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The GALILEO-IHM Project is a pilot project led by the Naval Hydrographic Institute (IHM, Instituto Hidrográfico de la Marina) whose main objective is to support the validation of the PRS (Public Regulated Service) encrypted service of the new European Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) GALILEO, by processing position data obtained with PRS receivers and receivers of the clear OS (Open Service) signal broadcast by the Galileo satellites in high latitude areas of the Southern Hemisphere.

This project is part of a set of Galileo PRS Service Validation pilot projects requested by the European GNSS Agency (GSA). In Spain, it was assigned to the Ministry of Defense through the Ministry of Public Works and the General Directorate of Armament and Material (Ministry of Defense).

The Project fieldwork was tackled in five phases — one phase for the Galileo OS signal validation during the 2015 Antarctic campaign, and four phases for the validation of the Galileo PRS during the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 campaigns.

The work involved the acquisition of Galileo, PRS and OS data, both in static observations in vertices of the Spanish Antarctic Geodetic Network, and in dynamic observations on board the BIO Hespérides and her inflatable boats. Its development throughout the different phases required the use of a commercial multi-constellation receiver JAVAD DELTA-3 (capable of OS acquisition, as well as scintillation data on the different GNSS signals), and of two receivers with PRS acquisition capability: the PRS receiver prototype PRESENCE developed by the Spanish company GMV, and a commercial test user receiver (TUR-P) by Septentrio. Furthermore, Galileo signal reception tests were also carried out with mobile terminals manufactured in Spain by the company BQ.

It should be noted that along the different phases of the project, on 4 January 2016 the first position data were obtained using the Galileo system (the satellites of this constellation) at high southern latitudes. The quality and availability of the system was enhanced in subsequent campaigns, as the number of satellites in its constellation increased. In addition, Galileo signal assessment tests were conducted for the PRS service, as well as, finally, a comparative study of scintillation in Galileo and GPS satellite signals. During these campaigns, hydrographic and geological work was also carried out in order to study the seabed and update, expand and improve the Nautical Cartography published by the Naval Hydrographic Institute. This will increase the safety of navigation in Antarctic waters and give international visibility to Spain’s involvement in Antarctic research. This hydrographic and geological work will be the basis for the publication, in the near future, of new maps of Deception Island and the area south of Livingston Island. These cartographic maps will include the access routes from the sea to the “Evacuation Points” for the personnel of the Antarctic Spanish Base (BAE, Base Antártica Española) Gabriel de Castilla, in case of seismic crisis.


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