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Loud and clear in the air: a new generation of robust receivers

It’s one thing to have an imprecise GPS signal or purely lose it in your car. It’s quite another when commercial or military aircraft are concerned, where pinpoint positioning is crucial to secure safe landing, or the correct target location for armed forces.

Given the crowded airspace and the increasing diversity of the aircraft in it, users of satellite signals require ever-greater accuracy in terms of position, speed and time.

That is what Thales will be providing in a new generation of robust receivers linked to a powerful Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), which now includes the two constellations, GPS and Galileo.

The newest - Europe’s Galileo constellation - offers an independent high-precision positioning system.

“Having two constellations in place provides two different navigation sources and so increases the exactitude of a mutual surveillance,” says Pierre Bouniol, Product Line Manager at Thales. “Positioning becomes even more precise and will avoid diverting an aircraft , and when you bear in mind that the cost of a diversion for an airline is in the region of $20,000, this is no small feat.”

In addition, Galileo guarantees European sovereignty, since European countries no longer rely solely on the US GPS or the Russian GLONASS systems.

Thales’s robust receivers have already been selected for the European Union’s EDG²E project to prototype, along with other players, the next generation of commercial aviation GNSS receivers and thus provide even better and safer positioning.

The powered-up receivers will serve a wide variety of platforms, ranging from all types of aircraft, military and civil, passenger and freight, helicopters and drones, to radars, boats and submarines, and rail applications.

With over 15,000 GNSS receivers sold, Thales is a leading force in the market, with clients including Airbus, Boeing, Sikorsky and ATR. In the military sector, some 15 nations use Thales receivers across 20 platforms.

Receivers to facilitate air navigation will become even more important in tomorrow’s crowded airspace, with air taxis also jostling for position with planes, helicopters, and drones. And Thales will provide the robust receivers necessary to keep the information they need coming in loud, clear and precise.