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News article26 July 20192 min read

ESA/JRC International Summer School on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)

satellite navigation

The ESA/JRC International Summer School on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), one of the main annual training events in the field of GNSS, allowed young researchers and professionals to acquire and consolidate their knowledge in the satellite navigation field.

The Summer School is organised by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the JRC with the collaboration of several partner institutions. This year's edition took place from 15 to 26 July in Vila Nova de Cerveira, Portugal, and was hosted by the University of Porto.


The school's aim is to give training on GNSS and related fields. GNSS refers to the infrastructure, which includes constellations of satellites, providing signals from space and transmitting positioning and timing data to GNSS receivers. Receivers then use these data to determine their location. The school provides a complete coverage of the GNSS basis and applications with lectures given by renowned professors and trainers. The event gives young researchers and professionals the opportunity to talk with experts and to have a direct interaction with researchers working on GNSS-related topics.

The event has a direct impact on the GNSS market as most students will start a successful career in the GNSS and related fields. This year, 30 participants were from industry and six were winners of ESA’s new Galileo smartphone app competition.

This year's edition

JRC provided continuous support to the students through the organisation of hands-on activities and through continuous technical discussions.

JRC provided a lecture and three lab sessions. The lecture focused on GNSS threats and countermeasures at the receiver level and included a live demonstration involving GNSS receivers and Software Defined Radio (SDR) platforms. The goal of the labs was to provide the students with hands-on experience on the various processing stages of GNSS receivers including signal acquisition, tracking and measurements generation. The experiments conducted during the lab complemented and clarified the notions introduced during the lectures (of other speakers) and allowed the students to directly experiment with real GNSS data.

Practical examples and experiments based on real GNSS data were recognised as an excellent tool for learning the whole functioning of a GNSS receiver.

Voluntary evening sessions involving the collection of live GNSS signals and their processing were also organized. These sessions gave the opportunity to the students to directly experience the usage of GNSS receivers and SDR technology; in particular the students were able to perform all the steps of the GNSS receiver processing chain, from signal acquisition to the position estimation.

As every year, the school also featured a project competition requiring the students to work in team. Project work allowed the students to apply the notions learned during the lecture and lab sessions. This year, the project winning the competition was related to the development of an app for people with reduced mobility.

The high quality of the training offer provided by the school is the results of the collaboration between several international institutions including the JRC.

GNSS Summer School 2019
© EU, 2019
GNSS Summer School 2019
© EU 2019
First lab session on GNSS signal processing
© EU 2019


Publication date
26 July 2019