Aerospace Sep 26, 2016

A successful path – Satellite navigation in Bavaria

Bavaria can look back at a long tradition as an aerospace location and the state has established itself as one of the leading centres in the industry and research sectors. This is the result of the ideal combination of overall system and system manufacturers, suppliers and engineering service providers and, last but not least, an excellent infrastructure that networks all of these players.

The topic of satellite navigation, a segment within the aerospace sector, has become an increasingly important factor at the location. It is the particularly strong application orientation of this sector that will contribute to its remaining a significant industry branch in the coming years. Companies will find ideal access requirements for their projects in Bavaria. Almost 150 companies have already settled in the state and generate turnover amounting to EUR 350 million. Apart from numerous founders, these include "big players" such as Siemens, Airbus, IFEN or Diehl.


Strong network for entrepreneurs


Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich is one of the centres for satellite navigation in Bavaria. Since 2004, the Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO) has been driving the development of innovative products and new business concepts. The European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) innovation network honours respective services and products which allow applying satellite technology to daily life. It is now the largest innovation network in the industry and provides an ideal opportunity for start-ups to develop their applications and launch them on the market. Prizes range from monetary awards to technical support and patent advice to specific start-up support. The strong partners in this network also play a key role by taking the entrepreneurs under their wings. Additional support is provided to start-ups by the incubation centre of the European Space Agency (ESA), the ESA BIC Bavaria. Here, too, the focus is on transferring technology for the commercial use of new developments.

Galileo in Bavaria

When it comes to satellite navigation, discussions invariably include the European Galileo satellite navigation system, which is to provide data worldwide for exact positioning. Bavaria plays a decisive role in these efforts; after all, the first land-based Test and Development Environment (GATE) for the Galileo system's Open Service has been in operation in Berchtesgaden since 2008. The virtual satellites on the mountains across the region make it possible to simulate a wide range of test scenarios under realistic conditions. Hence, new technologies, receiving units, applications and services can be tested in a realistic situation outside the traditional laboratory setting. The target group includes users who want to test and improve their products intended for the mobile market. GATE is open to logistics, vehicle and pedestrian navigation as commercially important areas of application. In addition, the site of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen is home to the Galileo Control Center (GCC). From here, the European satellite navigation system, which is currently being established, is operated and monitored on behalf of ESA and the European Commission.


Munich Satellite Navigation Summit


The Bavarian centres for satellite navigation are putting their feelers out – all the way to the capital. Munich hosts the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit , during which representatives from the aerospace industries discuss developments and perspectives for three days – next time from 14th to 16th March 2017.

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