NAVITEC Workshop Report

I just attended the ESA sponsored NAVITEC Workshop which is a very welcome effort to bring together mainly european efforts in GNSS signal processing, applications and hardware.

The workshop was well attended and the atmosphere was cordial and welcoming. Many old faces on the European GNSS field take these opportunities to meet-and-greet each other, and the newcomers and students have a good chance to learn and to network.

The workshop had very interesting presentations on LEO (Low Earth Orbit) GNSS receivers, these are mounted on low flying scientific satellites (300 to 1200 Km). These receivers have been flying for the last few years but only recently has Europe had complete systems developed and in operation such as the GRAS receiver on Metop. These receivers can aid in the navigation operations of the satellite but are mainly used as scientific instruments to analyse the Earth’s atmosphere through occultation processing: Sounding the Atmosphere, Zandbergen & Dow

There was as expected a lot of work presented on multipath correction and mitigation techniques. As GNSS moves into more realistic consumer applications one cannot simply assume that the user will have a clear sky view. More than likely all upcoming “real” civil applications will have obstructed views and that leads to reflecting surfaces and thus to multipath. Some of the modern navigation codes are advertised as much better in terms of multipath attenuation, but some correction and mitigation will always be welcome.

Some other very interesting presentations included: the use of the GPStk library to build a receiver in a mini-computer, the simulated single frequency navigation solution of a LEO using a COTS receiver down to sub-meter accuracy, the implementation of L1/L2C receivers, EGNOS and Galileo Status presentation and EGNOS Signal in Space characterisation and applications.

The workshop was very well organised at ESTEC, as usual the facilities there are very welcoming and having an initial general session and two parallel sessions makes for a better workshop, too many parallel sessions are sometimes distracting and confusing for both speakers and listeners!. Having to access the ESTEC canteen at the same time as all the other ESTEC personnel probably inconvenienced the regulars more than was necessary since the workshop attendees could have been scheduled a bit later to avoid aglomerations, but all in all it was not a terrible problem.

I invite everyone to plan to attend the next Navitec in 2008, which I hear may be organised in Barcelona!

Happy Positioning!

Ignacio Romero

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