UNAVCO selects Septentrio for satnav upgrade

Tuesday, 29 November, 2016

UNAVCO selects Septentrio for satnav upgrade

Septentrio has been selected by UNAVCO as the preferred vendor for multiconstellation global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers.

UNAVCO maintains more than 1500 continuously operating GNSS reference stations around the globe. Their regional monitoring networks include the Plate Boundary Observatory serving North America. A major project is underway to upgrade all UNAVCO base stations dotted across the US with the PolaRx5.

The PolaRx5 is a scientific-grade receiver that makes use of signals from all satnav constellations to precisely calculate position down to the centimetre. This level of accuracy is harnessed to monitor long-term surface displacement through tectonic motion as well as the higher frequency vibrations that typically accompany earthquakes.

“The PolaRx5 is the product of years of Septentrio research and development, backed by ESA,” said Michèle Le Saux, head of ESA’s Commercial Ground Segment Section.

ESA’s General Support Technology Programme (GSTP) aided this pioneering development to bring Septentrio’s original concept to a fully functional GNSS reference receiver ready for the marketplace.”

Designed for years of continuous use, the PolaRx5 has a power consumption of just 3 W. It also has large-scale internal and external data logging with low-bandwidth communication to return findings, which are essential features for remote scientific monitoring. The receiver can be used for atmospheric monitoring, tracking propagation patterns of satnav signals.

“UNAVCO is recognised as having a rigorous selection and testing process, encouraging other organisations to approach the company in turn. This receiver redesign represents only one of a multi-element GSTP contract with Septentrio, dealing with various product aspects,” said Le Saux.

GSTP 6.2, also known as the Competitiveness Element, invites proposals on a continuing basis for the development of new products. The project can include the introduction of new technologies or techniques to develop novel products or improve existing ones.

Proposals can be made at any time, from any commercial entity with GSTP-participating ESA Member States, with industry defining the work to be done.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Sdecoret

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