Galileo Test Environment Open for Business

February 14, 2011  - By


The Galileo Test and Development Environment (GATE) in Berchtesgaden, Germany, officially opened on February 4. The system operator, IFEN GmbH of Poing, Germany, jointly with the German Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Development, announced the opening for use by commercial and organizational entities seeking to test equipment with the coming Galileo signals. GATE was developed on behalf of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) with funding by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

The test area extends across a valley of approximately 65 square kilometers, south-east of Munich, where antennae atop surrounding peaks broadcast the various Galileo signals. Technical details and specifications of the test environment are at

GATE has completed its signal upgrade phase according to the latest version of the European Space Agency’s Galileo Signal-In-Space (SIS) Interface Control Document (ICD) and the European GNSS Agency’s Public Galileo Open Service (OS) ICD. The GATE infrastructure is capable of transmitting the Galileo OS, the Galileo Safety-of-Life (SoL) Service (functional), the Galileo Commercial Service (CS), and a Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS) dummy signal.

The GATE system upgrade has been further extended to also support user integrity testing. GATE can simulating simple alarm-triggering events on the system/satellite level, supporting GPS and GATE/Galileo dual-constellation receiver-autonomous integrity monitoring (RAIM), individual user integrity test scenarios, and tests of receivers with different RAIM functionalities.

The next step will be certification of the GATE test infrastructure as an officially accredited open-air test infrastructure to perform the necessary tests needed for the process to certify Galileo SoL equipment.

Günter Heinrichs, head of customer applications and business development for IfEN GmbH, described the goals and capabilities of GATE in a 2007 GPS World article. He gave an update on developments in a 2009 video interview. A recent simulation of emergency response scenarios using the Galileo signal is described at Galileo to the Rescue.

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