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In the field of navigation, the SeRANIS team deals with monitoring of deliberate disruption of the GPS or GNSS signal reception on the earth’s surface. In order to be able to counter this problem in future, a customized nadir-oriented antenna for receiving signals in L-Band and a signal recording unit are being developed and installed in the SeRANIS satellite.

Special requirements are also placed on the necessary complex analysis software which is done in post-processing on ground with dedicated software tools. This software has to be highly sensitive so that it can detect even very low-powered ground-based interference sources. The analysis software will also be able to geo-localize the emitters by means of using frequency-of-arrival and time-of-arrival measurements of the receiving signal at satellite.

The payload is being developed in close cooperation with other laboratory units because there are many synergies with the GNSS reflectometry and with other satellite communication experiments. As soon as ATHENE1 is in space, we will be testing the satellite together with the software by deliberately inducing GNSS signal interferences from the Universität der Bundeswehr München campus.

Core objectives and unique feature

In addition to developing the hardware, we aim to implement an innovative software with the requirements mentioned above. We are tackling the complex task of synchronizing the many individual elements and proving the technology’s ability to function in orbit.

In contrast to radio monitoring on earth, a satellite mission is ideal for globally searching very large areas for interference. Since it is possible with SeRANIS to establish a broadband connection to earth, the interference signal structure can be analyzed in detail using the very sensitive and complex algorithms.

We will be in a position to detect and geo-localize the weakest interferences. Furthermore, we will comprehensively study the kind of interference by analyzing their signal structure.

What do we aim to achieve?

Nowadays, the use of GNSS is essential for many applications. Beginning with navigation in the smartphone, the accurate time synchronization of mobile base stations and provisioning of absolute position, velocity and time information for autonomous driving applications to name only a few.

What is more, the unstable geopolitical situation in which we find ourselves at present means that GNSS signal interference is on the increase. With our mission, we want to give society as well as the Bundeswehr more insight into the spatial distribution of GNSS interferences.

Participating institutes

Institute for Aerospace Engineering
Institute for Satellite Navigation
Institute of Information Technology
Institute for High Frequency Technology

Contact

Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. habil. Thomas Pany
Nikolas Dütsch