NLR recently received an award from the European Space Agency (ESA) for its involvement with the Galileo satellite navigation system. NLR was among the first 50 organisations and companies to use signals from Galileo to determine a position.
This was a world premiere: during a test flight in late 2013, for the first time ever a plane (equipped with a Galileo receiver) was able to determine its position based on Galileo’s signals.
The aircraft’s longitude, latitude and altitude were determined using signals from the first four Galileo satellites, thereby allowing the position of the test plane to be tracked during the flight.
This was the first time that Europe has been able to determine the position of an aircraft using only its own, independent satellite navigation system. This historic milestone was reached using NLR’s Fairchild Metro-II aircraft during a flight from Gilze-Rijen Air Force Base in the Netherlands.