European GNSS Service Centre Infrastructure in the Works

Jose Caro, Joan Clua, Frederic Domps, Juan R. Martín, Joaquin Estremera, Jesus Cegarra, Jorge Calvín, Roger Vilagut, Eric Chatre, Chris Payne, Jean Verniolle, Reinhard Blasi, Javier Simón, Aitor Álvarez

Abstract: Every global navigation satellite system includes some kind of contact point to the user community. In the case of the Global Positioning System (GPS), the official information is accessible from the web, where general information of the system is provided to all users by the US National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing. The GPS status and outage reports are provided by three administrations, usually referred to as the GPS TRIAD: the USAF GPS Operations Centre (USAF GPSOC) for military users, the FAA National Operations Control Centre (FAA NOCC) for airspace users and, finally, the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Centre (USCG NAVCEN) for other civilian users. The official information about the GLObal NAvigation Satellite System (GLONASS) from the Russian Federal Space Agency is currently accessible from the web domain Finally, the official information about the BeiDou Satellite Navigation System (BDS), also known as COMPASS, from China National Space Administration is currently accessible from the web domain The current systems provide a wide variety of services such a: General information: • Policy and Regulation • Governance • Applications System Status: • Nominal orbital parameters • Deployment status News Answers to FAQs Performance Reports • Daily, monthly, etc • Coverage Notices to users: • NTM, NOTAM, NAGU Official documentation • Service Declarations • SIS-ICDs • Regulations Other: • Info on anomalies • Ephemeris & Almanacs The table below summarizes the services provider for the current systems in the world. GPS • Notice to Mariners (NTM) & Airmen (NOTAM) • Advisories (NANUs and general information) • Daily performance reports (DOP maps) • Annual GPSOC operational performance reports • GPS technical documentation and links to external tutorials • Request for user feedback on detected GPS anomalies • CGSIC List Server Membership GLONASS • Official information, • News • Current status; • Information about GLONASS and GPS operability; • Precise ephemeris, GLONASS and GPS almanacs; • GLONASS and GPS bulletins; and • Links to the sites about GLONASS equipment, navigation maps (cartography), and other Russian and international organizations BeiDou • General information • News • Technical reports and official documentation (e.g.; SIS ICD) • General information on applications and services WAAS • WAAS system status • GPS-SPS performance • Performance (instantaneous, day, monthly) for supported operations (LPV, LPV200, RNP 03, and RNP0.1) • Ionosphere monitoring. EGNOS • EGNOS system status • New • Relevant information for aviation, terrestrial and maritime users • EGNOS past and expected performance for the supported operations (e.g.; APV1, NPA, and LPV) • Coverage area; • GPS satellites monitoring figures. In the case of the European global navigation system, Galileo, the centre in charge of interfacing and communicating with the user communities for the Open Service and the Commercial Service is the European GNSS Service Centre (GSC). This facility, located in Madrid (Spain) and designed as an integral part of the European navigation infrastructure, is conceived as a centre of expertise, knowledge sharing, custom performance assessment, information dissemination and support to the provision of value-added services enabled by the civilian Galileo services. The Galileo Open Service is provided for free worldwide in frequencies L1, E5a and E5b, and aims at standard accuracies. On the other hand, the Commercial Service, one of the most distinctive features of Galileo, is intended to `provide cooperation between public and private sectors. The CS will be provided by means of OS signals plus specific signals in E6 band. The foreseen Commercial Services are High accuracy and Authentication. The Galileo programme has been structured according to three main phases: - Experimental phase: Two experimental satellites, GIOVE-A and GIOVE-B, launched respectively in December 2005 and April 2008, have characterised and verified the critical technologies needed by Galileo within the medium-Earth orbit (MEO) environment. They have also reserved radio frequencies set aside for Galileo by the International Telecommunications Union. Both successfully completed their missions and are no longer operational. - In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase: The aim of the Galileo IOV phase is to validate the system design using a reduced constellation of four satellites –the minimum required to provide exact positioning and timing at the test locations– along with a limited number of ground stations. The first two IOV satellites were carried into orbit by a Soyuz launcher from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana on 21 October 2011. The second pair was launched on 12 October 2012. - Full Operational Capability (FOC) phase (four IOV satellites plus 26 FOC satellites): Launched in parallel to the In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase, the Full Operational Capability (FOC) phase will lead to the deployment of the remaining ground and space infrastructure. It includes an intermediate initial operational capability (IOC) milestone with 18 satellites in operation (four IOV satellites plus 14 FOC satellites). The development of the European GSC infrastructure has been planned in a staggered approach, mapping the different phases of the Galileo system itself, from the In-Orbit Validation phase to Full Operational Capability through Initial Operational Capability. A simplified version of the European GSC, the GSC Nucleus, is currently providing the first services since the 14th of May 2013. This precursor of the facility will be followed by the next version of the centre, the so called GSC V1. With this purpose, the European Commission, in cooperation with the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA), has recently launched a framework contract with a consortium led by the companies GMV and Indra and including ISDEFE and ESSP for the design, development, validation and deployment of the centre infrastructure, which will be hosted in a secure precinct in Madrid, Spain. The operation of the European GNSS Service Centre will be under the responsibility of the European GNSS Agency. When the GSC V1 becomes operational, the centre services will include a broad portfolio of functions (some already available through the GSC Nucleus), encompassing: ? a user helpdesk, with the means to raise queries and seek responses; ? a dissemination platform for Galileo-related products, including regular data transmission to registered users; ? an electronic library with Galileo and GNSS reference documentation; ? on demand retrieval and delivery of Galileo data; ? a gateway between the commercial service providers and the Galileo system so that these providers can broadcast information through the Galileo satellites; ? a centre of expertise for service aspects; ? user/service performance assessment forecasts/reports and notice to users. The activities for the development of the GSC V1 were officially launched on January 22nd, 2014. The solution envisaged takes care of the design drivers, paying special attention to aspects such as the interfaces, security, the expected expandability to cover additional services, satellites and users, the demanding availability and long term maintainability requirements, the intended operation or the generation of quantitative key performance indicators. In this paper, the authors present an overview of the main aspects of the GSC V1 infrastructure, including the description of the V1 mission and objectives, the current early and future services which will be provided, the centre context, the development plan, the design drivers, the V1 high level architecture and the expected evolutions of the facility.
Published in: Proceedings of the 27th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2014)
September 8 - 12, 2014
Tampa Convention Center
Tampa, Florida
Pages: 22 - 33
Cite this article: Caro, Jose, Clua, Joan, Domps, Frederic, Martín, Juan R., Estremera, Joaquin, Cegarra, Jesus, Calvín, Jorge, Vilagut, Roger, Chatre, Eric, Payne, Chris, Verniolle, Jean, Blasi, Reinhard, Simón, Javier, Álvarez, Aitor, "European GNSS Service Centre Infrastructure in the Works," Proceedings of the 27th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2014), Tampa, Florida, September 2014, pp. 22-33.
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