Multi-GNSS: The Future of Navigation

If you're a GNSS technology, system or application developer involved in the design and implementation of a GNSS project today, you need to take into account the full range of satellite systems and signals that will be available in the near future and understand the challenges and opportunities you face. Using satellites from more than one system brings special challenges and design choices for receiver design and evaluation. But what exactly is the timescale before these new systems are operational?

The first of these systems is GPS itself, which is currently being modernized with extra ground stations and new satellites, and will supply additional navigation signals for both civilian and military users.

The target date for completion is around the middle of this decade, but with major incentives available for contractors, who knows?

Before that, though, we should see the restoration of the full Russian GLONASS system. Originally a jewel in the Soviet crown, the system fell into disrepair with the fall of the USSR. However, with substantial help from India, Russia has committed to get the system back up and running during 2010.

The European Galileo system has been something of a political football, but in 2007 the European Union took over the project from the private consortium that had instigated it, and committed to complete the system by 2013. However, subsequent EU communications now talk of a 2014 start date.

Finally, the Chinese government has committed to expanding its own local Beidou system into a global network dubbed Compass. No date has been set for completion.

Anyone involved in the design and applications of these systems can't afford to wait until the signals go live before starting to develop a solution, if you do, you'll lose your market to some quicker and sharper player. Fortunately, Spirent's multi-GNSS test systems already support modernised GPS, GLONASS and Galileo and are available today! Learn more about the GSS6700 and the GSS9000.

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