The European Space Agency (ESA) has contracted Helix Technologies to develop its NextGen GNSS antenna, a multi-frequency GNSS antenna optimised for the Galileo E1 Alt-BOC and wide-band E5 Alt-BOC waveforms, for use in autonomous vehicles.
The antenna, to be developed under the ESA’s Navigation Innovation and Support Programme (NAVISP), is to provide enhanced performance due to its dielectric, multi-filar construction. The antenna will also be optimised to take maximum advantage of the Galileo E5 Alt-BOC waveform, intended to enable improved measurement accuracy, precision and multi-path suppression over conventional GNSS signals.
“To achieve the 10cm accuracy that is required for autonomous vehicle lane-level positioning within challenging urban multi-path propagation conditions, there is a need both for a significant improvement in current GNSS antenna performance and to fully exploit the advanced Alt-BOC waveforms transmitted by Galileo,” said John Yates, managing director of Helix Technologies.
The NextGen GNSS antenna, which will also be capable of optimised operation with the GPS L1 and L5 M BOC signals, is aimed at the automotive and consumer markets. The company is targeting the third quarter of 2018 for the manufacture of prototypes. Independent testing and evaluation of the vehicle-mounted antenna performance will be conducted in the challenging multi-path environments of the high-rise financial districts of the City of London, UK, and Shanghai, China.