R & D

R & D

Wed, 03/15/2017

The Horizon 2020-funded GHOST project is bringing Galileo’s robust positioning capabilities to smart transport systems. 

All across Europe, the number of smart cities is multiplying. To tackle their growing needs and to guarantee efficient city planning and maintenance, many cities are engaged in massive investments in such key areas as street lighting, road maintenance, traffic and waste management. In parallel, public transportation is continuously evolving in terms of coverage, comfort and technology.

Within this context, the exploitation of Galileo and its integration with other sensors is key to developing concrete solutions for current and future smart city planning. Along these lines, the Horizon 2020-funded GHOST (Galileo Enhancement as Booster of the Smart Cities) project is designing, developing and validating an intelligent system for vehicles that equips existing public transport fleets with a Galileo-enabled camera and connects these vehicles to a web portal. The system automatically takes pictures of predefined points of interest (POI) based on the accurate position of the vehicle – provided by Galileo. All images are sent to a processing server capable of detecting such anomalies as potholes or a burnt-out street light. The system then uses the web portal to report these findings to the relevant authorities.

“At this point, GHOST is designed primarily for reporting street lighting anomalies and road deteriorations, monitoring public garbage collection and detecting double parking infractions or disabled parking spots occupied by unauthorised vehicles,” says Project Coordinator Claudia Maltoni. “In addition to these basic functions, we have also identified more advanced services, such as spotting bus-lane and congestion-charging-area violations, which will be implemented at a later date.”

A user-focused system

The GHOST system’s key differentiator is its use of Galileo positioning, which gives it the capability to take autonomous snapshots with an error range of 1 to 10 metres (depending on the size of the POI). In densely populated urban environments, such a level of service is only possible with the combined use of Galileo, inertial sensors and Kalman filters. The Kalman filter is an algorithm that uses a series of measurements observed over time, as opposed to a single one, in order to increase precision. 

The GHOST system’s key services:

  • reporting street lighting anomalies and road deteriorations
  • monitoring public garbage collection levels
  • detecting double parking infractions or disabled parking spaces occupied by unauthorised vehicles
  • monitoring timely collection of garbage.

Another unique feature is a free smartphone application that citizens can use to collect geo-localised snapshots. “Whenever an individual user sees an anomaly within a city’s infrastructure, all they have to do is snap a picture with their smartphone,” explains Maltoni. “This level of engagement not only enhances the overall system, but also empowers individual users to play a key role in urban upkeep.”  

Improving urban efficiency

By taking advantage of the many vehicle movements happening in cities every day, GHOST proposes a competitive way to improve the efficiency of monitoring a city’s operations and infrastructure. Once finalised, the system will enable faster detection of double parking or road deterioration and help reduce traffic, accidents and pollution.

“Thanks to our field tests and favourable lab results, we are already setting up the next phase of the project, with the aim of taking the system’s technology to the next level,” concludes Maltoni. “This includes providing real-time, onboard image processing so that the system can handle such dynamic scenarios as bus-lane infractions and congestion-charging enforcement.”

The project is currently working to bring GHOST technology to market. Coordinators are busy making key contacts with interested public administrations, garbage collection companies and traffic police departments. It is also working to ensure that the system complies with all European regulatory standards, such as those related to circulation or privacy.

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, 09/13/2016


Take the pulse of the GNSS user technology industry and get an inside look at the latest trends!

Ready to take the pulse of the GNSS user technology industry? Want to get an inside view on how the latest trends are changing the market? Then sign up today to be one of the first to download a free copy of the GSA’s inaugural GNSS User Technology Report.  

The 2016 GNSS User Technology Report is the go-to source for comprehensive knowledge and information on the dynamic, global GNSS technology industry and the latest trends. This free, downloadable publication takes an in-depth look at the latest state-of-the-art GNSS receiver technology, along with providing expert analysis on the evolutionary trends that are set to redefine the global GNSS landscape.

The report is set to be officially launched on 4 October as part of the Horizon 2020 Space Information Days in Prague. The two-day GSA-hosted event will introduce the third call for Horizon 2020 proposals and serves as a unique opportunity to learn more about the proposal and selection process, along with hearing first-hand success stories from current Horizon 2020 funded research projects.

The report - a sister publication to the GNSS Market Report - focuses on three key macrosegments:

  • mass market solutions
  • transport safety and liability-critical solutions
  • high precision, timing and asset management solutions

GNSS user technology – in a nutshell

The 2016 GSA GNSS User Technology Report begins with a comprehensive overview of GNSS user technology. This is followed by a focus on receiver design, innovative signal processing techniques, changes that have an impact on antennas, and GNSS vulnerabilities – and how to mitigate them.

The report then turns to a macrosegment analyses of:

  • Characteristics and key performance parameters for user technology
  • The industrial landscape
  • Supported frequencies and constellations by GNSS receivers
  • Typical state-of-the-art receiver specifications and analysis
  • Future drivers and trends
  • E-GNSS added value in related macrosegments

The Report’s also provides a comprehensive overview of all positioning technologies, with a specific look at what lies beyond GNSS in the positioning landscape. A closer look is taken at such augmentation systems as SBAS, PPP solutions, other radio location technologies and non-radio positioning techniques like vision aided navigation.

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, 09/09/2016


In the frame of Horizon 2020 Space Work Programme 2018-2020 definition, a  stakeholder consultation - session 5:  EGNSS – focus on applications and market uptake, which will take place on 28 September 2016 in Brussels, Belgium (click here for the event programme).
The objective of this consultation is to exchange ideas and collect feedback on emerging Research & Development needs and priorities for EGNSS in the following main areas*:

• Transport
• Location-Based Services (LBS)
• Professional Markets and other applications

The session is designed for participants to share ideas, so stakeholder contribution is welcome and expected.
In preparation for this consultation  focusing on the three main areas mentioned above, presentation should answer to the following questions:

• What emerging applications in your area need to be addressed in the next Work Programme?
• What technology innovation or other factor (e.g. market trends, regulations, standards. etc.) will influence your area in coming years?
• How can the next Work Programme contribute to your business competitiveness in Europe and worldwide?

Deadline to send your contribution is 16 September.
For more information, please contact market@gsa.europa.eu

*PRS (Public Regulated Service) related applications are not in the scope of these consultations.

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, 09/06/2016

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) set to launch the third call for Horizon 2020 proposals with a dedicated information day in Prague together with the European Commission and COSMOS2020.

To introduce the third call for Horizon 2020 proposals, on October 4 – 5, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is hosting a special H2020 Information Day in Prague. The event, which will be held in the City Hall of Prague, is a unique opportunity to learn more about the proposal and selection process, along with hearing first-hand success stories from current H2020 Research projects.  

With a budget of nearly EUR 80 billion, Horizon 2020 is the EU’s most ambitious research and innovation programme ever. As a result of this investment, it promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by helping usher great ideas into the lab and onto the market. This third call for proposals encourages the latest wave of entrepreneurs to step forward and learn more about how to turn their GNSS-related business ideas into reality.

The first day of the event will focus on the Horizon 2020 programme in general, including rules of participation and lessons learned. In addition, representatives of the GSA will join other EU officials to provide updates on the Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus programmes. On the second day, the focus will shift towards the benefits of participating in Horizon 2020, as told by currently funded projects.

In a session entitled The Added Value of Galileo and GNSS Funding Opportunities, participants will learn more about the Galileo Initial Services, its synergies with Copernicus, and how it will benefit such mass market applications as Smart Cities and Social LBS. During the Fostering Entrepreneurship in Space and its Applications session, the focus will be on European Business Incubation Centres, Horizon 2020 financial instruments, SME instruments and the European Trade Association for Business Angels.

The event will also include a unique brokerage session where participants can meet one-on-one with session speakers.

More information on the event, including a full agenda and details on 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).

Wed, 07/20/2016
These grants ensure that more European operators and aircraft, such as the ATR 42-600 (pictured) are able to take full advantage of EGNOS procedures.

European GNSS Agency (GSA) funds 14 projects to help foster the implementation of EGNOS-based operations and LPV-200 procedures at European airports as part of its 2015 Aviation Call for Grants.

The GSA recently announced the projects selected for funding under its 2015 Aviation Call for Grants GSA/EEX.0030/2015. This second call brought great results, with 14 projects selected for funding, starting from July and August 2016.

The funded projects are expected to foster the design, development and operational implementation of European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS)-based operations, including LPV-200 (localiser performance with vertical guidance) procedures, at different European aerodromes, with an emphasis on the regional airports and heliports that general and business aviation operators depend upon.

In addition, the call also aims to support the development and installation of GPS/EGNOS-enabled avionics and grant airworthiness certification for required navigation performance approach (RNP APCH) procedures down to LPV minima and point in space (PinS), and to achieve the approval of Air Operator Certificates (AOCs) for LPV operations of aircraft already equipped with satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) capabilities.

Specifically, the following results are expected:

  • 40 LPV procedures at 18 airports
  • 2 LPV-200 procedures at Italy’s Trento Airport
  • 15 PinS LPV procedures
  • 2 RNP 0.3 routes
  • 44 aircraft retrofitted by 9 operators
  • 4 avionics solutions (STC) development
  • 3 flight simulator-type upgrades
  • Development of EGNOS navigation and surveillance sensors for (RPAS) applications.

“These grants will ensure more European airports and more European operators are able to take full advantage of EGNOS procedures, meaning increased safety and more accessibility for everyone,” says GSA Head of Market Development GG Calini.

The total budget for the second call was EUR 6 million.

The funded projects are expected to foster the design, development and operational implementation of EGNOS-based operations, including LPV-200 procedures.

The funded projects are expected to foster the design, development and operational implementation of EGNOS-based operations, including LPV-200 procedures. (Click to enlarge)

 Increased safety


Lateral navigation (LNAV), LNAV/vertical navigation (VNAV) and LPV minima to runways 01 and  19

 Approach to runway 19 to be  designed with LPV-200  criteria



Project name Beneficiary Proposal Impact
AIRLA All Ireland LPV approach; project Irish Aviation

Significant reduction in the minima with reference to every  NPA currently published in the  Aeronautical information Publication (AIP)

Significant reduction in operational costs for airlines operating at regional (non-state) airports


LPV approach procedures at 9 state and regional airports in Ireland, with 21 procedures 


Restructure the airspace to facilitate direct RNAV arrivals (from en-route to an LPV  ‘T-BAR' type approach structure) for the planned runway in use


Increased safety


London Oxford Airport Oxford Aviation Services


Lateral navigation (LNAV), LNAV/vertical navigation (VNAV)and LPV minima to runways 01 and 19

Approach to runway 19 to be designed with LPV-200 criteria


Primary regional and business aviation airport in the Thames Valley, identified by European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) members as a priority for LPV and operators already with LPV capabilities
Glasgow Prestwick Airport Glasgow Prestwick airport


LPV, LNAV and LNAV/VNAV to runways 21, 12 and 30

Replace, overlay and replicate the current conventional procedures


Substantially improved minima on runway 21 and a much more accurate arrival than currently provided by the non-directional beacon (NDB) or surveillance radar approach (SRA)
Cumbernauld Airport Cormack Aircraft
Services Limited
LPV on both runway ends (currently non-instrument)


Main operating base for Hebridean Air Services (LPV-capable), 2 ATOs, 2 rotorcraft operators and many private aircraft owners


GAGA GNSS approaches for general aviation AOPA UK
LPV approach procedures at 3 general aviation (GA) airports: Haverfordwest, Gloucestershire and Stapleford


Increased availability of instrument procedures for GA community

Support to training needs for instrument-rated (IR) pilots

Attract new commercial customers


London Southend and Carlisle Lake District Airports London Southend Airport company Limited
Stobart Air Limited
Implementation of LPV-200 at Southend and LPV + PinS at Carlisle


Considerable business aviation traffic, with many LPV-capable aircraft

Increased accessibility and safety compared to current NPA (Carlisle)

Attract new commercial operations based on better accessibility


ENAC Ecole Nationale de
l’aviation Civile


Retrofit of 12 BE58 aircraft with GTN650

Upgrade of 3 BE58 Flight Navigation Procedures Trainer (FNTP) II simulators

All Ecole Nationale de l'Aviation Civile (ENAC) flight instructors’ IR-ME training and operational feedback sessions to authorities, other ATOs and airlines


EGNOS adopted by one of the leading flight training organisations in Europe for professional instrument rating training

Expected total number of LPV landings on an annual basis is 6 200 in flight landings and 4 900 in simulator

Integration and promotion of LPV procedures in the ATO with the largest training fleet in Europe

Nextjet  Nextjet AB EGNOS LPV approach approved for installation in all Nextjet’s 10 Saab 340 platforms
STC development by Scandinavian Avionics


Large Scandinavian regional operator will be able to modernise and extend the flexibility of its Saab 340 operations, especially on small and remote airports

Lower cost of operation, with positive effect on customers due to reduction in delays in bad weather conditions


Svensk Pilotutbildning Svensk Pilotutbildning AB

Svensk Pilotutbildning, an ATO based at the Earth Science

Geostationary Platform (ESGP) in Sweden, plans to upgrade 3 aircraft and 2 simulators Provide PBN/EGNOS/LPV to existing IR students and other customers


ATO will make 1 250 in-flight LPV approaches on a yearly basis, within the normal training activities

Majority of training flights will be performed at the home base (ESGP) with LPV on both runway ends; nearby airports will have LPV by 2016

Equipped simulators will allow cost-effective training for students



Retrofit of 6 S92s and a second flight management system (FMS) to be LPV-capable

Add LPV capabilities to aircraft already equipped with one FMS that are certified for RNAV 5, RNAV 1/PRNAV and RNP APCH with LNAV minima


Major rotorcraft operator serving oil and gas (O&G) SAR and Arctic SAR.

Bases currently are Stavanger, Bergen and Hammerfest. Stavanger and Bergen have current LPV published. Bergen is currently equipped with two PinS approaches for helicopters with LNAV minima only

LPV adds such operational benefits as the possibility of fully coupled flight, potentially better minima and maybe steeper angles for further noise reduction


PIONEERS 2: Early adoption of PinS rotorcraft procedures Pildo Consulting S.L.; Austrocontrol; Christophorus; Flugrettungsverein; BMI-Flugpolizei; Norsk Luftamulanse; CHC helicopters
 Rotorcraft retrofit


Maximise the operational use of EGNOS in rotorcraft operations, enabling major helicopter emergency medical services (HEMSs) and off-shore operators with LPV capabilities, and also open the potential of EGNOS towards government operations (police and military)


EGNOS in the Czech Republic GNSS centre of Excellence; z.s.p.o.; DSA A.S.; F Air, SPOL. S.R.O.; RLP CR, S.P.; Aero-Taxi OKR, A.S.

Retrofit of 13 GA aircraft, 2 rotorcraft and 2 flight simulation training devices (FSTDs) with EGNOS-enabled avionics

Introduction of EGNOS for rotorcraft operations in CZ


LPV capabilities at two industry leaders in CZ for pilot training, covering +/- 60 % of national market, and +/- 20 % of market share in Central Europe

First PinS in CZ to be used by HEMS. Other hospitals waiting for operational feedback of this procedure

First PinS at busy international airport


Aeroporto Caproni P.A.T. Nucleo; Elicotteri VVF; Aeroporto ‘Gianni; Caproni’; S.p.A.


Design and validation of approach and departures supported by SBAS serving

Trento Airport and the helipad at Cles hospital Specific point-to-point link to connect the instrument flight procedure (IFP)


Increased safety and continuity of the medical and emergency operations
REAL: RPAS EGNOS-assisted landings Pildo Consulting S.L.; Sharper Shape Ltd; EuroUSC – Italia; FADA/CATEC


Develop an EGNOS-based navigation and surveillance sensor, ready to be coupled with a generic RPAS autopilot and ground station system

Contribute to the approval of innovative RPAS operations, supported by a safety case, which in turn is supported by high levels of accuracy and integrity provided by EGNOS


Validation in two scenarios:

Scenario 1: transport for urgent medicines

Scenario 2: Operations to extinguish fires



First 2015 Aviation Call for Grants GSA/GRANT/EGNOS/03/2014 producing results

Meanwhile, the 13 projects selected as part of the first call are all currently at various stages of implementation, with some already taking positive steps towards enabling EGNOS operations, particularly as they relate to regional aviation. Among these initial achievements is an upgrade of three simulators, with one having recently entered the market and the second to follow in the coming months. Another project is well on its way to successfully retrofitting a regional aircraft, making it to be another ‘ready to fly’ with EGNOS in 2017.

Overall, the first call is on course to publish up “first package “of 15 EGNOS procedures by the end of 2016.

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, 05/26/2016

Speaking at this week’s Geospatial World Forum in Rotterdam, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) discussed the many benefits that EGNOS and Galileo offer the geospatial sector and, specifically, the surveying and mapping domains.

Speaking at the Geospatial World Forum, the premiere event for the geospatial sector, the GSA highlighted the multiple benefits that such European GNSS programmes as Galileo and EGNOS bring to European surveyors, as well as illustrating synergies with the EU Earth Observation programme Copernicus. Topics discussed included how to increase industry adoption of GNSS, how to better meet user needs, and the integration of E-GNSS into geospatial equipment and end products.

Although all of these topics are of interest to surveyors, the topic on the top of everyone’s mind was the status of Galileo – and the GSA came bringing good news.

As two additional Galileo satellites were launched just that morning, Galileo satellites 13 and 14 will be followed by the launch of four more satellites later this year, with the declaration of Galileo Initial Services expected in the autumn. “Currently 80% of all GNSS receivers for surveying and mapping are EGNOS enabled and 45% are already Galileo enabled. This confirmed that the sector is well-positioned to benefit from of the Galileo services” says the GSA.

Galileo’s improved signal robustness, varying levels of authentication and its Commercial Service’s high-accuracy receiver error below one decimetre are all features that will greatly benefit geospatial users. According to a recent GSA survey, 78% of respondents say they will be ready to use Galileo signals by 2017.

    Read also: EGNOS – A cost effective solution for GIS

As a prelude to what is in store for surveyors, the Swedish Cartographic Society reported that the Swedish surveyors are already anticipating how Galileo will help them for surveying in cities and other difficult environments. Most of the reference stations of SWEPOS, the Swedish national reference network provider, are fully equipped with Galileo-capable receivers.

However, Galileo will not operate in a vacuum. Not only is it interoperable with other GNSS systems, it also offers numerous synergies with the EU’s Copernicus Earth Observation system – particularly for the geospatial sector. “There is a huge potential for synergies between geopositioning and surface imaging,” says Dufourmont, Project Manager Copernicus Land Monitoring Services of the European Environment Agency. “For example, the sector is currently using both systems to track animals and monitor migration paths before making development decisions.”

Collaboration and support

To ensure the surveying community takes full advantage of all that Galileo and EGNOS have to offer, the GSA and the Council of European Geodetic Surveyors (CLGE) continue to collaborate. For example, GSA awards the special Galileo prize in the framework of the annual CLGE Young Surveyor Prize. Last year’s winner, Laura van de Vyvere of M3 Systems in Belgium, made innovative use of Galileo's unique four frequency signals to improve positioning in harsh ionospheric conditions.

GSA aims at responding to end-users’ needs and it therefore established a unique interface Galileo systems and users: the GSC (European GNSS Service Centre). The GSC is the platform where users can get information about the Galileo system status and performances, system documents and it includes a helpdesk.

The GSA is further supporting the uptake of European GNSS in the surveying sector via various funding mechanisms. For example, the Horizon 2020 LARA project is bringing together GNSS, augmented reality and 3D GIS geo-databases to show utility workers operating in the field what lies below the service – allowing them to know where it is safe to dig. MapKITE, another Horizon 2020 project, is bringing together terrestrial and aerial mapping systems, such remote payloads as LIDAR and GNSS systems for simultaneous geodata acquisition. 

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, 06/01/2016

The fourth edition of the European Space Solutions conference has launched in The Hague, promising a week of exciting discussion and interaction on European space policy and innovation – with European GNSS and the European GNSS Agency (GSA) taking centre stage.

Dutch astronaut André Kuipers officially kicked off the fourth edition of the European Space Solutions conference in The Hague by setting the scene with stories from his time on the International Space Station. Yet even when floating far above the Earth, Kuipers noted his appreciation for the increasing impact that space exploration and space technology has on our daily lives here on the ground. “Whether it’s weather forecasting, providing high precision agriculture or monitoring pollution, space directly impacts everyone’s lives – making us all astronauts on spaceship Earth,” he says.

This theme of linking space technology to earth was a common one throughout the conference’s opening plenary session. “Space technology and data can help resolve issues faced by humanity and help us build practical solutions,” says Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp, representing the Netherlands Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the official host of the conference. “Space is important for the future of Europe – and Europe is important for the future of space.” On this point, he highlighted Galileo and EGNOS as prime examples of European projects providing global precision and helping to give Europe a competitive edge is such areas as trade and security.

With the declaration of Galileo Initial Services set for later this year, the timing of the conference couldn’t be better. “Now, more than ever, the challenge is to convert the success of the Galileo programme into tangible goods and services that will fuel jobs and growth,” adds European Commissioner for International Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska.

Representing a major step towards accomplishing this objective, the Commissioner joined Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment Melanie Schultz van Haegen and GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides in signing an agreement to establish the Galileo Reference Centre (GRC) right here in the Netherlands. The core mission of the GRC is to perform independent monitoring of Galileo’s performance and report on its findings.

Space opportunities

Although already today an array of applications and services are taking advantage of space technology and data, including GNSS and Earth observation, many presenters stressed the need to create more awareness about the role that space plays in our everyday lives. “Connectivity is the oxygen of business, and connectivity and applications are the key to creating jobs and growth,” says Member of the European Parliament Cora van Nieuwenhuizen. “This leads us to only one conclusion: it must support space.”

This is a sentiment echoed by European Commission Director-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Lowri Evans. “We are in the midst of an important and exciting economic moment for the European pace sector, but we need to shift our attention away from the hardware and towards the applications,” she says. “We need to get the data flowing, and this requires us to focus on research and innovation, unlocking skills, ensuring investment and looking at appropriate regulatory tools.”

But this isn’t to say that applications aren’t already benefiting from the technology. For example, in aviation EGNOS is facilitating the safe operation of aircraft at over 200 European airports – a number set to double by 2018. “This innovation represents the biggest technological revolution in aviation since the invention of radar, and the lessons we are learning here are now being exported to such domains as the rail sector,” says des Dorides.

Des Dorides also pointed to the area of location based services (LBS) and the geopositioning market, where the ubiquitous positioning provided by GNSS is being integrated with other technologies to deliver robust, reliable and secure positioning information. “GNSS receivers capable of capturing positioning, navigation and timing data will generate huge, rich data flows – making for a very interesting future for Galileo and its applications,” he concludes.

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, 06/07/2016

The European GNSS Agency recently highlighted the many ways your start-up can benefit from Europe’s GNSS programmes – EGNOS and Galileo – during infoShare2016 in Gdansk, Poland.

Recently, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) had the opportunity to talk EGNOS and Galileo at infoShare2016 in Gdansk, Poland. The biggest ICT tech conference in Central and Eastern Europe, the event brought together 5 000 tech professionals, developers, entrepreneurs and innovation leaders to share knowledge and experience about working across Europe.

During a dedicated session on space technology and business, the GSA discussed how space is more than just rockets and missions to other planets. “Space technology, such as GNSS, can benefit business and provide new market opportunities for start-ups and investors,” says GSA Market Development Officer Justyna Redelkiewicz. “For example, the sectors of Location Based Services, aviation, maritime, localisation and data transfer where space is closest to Earth are especially vibrant areas for new companies and investors today.”

In fact, there is a strong link between information and communication technology and the space sector, and the GSA highlighted three specific activities taking place in Poland that link the two. For example, the Galileo Masters Competition is the largest international competition for the commercial use of satellite navigation, helping participants to get their project ready and closer to the market and investors. There’s also the Horizon 2020-funded POSITION project, which works to support global navigation satellite service (GNSS) uptake in Poland, with several of the project’s success stories exhibiting at infoShare (see boxed text).

Positioning Poland’s start-ups for success

Given the large number of high-tech professionals and a generally untapped industrial sector, Poland is an attractive market for European GNSS. The GSA-supported POSITION (Polish Support to Innovation and Technology IncubatiON) initiative aims to increase E-GNSS market penetration and general awareness within the country. And judging from the handful of POSITION-supported projects exhibiting on the infoShare exhibition floor, the project is already producing results.

For example, Brumgo is using GNSS positioning information to help vehicles share their location and better plan their routes – an essential tool for companies operating large vehicle fleets. “With Brumgo, we’ve created an application that will change the approach of company owners and fleet operators,” says a company representative. “For example, if you’re in the delivery business, your customers can use the Brumgo app to see exactly where the delivery truck is and when it will arrive – taking away the stress of having to run home so as not to miss the delivery.”

Likewise, a group of researchers from Warsaw University of Technology set out to create an affordable, single-chip solution for precise positioning. The result is ChipCraft, which offers a single-chip dual frequency, dual-system reliable and highly accurate compact navigation receiver. “We saw that many applications required precision better than 1 metre and reliable positioning, but the cost and size of getting that level of precision and positioning kept them out of the market,” says one company researcher. “With ChipCraft, we’ve been able to fill this gap, giving our customers the chance to gain a competitive advantage and be able to offer better and more compact products.”

Another innovative app on display at the infoShare start-up showcase was ParkEasily. We’ve all been in the situation where we circle the block and drive endless kilometres beyond our destination just to find an available parking space. But ParkEasily asks ‘what parking problems?’ The apps aim is to reduce the stress of finding parking and help car park owners optimise the capacity of their parking lots. The application uses a combination of IoT solutions, GNSS positioning and complex algorithms to identify driving and parking trends.

And for those out at sea, Navdec is developing an autonomous ship as a means of avoiding at-sea collisions. Over 2000 collisions happen every year, with each collision costing over USD 1 million – and this doesn’t even factor in loss of life, destruction of cargo or environmental effects. As over 80% of these collisions are due to human error, Navdec aims to remove the human factor from maritime navigation. Its navigation decision support system using GNSS positioning, in combination with other technologies, to qualify encounter situations according to Collision Regulations and provides the navigator a ready-to-use solution for avoiding collisions.

The Horizon 2020-funded POSITION project is a collaboration between Black Pearls Investment (BPI), a Poland-based capital fund experienced in the technology sector, and SpaceTec Partners, a consultancy with offices in Brussels and Munich. The project specifically focuses on start-ups and early-stage investment opportunities for companies in Poland looking to utilise E-GNSS technology.

Big opportunities with GNSS

According to the GSA, there are currently 4 billion GNSS devices globally, a number that is expected to grow in the future. Furthermore, the installed base of GNSS devices is expected to triple by 2023, with growth in all regions. “With this growth, the big data market will grow as well,” says Redelkiewicz. “As the market is expected to top USD 84 billion in 2026, as both the global population and mobile device penetration rises, and use of social media increases, managing this big data brings new business opportunities.”

As an example of the type of opportunities available, Redelkiewicz pointed to a recently launched campaign by Red Roof Inn that uses big data for a new location-based service (LBS) application. Through sourcing freely available weather and flight cancellation information, the company built an algorithm that takes weather severity, travel conditions, time of day, and cancellation rates into consideration, then targeted mobile ads to stranded travellers, making it easier for them to book a nearby hotel. As a direct result of this campaign, the hotel chain has seen a 10 % increase in business.

But the opportunities aren’t limited to the big data market. The Internet of Things (IoT), augmented and virtual reality, and positioning are all ripe for business opportunities. Take for example IoT where in 2008 there were already more ‘things’ connected to the internet than people. By 2020 the amount of internet-connected things will reach 50 billion. Seeing an opportunity in these numbers, Air France KLM is launching its eTrack device, a GNSS-enabled device that tracks and traces luggage. The IoT device, working with an app, allows the owner of the luggage to know where their bags are at all times, enabling a faster bag drop process, improved airport efficiency, reduced stress for travellers, and an improved overall customer experience.

For applications in logistics, engineering, automotive, and the smartphone or tablet markets, augmented reality is increasingly important. Meanwhile the gaming market is benefiting from virtual reality and the level of immersion it offers.

According to Redelkiewicz, new augmented reality products work with GNSS to create an improved user experience. For example, Wikitude World Browser allows users to see everything a city has to offer through one glance at a mobile phone. Looking at real-time data, users can see nearby points of interest and information about their surroundings. Similarly, ForRent.com developed a mobile app that allows apartment searchers to find units by keyword search functionality or via augmented reality. Users point the phone’s camera at surrounding apartments and can then explore photos, prices, floor plans, and amenities of available rentals.

When it comes to positioning, Redelkiewicz says new geofencing technologies define virtual boundaries around real-world areas, creating a radius of interest that can trigger an action in a geo-enabled phone or portable electronic device. “This can be used in fleets of trucks, where if a driver breaks from his route the dispatcher receives an alert, or in Human Resources, where if an employee enters an unauthorised area security receives an alert,” she says.

Redelkiewicz also notes that positioning and navigation are also important indoors, but sometimes accurate indoor positioning or near tall buildings can be a technical challenge. “More effective ubiquitous positioning systems will help many areas, for example, by extending and completing the concept of augmented reality, facilitating targeted advertising, stock tracking, airport navigation, museum tours, and more,” she says.

GNSS and the automotive sector

And then there’s the automotive sector. “Buyers are increasingly looking for new vehicles with internet access, and a McKinsey interview found that 13 % of buyers would no longer consider a new vehicle without internet,” says Redelkiewicz. “GNSS enables connected cars to have many capabilities, including integration with home networks, data exchange with insurers and manufacturers, improved navigation, payment integration, localised information and advertising, police warnings and location, real-time traffic and incident alerts, assisted and automated driving, and more.”

GNSS is also important in emergency situations. eCall, an emergency response system, allows cars to respond to a crash by contacting the emergency service and wirelessly sending airbag and impact sensor information, as well as satellite positioning coordinates. By 2020, eCall will be enabled in 40 million cars and vans sold in Europe.

A future of space in Poland

In Poland, the space sector is increasingly important. When the Polish Space Agency (POLSA) was established in Gdansk in 2014, there was a large focus on the civil side of research and development, as well as education, as knowledge about space was key in launching this new sector for the country. Industries need to support and strengthen the competitiveness of the Polish space industry, transferring knowledge from space to non-space applications. By supporting space research and industry cooperation, there will be a harmonisation of space-sector activities in national and international programmes.

It is also important to create a market for using and transferring data into useable information. To accomplish this, the GSA and POLSA have created a pilot project to increase the efficiency of public administration by enabling it to use services based on satellite data in everyday work. POLSA for Education aims to increase knowledge about space technology, inspiring the next generation of Polish, highly educated specialists and encouraging future students to study space and science. Some universities are also offering new space degrees.

In the future, investment in space will continue to grow. Already, 2015 was a record year for venture capitalist investment in space, driven mainly by IT entrepreneurs. This has already been a trend in the USA, and it’s moving to Europe, meaning that it’s time for businesses and entrepreneurs to harness GNSS technology for innovative solutions, increased customer satisfaction and increased investment.

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, 05/12/2016

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) announces that the first LPV-200 approaches were implemented at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (LFPG) on 3 May – the first such approaches to be implemented in Europe.

The GSA announces that the first LPV-200 approaches were implemented at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (LFPG) on 3 May – the first such approaches to be implemented in Europe. LPV-200 enables aircraft approach procedures that are operationally equivalent to CAT I instrument landing system (ILS) procedures. This allows for lateral and angular vertical guidance during the final approach segment (FAS) without requiring visual contact with the ground until reaching a decision height (DH) of only 200 feet above the runway. (The minima for localiser performance with vertical guidance, or LPV, are as low as 200 feet.)

These EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service)-based approaches are considered ILS look-alikes, as the LPV-200 service level is compliant with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex 10 Category I precision approach performance requirements, but without the need for the expensive ground infrastructure required for ILS.

“EGNOS LPV-200 is now the most cost-effective and safest solution for airports requiring CAT I approach procedures,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “The involvement of major aircraft manufacturers confirms that this service is a real added-value for civil aviation, setting the basis for a better rationalisation of nav-aids in European airports.”

The announcement of the approach implementation follows the publication of the EGNOS-based procedures on 28 April. 

The publication of LPV-200 procedures provides numerous benefits, including:

  • reduced delays, diversions and cancellations thanks to the lower minima, potentially reducing the operational costs for flying to LFPG;
  • increased continuity of airport operations in case of ILS outage or maintenance;
  • enhanced safety levels, as the LPV-200 procedures can serve effectively as CAT I approach procedures and can also be used as a back-up to ILS-based procedures;
  • improved efficiency of operations, lowering fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and decreasing aviation’s environmental impact.

An important milestone

“The LPV-200 service provides European airports with the means to implement the most demanding precision-based navigation operations as defined by the ICAO,” explains EGNOS Service Provider (ESSP) CEO Thierry Racaud.

DSNA, the French Air Navigation Service Provider, pioneered the procedures as an outcome of the work that was co-financed by the European Union and carried out since the GSA declared the EGNOS LPV-200 service operational on 29 September 2015.

“The new LPV-200 approach procedures now implemented at LFPG aim to demonstrate that the satellite-based augmentation systems [SBAS], such as EGNOS in Europe, is a Category I performance approach solution that is reliable,” says Maurice Georges, DSNA CEO. “We are convinced that SBAS is a fundamental technology to modernise our navigation infrastructure and, following this first implementation, LPV-200 approach procedures will be progressively deployed over our IFR runway-ends network."

Pilot approved

The approach has been flown by an ATR 42-600, Dassault Falcon 2000 and Airbus A350, with positive pilot feedback.  “The LPV -200 system is much more stable and more reliable in terms of safety, but also more efficient than the ILS approach,” says ATR Chief Pilot Eric Delesalle after completing the first LPV-200 landing on runway 26L at LFPG. “It really makes a difference.”

According to Delesalle, LPV approaches offer pilots several distinct advantages over an ILS approach. For instance, the LPV system allows one to land at more runways, even in low visibility conditions, and LPV gives a pilot the accuracy of an ILS without the problems of localiser or glide slope interference. “With LPV, pilots can use GPS navigation during all phases of an approach, meaning they do not have to switch between autopilot modes while preparing the approach, thus our overall workload is reduced and room for human error is reduced” he adds.

“Airbus is pleased to have demonstrated that the A350 XWB complies with the new RNAV (GNSS) approaches with satellite-based augmentation, as implemented at Paris Charles de Gaulle,” adds Airbus Experimental Test Pilot Jean-Christophe Lair. “These approaches will be a valuable back-up to the airport’s traditional ILS approaches and will maximise runway availability for the A350 by maintaining CAT 1 capability, down to a 200 feet decision height, even when the ILS ground station is not available.”

View more images in our Image Gallery.

According to Dassault Flight Test Pilot Jean-Louis Dumas, from a pilot point of view, there is no difference between ILS and LPV approaches as the design of the Falcon EASY cockpit and the overall workload is exactly the same for both. “The accuracy and stability of the LPV guidance is really amazing,” says Dumas. “Lowering the LPV minima down to 200 feet in Europe is a great improvement enabled by EGNOS, and is very valuable for business aviation operations.”

In order to take advantage of LPV approaches, a pilot must undergo a specific initial training to learn all GPS-related navigation specifications, including LPV 200 procedures. However, as all three test pilots confirmed, as LPV approaches were intentionally developed as ILS look-alike, pilots are able to quickly transfer and adjust their skills to the new generation of LPV approaches.

Paving the way for future implementation

The GSA expects that by launching the first LPV-200 procedure at such an international hub as Charles de Gaulle will pave the way for the publication of additional LPV-200 service-level procedures at other European airports. In fact, it is already confirmed that Vienna International (LOWW) is set to be the next airport to publish LPV-200 procedures.

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, 05/11/2016

Have an innovative idea or application that leverages Galileo Initial Services? Then be sure to apply today for the GSA Special Prize – part of the 2016 European Satellite Navigation Competition.

On the eve of the historic declaration of Galileo Initial Services, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) has announced that it is now accepting applications for its GSA Special Prize for the most innovative application idea for Galileo Initial Services. Within the scope of the prize, the GSA is looking for the best ideas and applications that leverage Galileo’s Initial Services and the power of a multi-constellation environment in order to provide new and more robust benefits to the end-user across an array of sectors. The GSA Special Prize is part of the annual European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC).

Proposals must meet certain basic criteria, including:

  • innovation versus existing solutions;
  • commercial feasibility;
  • use of European GNSS signals and services as a primary means of positioning;
  • contribution to Galileo market uptake;
  • technical/operational feasibility, including maturity of the idea;
  • demonstrations/market trials for technology validation.

The winner will have the opportunity to develop their idea at an incubation centre of their choice within the EU-28 for six months, with the possibility of a further six months according to progress. Furthermore, for the first time, the winning idea will be showcased at the official Galileo Service Declaration Ceremony in Brussels, when Initial Services are announced to the world.

Supporting innovative applications

The 2015 edition of the ESNC received a record-breaking 192 entries from 29 different countries. Entries came from both individuals and start-up companies and covered such topics as location-based services (LBS), smart mobility, and safety and security. The winner, Rafael Olmedo and his KYNEO project, focused on the Internet of Things (IoT) and involved the development of cheap, flexible Galileo and EGNOS-enabled modules that allow for ubiquitous positioning data for IoT-related applications.

         Also Read: ESNC Success Stories

“The GSA Special Prize nicely complements the Agency’s focus of getting closer to the end-user and helping them benefit from European space technology and, in particular, Galileo,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “Whether through competitions like this or through such funding programmes as Horizon 2020 and Fundamental Elements, it’s by supporting innovative applications like KYNEO that the GSA will be able to succeed in its mission.”
As the Galileo programme transitions from a system in development to being operational, efforts to promote corresponding applications will become increasingly important. For this reason, competition organisers say they are looking forward to seeing the creative and innovative Galileo-based applications submitted this year.

         Also Read: GNSS-enabled Sports Tracker Moves into Final Testing Phase

The ESNC offers a prize pool worth EUR 1 million, including cash prizes and in-kind services. All winners of the 30 regional and special prizes will be in the running for the overall prize of EUR 20 000 and a six-month incubation programme (which can be extended to one year) in a region of their choice. The deadline for applications is 30 June.

Also Read: ESNC Flyer

Further information on this year’s prizes, partners and terms of participation can be found on the ESNC website.

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).