ESA: First Launch of the Polish Test Environments

Maciej Paśnikowski and Karol Brzostowski, responsible for GNSS projects at Astri Polska IMAGE CREDIT: ASTRI POLSKA
Maciej Paśnikowski and Karol Brzostowski, responsible for GNSS projects at Astri Polska IMAGE CREDIT: ASTRI POLSKA

It was in July, when implementations of the Polish GNSS test environments were reviewed at the ESA ESTEC facility. The environments in question are under development, within the framework of the FLIGhT and TEcHNO projects pursued by Astri Polska. During a one-week long experimental session, both environments were launched and connected with the receivers and test systems for the first time.

The systems developed within the framework of the FLIGhT and TEcHNO  projects are expected to be ultimately implemented at the ENL (European Navigation Laboratory) facility that is a part of the ESA’s ESTEC R&D centre. In early April, following the evaluation and review of the progress made so far, ESA gave a green light to the projects, which pushed them towards implementation. As a result of the aforesaid decisions, a team of Astri Polska engineers spent a week at ESTEC back in July, verifying the operation of solutions developed so far, in their target environment.

GNSS Receivers Designed for Space Applications: Test Environment

FLIGhT (Flexible environment for GNSS Testing) project’s purpose is to design and create a flexible software package that would make it possible to integrate a number of systems in order to create a complex test environment for GNSS receivers, with a particular emphasis placed on the receivers designed for space applications. 

During the meeting at ESTEC the first version of software was launched, that effectively established communications with the receiver, also controlling its operations.

During the test week our software was monitoring the operation of “PODRIX” GNSS receiver, manufactured by RUAG. The system was receiving the telemetry and it was also controlling the receiver with the use of telecommands. By the end of this year we are planning to hand off a ready test environment to ESA.

Karol Brzostowski, Head of the Satellite Applications and Services Department of Astri Polska

Hybrid Navigation: GNSS+LTE

During a meeting at ESTEC, yet another system has been launched, that has been developed within the framework of the TEcHNO programme, the objective of which is to benefit from the fusion of GNSS and LTE technologies.  The system made it possible to achieve remote control over LTE and GNSS signals that were also successfully synchronized. The solutions developed also made it possible to control a system that was used to simulate LTE signal propagation interference.

During our stay at ESTEC we confirmed the fact that the test environment we’ve designed functions in line with the adopted assumptions. At the moment we are working on development of a solution that would make it possible to control an LTE navigation receiver. The readymade test environment is planned to be handed off to ESA towards the end of next year.

Maciej Paśnikowski, TEcHNO project manager at Astri Polska

Astri Polska is the sole Polish company that remains in possession of expertise required to test the GNSS receivers designed for space applications. By the end of this year the company planned to deliver 10 readymade products to ESA. This is a record-breaking year within that regard, which is also distinguishing Astri Polska as a company, domestically and regionally. At the moment the entity is involved in 20 projects related to development of space and satellite technologies in the area of electronics, optomechatronics and satellite applications and services, mostly implemented for ESA.

Source: Astri Polska