DLR - Institute of Communications and Navigation - Satellite Navigation

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Satellite Navigation

In the global deal, concluded on December 6th, 2005, the concessionaire consortium agreed that Oberpfaffenhofen will host a Galileo Control Center (GCC) and a Performance Evaluation Center (PEC). This - together with the strong Galileo activities in Bavaria and Germany in general - is the context for the Institute’s activities.

The measurement of the Doppler shift of the signal transmitted by Sputnik I - the very first artificial satellite – initiated satellite navigation. It led to the systems Transit and GPS in the US and to corresponding systems in the USSR/Russia. The first European GPS receiver was build by the Institute in 1981/82. The Institute was also amongst the pioneers with early time synchronization experiments on the D2 mission or the proposal for augmentation systems that were later developed under the names of WAAS and EGNOS.

Today, the work at the Institute can be classified into a system and application area:

  • System related work
  • System and subsystem development

The Institute is operating a time laboratory, is generating the system time for the Galileo Test Environment in Berchtesgaden, and is providing consultancy for the Galileo Time Generation. The Institute is aiming at contributing to the evolution of Galileo towards a second generation in time generation and other areas. The experience gained in studies before and during the development of Galileo, the Institute’s powerful NavSim tool, and the development of the ionospheric processor for EGNOS are a good basis for these activities.

Forschung - Satellitennavigation

Application and service related work

(6. July 2007)
The main business return of Galileo will be in applications and services. Today, the US has a clear lead in this area. Galileo provides a true added value in some sectors. Some promising ones are being addressed in the Institute: Safety of Life Services and Indoor Navigation. more ...

Performance assessment and monitoring

(6. July 2007)
The Institute has a long tradition in performance evaluation, e.g. performing GLONASS integrity monitoring in the late 1990’s. Today, a key activity is the monitoring of the ionosphere. The ionosphere is the second largest source of uncertainty in satellite positioning. The delay due to the plasma of the ionosphere is proportional to the Total Electronic Content (TEC). more ...

Prof. Dr.-Ing.habil. Michael Meurer
Head of Department

Institute of Communications and Navigation



Tel.: +49 8153 28-3065

Fax: +49 8153 28-2328


(04.2005- 03.2009)
The expected performances of Space Based Technologies such as Satellite Communications (Satcom) and Satellite navigation (renewed GPS, Galileo) beyond 2010 offer the prospect of increased autonomous aircraft operation that will improve the operational capacity and safety of the air transport system with regard to the “Single European Sky” initiative. more ...


(8. July 2013)
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(8. July 2013)
Future navigation services provided by upcoming satellite systems like Galileo will require corresponding improvements of the receiving systems. Particularly, interference and multipath signals may cause a significant degradation of the performance and thus make it impossible, to obtain exact and reliable positioning data. These restrictions and uncertainties cannot be tolerated for Safety-of-Life (SoL) applications e.g. in aeronautics and shipping. In order to overcome this problem, adaptively steered antenna arrays are employed, which enable the use of new beamforming and signal processing algorithms. They provide a more exact and reliable navigation solution, by suppressing interferences and multipath signals and improving the reception of the information signal from the direction of the satellite. more ...


(8. July 2013)
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(2003 - 2006)
Der Zweck des IPAS-Projektes ist, Design und Evaluierungsmöglichkeiten für die Installation von Antennen auf Flugzeugen zu verbessern. Dies wird durch die Verbesserung der Leistungs- und Funktionsfähigkeiten, durch das Überbrücken von Frequenzlücke zwischen genauen und asymptotischen Berechnungsverfahren und durch den Vergleich von numerischen Simulationen mit Messungen realisiert werden. more ...


(8. July 2013)
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(8. July 2013)
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(2001 - 2010)
In diesem Projekt wird der technologische Grundstein für eine voll ausgebaute aktive Terminal-Antenne zur Satellitenkommunikation im Ka-Band gelegt. Dafür sind Terminal-Antennen mit hoher Direktivität, einer schnelle Ausrichtung und Nachführung der Antennenkeule auf den Satelliten erforderlich, die eventuell sogar die Fähigkeit haben, mit mehreren Satelliten gleichzeitig eine Verbindung aufzunehmen. more ...


The Space Weather Application Center Ionosphere (SWACI) is a pilot research project focused on establishing a space weather center whose services will be related primarily on ionospheric issues. SWACI is a joint project of two DLR institutes - the Institute of Communications and Navigation and the Earth Observation Center (EOC). It is essentially supported by the German State Government of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. more ...


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