via the app with research projects aimed at improving cycling in cities. Together with municipalities and companies, the Bike Citizens team designs, develops and promotes an array of tools to help cities promote urban biking. 

Thwarting thieves

Satsafe Technologies, also exhibiting at the Expo, is on a mission to develop innovative, global navigation satellite system (GNSS)-based products and services that provide safety and security benefits to the end-user. One such product is the SatsafeBike. The key innovation to this bike is the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) UK finalist’s winning Geoblock technology. The multi-sensor technology, which was originally developed for use in cars, determines the physical characteristics of a vehicle in real time, including acceleration, braking and cornering. This data is then analysed by a back office system, which applies an algorithm to produce individual driving scores.

“We are applying this same concept to bikes, creating an Internet-of-Things-enabled smart bike that we call the SatsafeBike,” says founder Stuart Millward. “Our aim is to have this technology embedded into bikes at manufacturer.” According to Stuart, the technology has already been deployed on electric bikes for Transport for Greater Manchester and the company is in discussions with a UK electric bike manufacturer about adopting the technology for all of their bikes.

“What’s really attractive about this technology for bike owners is its positioning capability,” explains Millward. “If you’re at work, for example, and your bike begins to move, the device will alert you of its position, enabling you to use the app to track and find your stolen bike.”

Easy riding with GNSS

Turning to motorbikes, REALRIDER was on hand to talk about its motorcycle app that keeps riders safe and connected. The app lets motorcyclists ride with complete peace of mind knowing they are protected by the REALsafe feature – the app’s 999-certified, built-in lifesaving crash detection technology linked to emergency services.

Also an ESNC finalist, Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Richardson describes the product as a social app for motorcyclists with a GNSS-enabled safety feature. “Here you can record routes, add points of interest, and connect and share this information with friends and other riders – it’s all about sharing with a wider community,” he says. “But the apps main feature is really its crash-detection feature.”

According to Richardson, all too often a motorcyclist is riding by him or herself on open, remote roads. If they were to crash, be thrown from the bike and land unconscious, for all practical purposes they would be lost. Looking to the EU’s eCall emergency service for inspiration, the question that Richardson and his team asked was “how do we let emergency medical services know where the rider is and what their condition is before they leave to go on the rescue?”

The app uses a complex process of GNSS positioning and geolocation to determine whether a crash emergency has occurred. “With REALRIDER, your information is stored in the UK emergency service system,” explains Richardson. “If it detects a possible crash the app will send you a call to ask if you are ok. If you don’t respond, then it will automatically send your downstream satellite data, medical and contact information from the app to the nearest ambulance and the ambulance to your location via the BT operated 999 service.”

European space benefiting our everyday lives

The Space Solutions for Biking event and the European Space Expo – The Hague were held in conjunction with the 2016 European Space Solutions Conference, co-hosted by the European Commission and the European GNSS Agency (GSA), under the auspices of the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the EU. To date, over 900 000 European citizens from across Europe have visited the European Space Expo, learning how European space policy and space-based technologies benefit our everyday lives, support the European economy and create jobs.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).

Wed, 06/29/2016
Over 950 000 European citizens have visited the Expo as it continues its tour of major European cities.

The European Space Expo lands in Paris to highlight the many ways the European Union’s space programmes help EU citizens on a daily basis.

The European Space Expo is in Paris’ Parvis de la gare Montparnasse from 20-29 June to highlight the many ways the European Union’s space programmes help EU citizens on a daily basis. Already over 950 000 European citizens have visited the Expo as it continues its tour of major European cities, and here in Paris the numbers are quickly moving towards the 1 million-milestone.

Speaking at the opening event, GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides highlighted how Europe’s space programmes are first and foremost a service geared towards providing across-the-board benefits to European citizens and end-users. According to des Dorides, for each euro invested, Europe’s space programmes generate between EUR 4 and EUR 10 in profit. For example, by 2027 Galileo will have saved 17 500 tons of CO2, saved over 4 500 lives and prevented the diversion of 120 000 flights in Europe.

“We are on the verge of a technological revolution with the growth of the Internet of Things. By 2020 150 billion objects will be interconnected, presenting a huge potential for geolocation,” he says. “To meet this increasing demand for precise geolocation positioning, no one system will be enough, meaning that the addition of Galileo to the system of systems will be fundamental – giving Europe a seat at the global GNSS table.”

There are over  1 000 satellites in space today, and by 2022 this number is expected to double. Of these, 14 are part of the Galileo programme, with more to be added in the coming months as the programme moves towards the launch of initial services later this year.

“Together, these satellites carry out such essential scientific tasks as monitoring the emission of greenhouse gases and their impact on climate change,” says the head of the European Commission Representation in France, Isabelle Jegouzo. “According to some accounts, up to 6 % of the European economy directly depends on these satellites, and the European Space Strategy that is currently being developed will leverage this power to enable Europe to have a true industrial policy.”

“Spatial data and spatial tools are essential to ensure a better command of our daily needs, as well as to find innovative solutions to tomorrow’s global challenges for humankind,” adds former astronaut and current adviser to the ESA Director General, Claudie Haigneré. “In addition, Europe’s space programmes put Europe, its scientists and its engineers at the forefront of research, knowledge and expertise in the 21st century.”

“Another reason for Europe’s space programmes is to defend the future of Europe and ensure it is alive for our children and grand-children,” concluded P. Goujon, Mayor Paris XV and Deputy.

About the European Space Expo

The European Space Expo, organised by the European Commission and the GSA in collaboration with the European Space Agency provides information in several languages, with a focus on EU flagship programmes Galileo, European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) and Copernicus. Through these programmes, European citizens benefit from numerous services and applications, not only enhancing daily life, but also creating opportunities on world markets, and contributing to job creation and economic growth.

The event is free and open to the public. Learn more here

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).