21 March 2008

Giove-B is ready to fly!

Finally we can really say it: Giove-B is ready to fly! The satellite is in a clean room at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. If everything will be ok, the launch should be at the end of april... ESA set up a website for the Giove-B launch. Enjoy!

17 March 2008

Forecasting the evolutions

Today the GPS satellite SVN32 will be set to unhealty. There is a news on the web discussing the fact that such a decision could be related to the fact that the control segment of GPS could have issues in managing 32 satellites (since February 26, the SVN23 broadcasting PRN32 was set to healty).
I believe this is probably a matter of some trivial issues related to numbering and size of registers s and not certainly due to the capability of the US to manage 32 satellites. Nevertheless, it makes me wonder how difficult it is to design systems that are expected to last for several years, and how it must be done with a good forecasting not only of the market but also of the technology for the years to come...
And I also wonder if Galileo design is looking forward to the upgreadability of the signals and of the system in order to cope with the evolutions that would keep it at the leading edge.

11 March 2008

Good news! Maybe we'll se a third Galileo satellite in 2008...

A good news! The third Galileo satellite is on track! Space Blog reported that Giove-A2 succeded the Critical Design Review at the beginning of january 2008. Giove-A2 was commisioned by ESA in 2007 at Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, the same company of the Giove-A satellite. Giove-A2 is a sort of insurance for ESA.. If the unlucky Giove-B will fail, Giove-A2 will permit to ESA to continue to occupy the frequencies allocated to Galileo.

Galileo vs GPS. ESA presented Giove-B, GPS gets to 32 satellites!!

The European Space Agency presented some days ago the second Galileo satellite: Giove-B. Good news.. I'm happy that, finally, Giove-B is ready to launch. On the other side of the Atlantic ocean, the GPS is running faster and faster. At the end of february, GPS gets to 32 satellites!!! So, what can i say?? Please Galileo, START TO RUN!

06 March 2008

Location-Based Gaming: is that a market for Galileo and GPS?

Since the decision to set up the Galileo Programme much attention has been dedicated to the evaluation of potential new markets for satellite navigation. Also the latest call for proposal issued by the GSA (Galileo Supervisory Authority) has been clearly focused on mass-market applications (the call closed on February the 29th, 2008). Apart the well known applications like tracking&tracing, fleet management, road pricing and many other do you think the Location-Based Gaming can become a business opportunity?
A LBG (Location-Based Game) or LEG (Location-Enabled Game) is one in which the game evolves and progresses on the basis of player's location. Thus, location-based games almost always support some kind of positioning technology like GNSS (but not only).
Would you please help us in understanding the potential market? Can you contribute with some LBG examples (web sites) or ideas to be implemented?

Here is one famous LBG named Pac-Manhattan (see http://www.pacmanhattan.com)

04 March 2008

Is the GSA (GNSS Supervisory Authority) a necessary body or European Parliament has to abolish it?

In January 2008 the European Parliament’s Industry Committee proposed actions amending the EC’s draft regulation for deployment and commercial operation of Galileo. Among these the Industry Committee is proposing to abolish GSA (former GJU – Galileo Joint Undertaking) that originally had the goal to implement the PPP (Private Public Partnership). GSA is now still needed considering that PPP did not succeed? ESA (European Space Agency) can set up and after operate the Galileo systems by its own without a direct control from EC?

The final vote on the future of GSA will take place on February 18th, but in the meantime GSA is publishing several calls for proposals and call for tenders using the EC FP7 budget! GSA is then creating opportunities for researches and companies with the aim of pushing on Galileo technologies…

In synthesis, can EC finance Galileo without a direct control on it?

Galileo or Beidou? Which system will arrive first?

GPS is the only global navigation satellite system functioning. Aside GLONASS, the Russian under refurbishment system, which system will be operational first? Galileo or Beidou? Up until a few weeks ago I could have bet my bottom euro on Beidou/Compass, the Chinese system. But I read on InsideGNSS that Chinese presentation at the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit in Germany seemed to show some difficulties in the Beidou project.. Maybe is not too late for Galileo…