European Secured Navigation Arrives with First Galileo PRS-only Positioning

27 Jun 2013

Farnborough, UK – 27 June 2013: Another major milestone in the Galileo European Navigation Satellite System’s development and deployment programme has been achieved. On the 12th March 2013, staff at the European Space Agency at ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, achieved the first ever navigation solution using only the encrypted Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS) signals broadcast by the four Galileo In-Orbit Validation (IOV) satellites launched in 2011 and 2012. Septentrio and QinetiQ working in close partnership developed one of the two PRS test user receivers used in this historic first test.

Leo Quinn, CEO of QinetiQ, said: “Following last year’s first successful reception and processing of PRS signals from Galileo satellites I am very pleased to see the programme moving forward successfully. Achieving a first PRS-only Galileo navigation solution is a major achievement. With positioning, navigation and timing services increasingly critical to the safety, security and economic activity of UK and our European neighbours QinetiQ are very proud to be contributing to the development of Europe’s first secured satellite navigation services.

“This milestone is another important step towards the launch of operational Galileo services and will continue to build confidence in both prospective users and the industrial supply base. It showcases QinetiQ’s capabilities in this field and signals the way towards the production of exciting new solutions for critical navigation and timing applications.”

PRS positioning was achieved using the Galileo PRS Test User Receiver (TUR-P) jointly developed by Septentrio and QinetiQ under an ESA contract. For the reception test, the receiver was installed in the PRS test facility in ESTEC and operated by technical experts from ESA. Positioning accuracy of ~10 m was achieved, excellent for a first test so early in the system’s deployment. The TUR-P now continues to be used as part of the campaigns running during the GALILEO In Orbit Validation Phase. This milestone builds on a number of previous major Septentrio/QinetiQ achievements including:

First ever laboratory demonstration of the PRS signal acquisition and tracking in QinetiQ (Malvern, UK, 2006)
Successful RF compatibility test between a Galileo payload and the TUR-P (Portsmouth, UK, 2010)
Successful Galileo end-to-end system test including the Galileo Ground Mission Segment (GMS) and its key management facilities, satellite and TUR-P (Rome, Italy, 2011)
First successful reception and processing of the PRS signal from space (Fucino, Italy, 2012)

Septentrio and QinetiQ are proud to be a key, long-term contributor to the Galileo Programme, working closely with ESA, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and European industrial partners since 2003.

“Today, together with our partners, we take another decisive step in the early availability of commercial PRS receivers and Septentrio is extremely proud of this historic milestone for the Galileo programme,” commented Peter Grognard, Septentrio’s founder and CEO. “This builds on a list of major achievements for Septentrio since the reception of the first Galileo signal from space in 2006. We are delighted to continue the excellent collaboration with ESA and to contribute to this ambitious European project.”

Notes for Editors:

Galileo, one of Europe’s largest high-technology cooperative infrastructure programmes, will provide Europe with its own global satellite navigation system ensuring the availability of reliable navigation services for a wide range of different users. The Galileo system will deliver a number of navigation services including an open service, a commercial service and the Public Regulated Service (PRS). The PRS is an encrypted service for Government authorised users who have an enhanced security need (such as police, security services etc). For more information on Galileo please see the ESA website (www.esa.int) and the European GNSS Agency (GSA) website (www.gsa.europa.eu).
GALILEO IOV is a programme sponsored by “the European Space Agency” and “the European Union”
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Septentrio Satellite Navigation NV designs, manufactures, sells and supports high-end OEM GNSS receivers for the most demanding professional navigation, positioning and timing applications. Septentrio delivers breakthrough technology in the development of high-end GNSS receiver instruments and the integration of hybrid solutions. Septentrio receivers offer unrestricted signal tracking capability and the most comprehensive range of countermeasures to mitigate GNSS vulnerability. For more information about Septentrio, please visit our website at www.septentrio.com.

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European Secured Navigation Arrives with First Galileo PRS-only Positioning