Looking at GNSS R&D Success Stories

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Published: 
17 February 2014

With the first Horizon 2020 Call for Applications in Satellite Navigation in full-swing, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) takes stock of FP7’s successes.

The success of EGNSS Horizon 2020 funded projects will ultimately be determined by their market penetration. To facilitate this, at a 4 February Horizon 2020 workshop in Prague, the GSA invited successful projects from the FP7 GNSS R&D Programme to share their stories.

The GNSS FP7 portfolio, managed by the European GNSS Agency under the delegation agreement with the European Commission, consists of over 90 R&D projects, all creating economic value and developing a GNSS capacity in Europe amongst 425 beneficiaries. In particular, SMEs have been increasing their involvement in each of the three FP7 calls, accounting for 40% of GNSS FP7 funding was granted to SMEs.

The following Success Stories clearly demonstrate that FP7 funding has achieved an important overall impact on the GNSS market across all sectors.

Aviation: FilGAPP Project

With multiple navigation concepts coming from SESAR, the EU framework programme and Eurocontrol in the works, FilGAPP aims to fill the current gap that exists in state-of-the-art GNSS-based procedures and operations. To accomplish this, the project interacts, collaborates and complements the current and forthcoming activities being carried out by these various European aviation stakeholders.

Some of the project’s core objectives include:

  • Stimulating, developing and demonstrating the innovative GNSS-based operations, procedures and applications available
  • Facilitating operations that incorporate curved segments in arrivals
  • Developing advanced time-based operations

Following advanced GNSS flight trials in Germany and Spain, the project has concluded that LPV is a successful reality in Europe.

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Road: TAXISAT Project

With the driverless car in sight, TAXISAT is committed to developing a driverless GNSS-based taxi application capable of operating cost effectively, safely and reliably within all private outdoor areas. The project sees considerable gains to be achieved using the new EGNOS and Galileo capabilities that, along with the development of more sophisticated GNSS algorithms, will improve the integrity, reliability and availability of the TAXISAT services – even in such hazardous environments as temporary canyoning and tunnelling.

The objective of the project is to turn a site (transport hubs, theme parks, factories etc)into a potential commercial candidate of TAXISAT’s transportation solutions. It will accomplish this by not only defining algorithms using sensor data, but also by integrating information about the environment and context into the global solution. Thus, the result is a complete methodology for implementing a low cost commercial application of an automated people transportation system.

In the frame of the projects two software solutions were registered and three prototypes were developed and validated: solution based on the hybridization of INS/Computed vision and GNSS for an accurate and robust positioning; SLAM and follow the line application; Taxisat navigation solution.
Demonstrations of TAXISAT are on-going.

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Rail: SATLOC Project

The next time you ask in frustration, ‘Where is my train!’ SATLOC aims to have the answer thanks to GNSS.

The project addresses the development and demonstration of innovative GNSS Safety in live rail applications for train control, speed supervision, traffic control and traffic management of low traffic lines.

In particular, the application contributes to the adoption of EGNOS in rail and paves the way for the introduction of Galileo into the rail safety domain. The project includes the development of a new integrated rail operational concept, software, hardware, services and datasets compatible with the current evolution of rail signalling and standards. The real scale demonstrator was developed in the frame of SATLOC. It consists of three running trains and traffic control centre with GNSS localization and speed determination of trains in full compatibility with the ETCS conception. Pilot runs at the line Brasov-Zarnesti in Romania.

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Agriculture: GEOPAL Project

GeoPAL aims to develop an innovative application for the agricultural market by taking advantage of EGNOS and Galileo capabilities. It is a GNSS-based planning system providing an advanced logistics system for the harvesting and distribution functions of bio-production related supply chains.

The technological developments in the project include:

  • Guidance lines generation tool
  • On-line logistic process management system
  • Software with in-field route planning modules for harvesting machines and transportation units and high precision navigation
  • Software with a display linking both planning and navigation systems, so that harvesters and transportation units can coordinate biomass collection and unloading as efficiently as possible

The project’s 365FarmNET is an internet-based software programme providing comprehensive services for both in the field and in the office. For example, the software can plan an optimised path through the field and then ensure this plan is followed by providing farmers with in field guidance.

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Surveying and Mapping: ENCORE Project

The ENCORE Project is taking advantage of Galileo to develop a low-cost land management application for use with geo-referencing and cadastre planning in Brazil. Its objective is to develop and introduce Galileo terminals into the Brazilian market for land management applications. The involvement of Brazilian entities (both academic and enterprise) led to the development and demonstration of a Galileo-based prototype which fulfilled the requirements of the target application, but also to the demonstration and dissemination of the potential of Galileo signals, stimulating their use.

The output of the project allowed demonstrating the potential by delivering a receiver and software prototypes at a high technological readiness level (TRL).

Initial results are promising, demonstrating Galileo’s potential for bringing significant benefits to the surveying community.

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Maritime: SafePort Project

Picture trying to park a very large car into a small spot within a very crowded area where everyone is trying to do the same thing and nobody is able to communicate with each other.

That’s essentially the current state of Europe’s sea ports.

SafePort project developed and demonstrated an Active vessel Traffic Management and Information System (A-VTMIS) to manage vessel movement within its jurisdiction. This solution ensures that vessels follow safe paths without conflicting with other vessels and improve the efficiency of port operations.

SafePilot solution, developed in the frame of the project, ensures that harbor pilots can safely and efficiently navigate the courses provided by the A-VTMIS. SafePilot was commercialized in May 2013 by Marimatech and good indications of the success in defining the delicate balance between highly professional and advanced software and simple, intuitive user interface.

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Location Based Services: SMART-WAY Project

Ever found yourself in a foreign city, trying to navigate your way through an unknown public transportation system with an outdated paper map? With SMART-WAY, you can get from Point A to Point B via your own mobile phone.

Using a combination of GPS, EGNOS and Galileo, SMART-WAY is a real public transport navigation system based on mobile devices that gives passengers an in-car navigation experience. Thus, even if you decide to change course during your journey, the system will adapt and continue guiding you to your final destination.

Currently available for Dresden (Germany) and Turin (Italy), the project plans to expand the app internationally. Other future prospects include collaborating with transport ministries for a more comprehensive mobility tool and to integrate such additional information as indoor routing and WiFi hotspots into the service.

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Updated: Jan 30, 2018