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  The American Surveyor     

Dual-Constellation Live L5 Tracking with Septentrio PolaRx3G Print E-mail
Written by Septentrio   
Thursday, 30 April 2009

April 30th, 2009 - With the launch of the first GPS satellite transmitting signals on L5, researchers and other GNSS specialists interested in evaluating and monitoring GPS and Galileo signals on 2 common frequencies, can now perform tests with live signals from both constellations on L1 and L5/E5a using off-the-shelf commercial GNSS receivers from Septentrio.

Septentrio receivers are successfully tracking the new L5 signal transmitted from GPS satellite SVN49. This IIR-M satellite was launched on March 24 2009 and carries a demonstration payload capable of transmitting the new L5 signal, in addition to the standard L1/L2 payload. The satellite started transmitting in the L1 and L2 band on March 28, shortly after having been boosted to its quasi-circular orbit. The turn-on of the demonstration L5 signal occurred on Friday April 10 around 11:58 UTC.

Septentrio CEO Peter Grognard comments: “Septentrio engineers have closely been following the commissioning of this particular satellite, from its launch to its first L1/ L2 transmissions, up to its first transmissions in the L5 band. We are proud to offer our customers the opportunity to be a part of this historical step in GNSS signal availability.”

Septentrio receivers are now successfully tracking a total of 5 signals broadcast by SVN49: L1-CA, L1-P(Y), L2-P(Y), L2C and, last but not least, L5. Septentrio offers its customers a special firmware adapted to track the L5 test signal on the standard commercial platform PolaRx3G.

Additionally, these same receivers are capable of tracking Galileo signals in the L1 and L5-band as well, offering opportunities for the first ever dual-frequency GPS/Galileo trials using signals in the same frequency bands. Dr. Hans van der Marel from Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, comments: “It is very useful for researchers like ourselves to be able to simultaneously collect L1/L5 GPS and L1BC/E5a GIOVE measurements.

During the previous night, we tracked a complete pass of GPS SVN49, together with GIOVE-A and GIOVE-B, and are excited to analyze one of the first datasets including both GPS L5 and GIOVE-A/B E5a measurements. One of our first observations is that the power of the demonstration GPS L5 signal is even higher than expected when the satellite is in the zenithal direction, while the opposite is true at lower elevations.”

Septentrio Satellite Navigation NV designs, manufactures, markets and supports high-end OEM GNSS receivers for demanding professional navigation, positioning and timing applications. Septentrio has an international team of experts in all areas of satellite navigation receiver design and applications.

For more information, please visit www.septentrio.com

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