ESA selects Syntony receivers for LEO-PNT constellation demonstration

May 20, 2024  - By
Photo: ESA

Photo: ESA

The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected Syntony GNSS to supply user demonstration receivers for its low-Earth orbit positioning, navigation and timing (LEO-PNT) project.

Led by Thales Alenia Space and funded by ESA, the first European LEO-PNT project aims to enhance PNT services from LEO. This initiative is expected to improve the accuracy and reliability of navigation systems, serving a wide range of applications, from critical emergency services to everyday technologies.

Syntony will provide its ground receivers, compatible with the new LEO/PNT signals, as well as with GPS and Galileo systems. These receivers will initially assess the performance of signals from the constellation, which will start with fewer than 10 satellites. There will be 100 to 600 satellites when the constellation is complete, according to Syntony.

Although the receivers may not always be able to calculate position, velocity, and time (PVT) due to the lack of available satellites, they will be essential in evaluating signal performance when at least four satellites are visible. This allows for PVT calculations and performance comparisons with existing GNSS systems.

Syntony’s software-defined radio (SDR) receivers enable real-time adjustments to the receiver settings to evaluate the constellation’s performance. This can be achieved without any hardware changes, as the LEO-PNT constellation uses frequencies similar to those used by the medium-Earth orbit (MEO) GNSS systems.

Syntony’s Constellator GNSS Simulator will be updated to incorporate the constellation’s signals as soon as they are available. This process is similar to how the signals from Xona Space Systems’ PULSAR constellation were integrated as early as 2022.

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