Research and advanced projects

COREGAL: Combined Positioning-Reflectometry Galileo Code Receiver for Forest Management

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COREGAL, “Combined Positioning-Reflectometry Galileo Code Receiver for Forest Management” aims at biomass estimation by means of GNSS reflectivity measurements (GNSS-R). The project will combine different types of measurement data related with biomass, namely satellite Earth Observation (EO) data (e.g. satellite imagery), regional data (e.g. airborne imagery and GNSS-based remote sensing data) and, when available, local data (in situ ground measurements) to improve current biomass estimation algorithms. In a broad sense, COREGAL and its sister techniques have many environmental and social applications as, for example, carbon mapping and forest management. COREGAL's proposed concept combines different sensors and data processing techniques in an innovative way one of them being GNSS-R. COREGAL is an innovation action under the topic GALILEO-3-2014 of the H2020 programme of the European Commission managed by the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA).

SAT406M: An EGNSS application providing an end-to-end solution based on the SAR/Galileo service and particularly using the Return-Link-Message (RLM), to improve the mobility and safety of citizens

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The objective of the SAT406M project is to develop a wrist-worn Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) providing an end-to-end solution based on the Galileo Support to Search and Rescue (SAR) Service –the SAR/Galileo service– and particularly on its unique Return-Link-Service (RLS). This beacon will be COSPAR-SARSAT compatible, and will also integrate a Digital Selective Calling (DSC) transceiver compatible with marine VHF radios. Moreover, a new communication method enhancing the standard communication between the PLB and the SAR/Galileo system will be developed.

A new feature of the SAT406M PLB will be its capacity to monitor and communicate (to the rescue crews) the physiological status of the PLB wearer. It is expected that this information will improve and facilitate the rescue operations. The role of GeoNumerics is to design algorithms that transform sensor readings in estimates of physiological status.

mapKITE: EGNOS-GPS/GALILEO-based high-resolution terrestrial-aerial sensing system

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The mapKITE project is a new mobile, terrestrial and aerial, geodata collection and mapping paradigm. Geodata acquisition in mapKITE is accomplished by a tandem terrestrial-aerial mapping system based on a terrestrial vehicle (TV) and on an unmanned aircraft (UA), both equipped with remote sensing payloads. In the mapKITE paradigm, the UA will follow the TV at an approximate constant flying height above ground while geodata are acquired simultaneously from the TV and the UA. The final product is high resolution, oriented, calibrated and integrated images of a corridor and its environment. MapKITE is an innovative action in the H2020 framework funded by the European Commission, through the European GNSS Agency (GSA) on the specific call  'GALILEO-2-2014: SME based EGNSS applications' under the grant agreement number 641518.

MapKITE targets corridor mapping. It combines the advantages of the terrestrial and airborne (manned or unmanned) systems, and responds to corridor mapping market needs only fulfilled by much more expensive separate terrestrial and aerial missions.

GAL: Galileo for Gravity

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The main goal of the GAL project was to revisit the method of strapdown airborne gravimetry (SAG) in light of the Galileo(a) system. In traditional SAG, strapdown inertial measurements and GPS ranging signals (code and phase measurements) are used, where strapdown inertial measurements are obtained from inertial measurement units (IMUs).

Gravimetry is the measurement of the strength of the gravity field of a celestial body. In modern geodesy, many times, gravimetry is synonymous to the measurement of the differences between an actual gravity field and a [global] model of that gravity field. The Earth gravity field is approximated by global and local models that are computed by geodesists from gravity measurements and some other types of geodetic observations like level differences or deflections of the vertical. While global gravity models might be highly accurate they are of limited spatial resolution –i.e., of 100 km wavelengths and lower– and local gravimetric densifications are required.