ESNC Winners Win European Inventor Award in the Research Category

The ESNC EPO Special Prize winners 2013 now took first place in the research category of the European Inventor Award 2017 with their groundbreaking invention: Clear radio signals for better satellite navigation.

The signalling technology developed by the winning team of European engineers helps Galileo to deliver better accuracy and clear up signal clutter. Thereby, it also drives satellite navigation and its features to the next level. The team’s path-breaking solution: Modulating a new signal between the existing GPS signals.

Discover the Winning Solution

The team developed a patented modulation technique called Alternative Binary Offset Carrier modulation (AltBOC). It merges four signals into one large one. Two of them are highly accurate signals from Galileo’s open service, free-of-charge channel for consumer applications. The other two are from its Safety-of-Life service, a paid service designed for applications where lives might depend on signal integrity, such as aviation. Next to offering extremely high accuracy for specialised receivers, AltBOC also helps to save satellite power.

But that is not all. The team has also developed an innovative spread-spectrum technique that creates a new single waveform via what is called Composite Binary Offset Carrier (CBOC) modulation. This signal will allow high-end receivers to accurately calculate positions, but is also compatible with older, lower-end devices and other GNSS signals. The CBOC patent includes a novel concept allowing the combination of open CBOC and secured Public Regulated Service (PRS) signals in a single frequency. PRS signals are designed to be used by civil authorities, such as police, coastguards and customs agencies.

Major Benefits

The European engineering team’s solution, led by French engineer Laurent Lestarquit and his Spanish colleague José Ángel Ávila Rodríguez and including German Günter Hein and Belgian Lionel Ries, not only increases the performance of signals tremendously but also pushes the progress of digital wave forms. Thereby, it enable more precise positing and having a spectrum that allows compatibility with other satellite navigation systems to enhance accuracy in multiple systems. This solution creates a basis for all kinds of applications and systems.

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About the European Space Week
The European Space Week brings together the most important space stakeholders, companies, partners and visionaries in Europe pushing the topic of space in Europe and beyond. It is organised by the European Commission (EC) under the auspices of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU and co-organised by the European Space Agency (ESA), AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen and Garage48.

About the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC)

The ESNC’s annual search for new services, products, and business innovations is designed to encourage the use of satellite navigation in everyday life. Over the past 14 years, it has evolved into the leading innovation competition comprising most relevant European GNSS stakeholders, partner regions worldwide and the largest space-related incubation network. The ESNC’s newest feature is Europe’s largest E-GNSS Accelerator, initiated by the European Commission, providing more prizes, services and three further business incubations to lead companies into market entry.

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