Qascom

News

25
June 2018

GARISS, Mission accomplished!

Qascom has successfully achieved the first positioning fix on board the International Space Station combining the high accuracy L5 band signals of the US GPS and the European Galileo Global Navigation Satellite Systems as part of the Galileo Receiver for the ISS (GARISS) mission.

The project, started in 2016, is a joint initiative of NASA and ESA that have started a cooperation for the demonstration of the benefits of the dual constellation, GPS plus GALILEO, space navigation.

GARISS mission has introduced innovative concepts for space positioning exploiting the Software Defined radio technology installed in the Space Communication and Navigation (SCaN) Test Bed on the ISS since 2012, and Qascom software solution that has been recently uploaded in space.

The waveform, combination of software and firmware, has been developed according to the Space Telecommunications Radio System (STRS) framework that has been initiated by NASA to define a new standard architecture for space-qualified radios in support of future missions.

The STRS allows the developers to prepare software in a modular, portable, reconfigurable and reusable way.

The ISS on orbit operations are being jointly coordinated by Qascom engineers in Italy and the NASA Mission and Control center at the Glenn Research Center (GRC) in Cleveland. The GARISS Telemetry data are then downloaded through the NASA Space Network and validated in Qascom laboratories. Multiple configurations have been tested to collect GNSS measurements different modes: GPS only, Galileo only and GPS – Galileo combined.

Samuele Fantinato and Andrea Dalla Chiara chief System Engineers of the project report that, “during the in SPACE experiments, the GARISS software has acquired and tracked GPS and Galileo signals exploiting an advanced assisted acquisition mode for space, similar to the technologies currently used in the smartphones: satellites and ISS orbit data aiding have been uploaded from ground stations in order to achieve a faster position fix and to maximize the availability of ISS trajectory data”.

Samuele Fantinato adds “the mission has been very challenging and we are now all excited for the excellent results and the cooperation with ESA and NASA. We intend to exploit more the advanced processing technologies in future evolutions of Qascom space receiver”.

Oscar Pozzobon, Director of Qascom and GARISS Mission Manager says “It has been a mission impossible but we all made it: We have experienced software and hardware failures, we had to construct replicas of the system to mimic any space equipment issues. We achieved the first ever L5 only GPS and Galileo positioning on a very challenging environment. This has demonstrated the excellence of the team in Qascom, NASA and ESA”

For Qascom, GARISS has been the first step in the development of an innovative Space GNSS platform based of Software Defined Radio Technology with advanced features including the Configurability for Multi Applications and the support to future Galileo authentication services.

18
april 2018

A new generation of OS-NMA user terminals

The role of Qascom in the Patrol project

Qascom, leader in GNSS authentication, was chosen to coordinate the Patrol project.

PATROL aims to deliver a market-ready technology that guarantees robust and secure positioning using Galileo’s OS-NMA capability. Targeting the road sector, PATROL will develop a user terminal capable of providing a trusted position, velocity and precise time (PVT) to smart tachographs and other positioning applications.

Read more.
23
january 2018

GARISS

Galileo Receiver for the ISS

Qascom developing for NASA and ESA GARISS, a software defined space GNSS receiver for the International Space Station.

The Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) is a facility developed by NASA and hosted on board the International Space Station (ISS) on an external truss since 2013.

It has the objective of testing navigation and communication experimentations with a Software Defined Radio (SDR) approach, which permits software updates for testing new experimentations.

NASA has developed the Space Telecommunications Radio System (STRS) architecture standard for SDRs used in space and ground-based platforms to provide commonality among radio developments to provide enhanced capability. The hardware is equipped with both L band front-end radios and the NASA space network communicates with it using S-band, Ku-band and Ka-band links.

In May 2016 Qascom started GARISS (GPS and Galileo Receiver for the ISS), an activity of experimentation in collaboration with ESA and NASA that has the objective to develop and validate the acquisition and processing of combined GPS and Galileo signals on board the ISS SCaN testbed.

The preliminary results include GPS and Galileo processing from space signals, the challenges and trade off decisions, the high level STRS architecture and foreseen experimentation campaign. Detailed results from the test campaigns are expected in 2018.

Laern more.
03
september 2017

GNSS STARR

GNSS SDR Testbed for Advanced Receivers Reliability

QASCOM has successfully completed the GNSS STARR project, in partnership with WISER. The project has been supported by the Italian Space Agency (ASI).

The GNSS STARR testbed is a powerful tool for the assessment of the robustness of GNSS receivers. The GNSS STARR tests the performance against interference events and realistic environment. The testbed integrates the QA707 GNSS SDR simulator: the user is allowed to configure navigation test scenarios, in a variety of preconfigured and user-defined contests: vehicular, avionic, maritime, etc. Interference setup includes intentional an unintentional jamming signal, and flexible spoofing configuration. The final result of the overall test procedure is a certification of the degree of robustness against harsh environment and adversarial conditions.
Learn more

From simulation to hardware assessment and back.
GNSS STARR is the first closed-loop software-defined testbed targeting realistic environment and adversarial conditions.
Receivers qualification
GNSS STARR implements a hardware in the loop solution capable of measuring the performance of the receiver under test. Configurable thresholds and plugins for proprietary data format allows the qualification of any device.

28
april 2017

NASA Challenge Vicenza

Qascom has been invited to participate, as a member of the jury, to the NASA International Space Apps Challenge. Since its inception in 2012, the event has become the world’s largest global hackathon, engaging thousands of citizens across the globe to work together with NASA to build innovative solutions to complex challenges using open source data.

Teams of technologists, scientists, thinkers, designers and entrepreneurs have worked together in a 48-hour sprint to develop solutions to some of the most pressing challenges on Earth and in space. The event was hosted in the Olympic theatre in Vicenza, at the same time in more than 200 cities, scheduled for the 29th weekend April 30. Read more

9
february 2017

Inside GNSS, Interference Localization from Space

Qascom has published two papers on two consecutive issues of Inside GNSS (Nov/Dec 2016 and Jan/Feb 2017) on the topic of interference localization from space.

Radio frequency interference causes the satellite industry to lose millions of dollars per year due to detrimental effects, ranging from a degradation in the quality of service to the complete loss of service. As a consequence, it is becoming critically important to design space systems that are able to localize the source of interference, allowing actions that can prevent future repetitions of similar behaviors.

The first of the two articles discusses the theoretical aspects associated with single-interferer localization approaches, describing how to extract those features providing information on the interference source location from the received interference signal itself, and how to compute a position fix by merging the collected information.

The second of the two articles focuses on practical aspects associated with single-interferer localization approaches. It describes two different types of localization architectures, ground-based and space-based, discussing simulation results for each and showing the performance that such architectures can achieve in specific scenarios Download Brochure

25
october 2016

Qascom's hi-tech for Nasa and Esa

NASA, ESA and Qascom are collaborating to build the first GPS and Galileo receiver to be tested on board the International Space Station (ISS) Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Testbed.

QSCaN is a payload developed by NASA that has been hosted on board the International Space Station on an external truss since late 2012. The goal is to test experiments on navigation and on communications with a software-based approach, or Software Defined Radio (SDR) that allows easy system upgrades.

In May 2016, Qascom was awarded with the “GPS and Galileo Receiver for the ISS” (GARISS), in support of an experiment that aims to develop and validate the acquisition and processing of the combined GPS and Galileo signals on the Station: it is also the first attempt to develop a software scan through an international collaboration between the US and Europe.

To date, the combined team of NASA, ESA and Qascom has acquired and successfully processed GPS and Galileo signals on two separate frequencies. One of the challenges is indeed the acquisition of radio navigation signals in space using the limited resources of the instrument. In addition, the big difference between the orbital dynamics of the station, which in low orbit travels at a speed of 27,600 km / h, and the dynamics of the system GPS and Galileo's medium Earth orbit, creates additional complexity.

"The importance of the project with ESA and NASA" - says mission manager Oscar Pozzobon - "is given by the first trial that the two space agencies are jointly testing the American GPS system with the European system Galileo into space, respectively. Both represent the future of satellite navigation: 14 Galileo satellites already in orbit and another 4 ready for launch in November, the two positioning systems to ensure all land applications, including those based on smartphones. Test of the combined use in space is of strategic importance for all future space missions. "

5
september 2016

Advanced Satellite Multimedia Systems Conference and Signal Processing for Space Communications Workshop, ASMS/SPSC 2016, Palma de Mallorca (Spain)

Qascom presented an abstract entitled Satellite-Based Interference Localization Techniques.
Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) represents a serious threat for the satellite industry: it is one of the most important operational problem affecting customer services on geostationary satellites, causing the SATCOM it is also a major threat to navigation systems and their users.

In this context, it is becoming of critical importance to design space systems that are able to localize the interference source, allowing the competent authorities to react quickly and prevent future repetitions of similar behaviours.

This tutorial gave an overview of localization approaches that are based on processing the signal sent by a target, covering aspects such as:

1) the extraction of basic features from the received signal, which define loci of points within which the target may be located;
2) the computation of a position fix from multiple loci of points;
3) the challenges associated to a satellite based localization approach, with particular emphasis to a single satellite architecture.

In addition to it, the localization results obtained with a software simulator developed by Qascom have been shown and discussed.

12
april 2016

Presentation at the ASI (Italian Space Agency) and IIN (Italian Navigation Institute) conference at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, Rome

Qascom presented robustness of GNSS technologies in the field of road transport, which will increase signals and receivers security against intentional and not intentional interference. More information is available here With its expertise, Qascom covers 360 ° all aspects of authentication and security for road, rail, maritime and aeronautical.

21
march 2016

3rd ESA Workshop on Advanced Flexible Telecom Payloads,ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

Qascom has been co-chair of the session 6: Flexibility for interference management. The company presented a paper with title “Software Tool for the Assessment of On‐Board Satellite‐Based Interference Geolocation”. Check here.

The presentation discusses the capabilities of a software simulator tool that Qascom has developed as the prime contractor of the ESA project "Ground to Space Threat Simulator" (GSTS). Such simulator is a flexible and modular software tool for the assessment of various interference geolocation techniques performed by exploiting the processing capabilities of satellites.

1
march 2016

Munich Satellite Navigation Summit 2016 - Session 10

Chairman: Oscar Pozzobon, Founder and Technical Director, Qascom S.r.l., Bassano del Grappa, Italy

A special session on GNSS authentication has been held at the Munich Satellite Summit this year. Delegates from both US and EU Government have presented their view to the emerging need for authentication in satellite Navigation. Experst and industrial providers explained the current activities and developments as well as their view on emerging requierments.

12
october 2015

21st KA and broadband communication conference, Bologna

Qascom has presented two publications at the 21st KA and broadband communication conference, held in Bologna, Italy, the 12-14 of October.

The two papers presented are: “On-Board Satellite-Based Interference Geolocation Using Time Difference of Arrival Measurements”, Luca Canzian, Samuele Fantinato, Giovanni Gamba, Stefano Montagner, Oscar Pozzobon, Qascom - Italy Rigas Ioannides, Francisco Amarillo Fernandez, Massimo Crisci, ESA/ESTEC - The Netherlands and “Defending Critical Infrastructures from GNSS Interference”, Samuele Fantinato, Stefano Montagner, Giovanni Gamba, Oscar Pozzobon, Andrea Dalla Chiara, QASCOM - Italy Filippo Rodriguez, Telespazio – Italy

30
april 2015

GSTS: Software Tool for the Assessment of On‐Board Satellite‐Based Interference Geolocation Techniques

Qascom has been awarded a contract for the design and development of algorithms to geolocate ground to space interferences.

The presentation discusses the capabilities of a software simulator tool that Qascom has developed as the prime contractor of the ESA project "Ground to Space Threat Simulator" (GSTS). Such simulator is a flexible and modular software tool for the assessment of various interference geolocation techniques performed by exploiting the processing capabilities of satellites.

26
march 2015

Munich Satellite Summit

Qascom has participated to the Munich Satellite Summit, in Munich, with a booth illustrating the different services and products in the field of GNSS authentication.

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13
march 2015

Concluso con successo il progetto I3G assegnato dalla Regione Veneto, Bassano del Grappa.

Si conclude oggi il progetto I3G cofinanziato della Regione Veneto, riguardo l'attività di ricerca di sistemi di autenticazione contro interferenze intenzionali in ambito GNSS.

Il progetto ha previsto l'assunzione di un dottorato di ricerca, consentendo di rafforzare la leadership internazionale in ambito GNSS e sicurezza. Tra i vari risultati, si annovera il contributo del ricercatore alla pubblicazione scientifica "Supersonic GNSS Authentication Codes", presentati alla conferenza americana ION GNSS+. Il finanziamento rientra nell'ambito del POR, parte FESR 2007-2013, Asse I "Innovazione ed Economia della conoscenza", azione 1.1.3 "Contributi per l'utilizzo da parte delle imprese di strutture qualificate per l'attività di ricerca

14
january 2014

The European Commission selects Qascom for the authentication of the Galileo Commercial Service Demonstrator

Qascom has been awarded, as part of an European consortium, a contract to design and develop authentication schemes for the first demonstrator for the Galileo Commercial Service.

The contract, called Galileo Commercial Service Demonstrator, will enable GNSS service providers to test GNSS signal authentication and high accuracy in different professional or commercial applications.