The Navigation Science Office is an initiative conceived as an inter-directorate collaboration between NAV and SCI directorates. Its main mission is to foster the consolidation of a world-wide reference European GNSS Scientific community, maximising the possibilities to perform GNSS Science activities in Europe and maximising also the use of the European GNSS Infrastructures and data (EGNOS and Galileo).
The Navigation Science Office main role is to ensure the adequate exploitation within the operational constraints of navigation satellites as an opportunity tool for scientific research. As an additional role, the Navigation Science Office shall also ensure the proper feedback of the scientific community to the ESA GNSS Teams, in particular with respect to the expected future evolution and adaptation of the GNSS Infrastructure which could favour scientific exploitation. The Navigation Science Office is formally located at ESAC with the support from ESTEC and ESOC Navigation groups.
Since the Navigation Science Office conception and in order to support its strategic axis, it has been considered as a main objective the set-up of a dedicated facility: GNSS Science Support Centre. This facility includes all the technological infrastructure required to provide GNSS data services, operational services with advanced archiving systems, scientific receivers, GNSS data processors, training/education tools and with access to ESA member states experts.
The unique scientific opportunity represented by GNSS has been recognised by ESA with the creation of the Navigation Science Office, conceived as a joint collaboration between Navigation and Science Directorates to further develop adoption of GNSS by future ESA scientific missions and programmes.
“to foster the consolidation of a world-wide reference centre for the GNSS Scientific Community, maximising possibilities to perform GNSS Science activities and utilisation of European GNSS Infrastructures (Galileo & EGNOS)”.
Within the operational constraints of navigation satellites, the Navigation Science Office will seek adequate exploitation of GNSS data and products as a unique tool for scientific research, establishing permanent communication channels with community stakeholders.
Head of Navigation Science Office: Dr. Javier Ventura-Traveset
GNSS Data Science Principal System Engineer: Vicente Navarro
Scientific & Technical Experts:
- Sara del Rio – Systems Engineer (SCI) – Data Systems, IT
- Emilio Fraile – Systems Engineer (SCI) – Navigation Systems, Cubesats for GNSS Science
- Luis Mendes – Operations Engineer (SCI) – Fundamental Physics
- Erik Schoenemann – Navigation Engineer (OPS) – GNSS products, Satellite Laser Ranging
- Nacho Romero – Navigation Engineer (OPS) – Liaison to IGS
- Francisco Amarillo – Navigation Systems Engineer (NAV) – Radionavigation Systems, Orbitography and Time Synchronisation Algorithms, GNSS evolutions
- Pietro Giordano – Radio Navigation Engineer (TEC) – Space Receivers, Planetary Navigation
- Roberto Prieto-Cerdeira – GNSS Evolutions R&D Principal Engineer (NAV) – Science & Technology Navigation R&D Activities, liaison to Galileo/EGNOS/G2G, GSAC Executive
SCI Secretariat Support: Cristina de Rojas
The ESA Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Science Advisory Committee (GSAC) is the senior advisory body to the Director of Navigation, acting as the Director General’s representative, on all matters concerning scientific exploitation of navigation programmes. It is the main interpreter of the views and needs of the European scientific community as regards uses of the GNSS programme for research in Earth, navigational and physical sciences. The GSSC maintains a permanent communication channel with GSAC.
GSAC main tasks are to advise and/or make recommendations on:
- the needs of the scientific community for access to space for their research;
- scientific activities during the definition, implementation and exploitation of the approved projects of the GNSS programme;
- the formulation and updating of medium and long term GNSS policy in Europe in regard to the interests of the scientific community;
- the priorities of the scientific community in the selection and formulation of future GNSS missions;
- the scientific studies and activities required to lay the foundations for future missions, taking account of the recommendations of the Working Groups;
- the selection of new scientific projects.
GSAC Chairman: Prof. Markus Rothacher – Institute of Geodesy and Photogrammetry, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
GSAC ESA Executive Secretary: Dr Javier Ventura-Traveset (ESA)
- Dr. Pacôme Delva – SYRTE, Observatoire de Paris, France
- Dr. Jan Douša – Research Institute of Geodesy, Topography and Cartography (RIGTC), Geodetic Observatory Pecny, Czech Republic
- Prof. Dr. Fabio Dovis – DET – Department of Electronics and Telecommunications, Politecnico di Torino, Italy
- Prof. Gunnar Elgered – Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
- Dr. Elisa Felicitas – SYRTE , Observatoire de Paris, France
- Prof. Urs Hugentobler – Institut für Astronomische und Physikalische Geodäsie, Technical University Munich, Germany
- Prof. Dr. René Jr. Landry – École de Technologie supérieure ETS LASSENA, Université du Québec, Canada
- Prof. Gaetano Mileti – Time and Frequency Laboratory (LTF), University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland
- Prof. Terry Moore – Nottingham Geospatial Institute, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
- Prof. Jaume Sanz – group of Astronomy and Geomatics (gAGE/UPC), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Spain
- Prof. Dr. Jens Wickert – GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, Germany
- Dr Pawel Wielgosz – Department of Geodesy, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
The GNSS Science Support Centre is located at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Madrid, Spain. Our facilities comprise following areas:
This area is dedicated to the operations of Data Processing Systems supporting GSSC’s Science Applications. Activities carried out from this area include.
- Release Management of new systems
- Monitoring and Maintenance of IT infrastructure
- Content Management
- User Support
This environment hosts equipment required to run GNSS Science Support Centre activities. At present the following elements are operated:
- GNSS Receivers
- Cesium atomic clocks (prime and redundant)
- Auxiliary GPS, time signal generators, IRIG-B and NTP servers
- Computing infrastructure
As GNSS systems strongly rely on measuring the time of the radio signals propagation, the availability of an independent frequency and time reference system allows to perform additional activities for research and education.
Integration and Test Area
This environment provides infrastructure and equipment to carry out research and validation activities. The environment is fitted with measurement, manufacturing and repair tools. Thus, it is possible to develop, modify and deploy new GNSS hardware. Antennas installed in different ESAC areas are also connected to this facility.
This environment facilitates effective coordination of GSSC’s geographically distributed team through videoconference and advanced collaboration tools.