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SSTL uses retired GIOVEA for high altitude GPS fix demo

Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 4 Dec 2012

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) have successfully demonstrated the ability to capture a GPS fix at high altitudes.

GIOVE-A (Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element) was the first of the test fleet of Galileo satellites and retired earlier this year having completed its functions. SSTL had equipped GIOVE-A with a SGR-GEO receiver in anticipation of these tests which only became possible once it had been retired from its Galileo duties.

The SGR-GEO receiver was adapted from SSTL's SGR range of receivers with the addition of a high-gain antenna. Special algorithms allow it to receive weak signals allowing a near continuous position fix throughout orbit.

Its orbit, at an altitude of 23,300km, makes it the first civilian position fix to be achieved from above the orbit of the GPS constellation. SSTL hope to use this technology to help spacecraft navigate farther away from Earth.

Source: SSTL

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