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Galileo W-CDMA Integrated Navigation

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Personal navigation, step-by-step

The localisation of mobile phones or personal digital assistants (PDAs) is likely to become a major market driver in the area of personal navigation applications. Sectors in need of positioning and communication capabilities include transport, tourism, rescue services and the military.

Digital Economy

An EU-funded project set out to provide a solution capable of not only tracking the current position of a mobile phone or PDA, but also to address new and highly demanding processing techniques. These techniques, such as accurately calculating indoor positioning, require more processing power than is currently used for tracking mobiles. The project 'Galileo W-CDMA integrated navigation' (Gawain) took a step-by-step approach to developing a hybrid Galileo/global positioning system (GPS) receiver - capable of handling the emerging European global positioning navigation technology with the prevailing US one. This approach began with a software-based prototype, before moving onto an integrated hardware prototype. The first step for Gawain was to develop a software prototype (or 'virtual prototype'), enabling end-to-end simulations. Next, the research team established a base-band prototype, implementing Galileo, GPS and universal mobile telecommunications systems (UMTS) signal processing algorithms on a real signal processing device, field-programmable gate array (FPGA). With all this in place, Gawain could create its integrated - Galileo/GPS/UMTS – prototype, including radio frequency (RF) front-ends and antenna equipment. Lastly, the project was able to put together its user terminal combining the integrated prototype with an adapted PDA as a demonstrator of a future mobile terminal. The test and demonstration phase for the Gawain receiver prototypes began in spring 2006. Two dedicated application areas were targeted; intelligent transport and tourism. For the demonstration of the combined UMTS-GPS receiver, a tourism-oriented application was selected. The Gawain tests and demonstrations were carried out in the Berchtesgaden region of Germany, where there were plans for the German Galileo test and development environment (GATE) to be established. The results of the Gawain project could bring benefits to a number of sectors. It could, for example, open the door to new solutions for disabled people, such as the development of an electronic guide dog helping the blind navigate their way with pinpoint accuracy, indoors or outdoors.

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