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Companies discuss navigation solutions at NAVISP Industry Days

Europe’s leading companies and research institutes working on positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) technologies met in the Netherlands in mid-June for this year’s NAVISP Industry Days. The event is devoted to the latest developments in the Navigation Innovation and Support Program (NAVISP), sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA).

NAVISP is focused on navigation technologies beyond Galileo and EGNOS, with many of the same engineers that led the development of Europe’s own satnav constellation working with European industry and academia on exciting new concepts.

Photo: ESA

Photo: ESA

About 130 people participated in the two-day event, which took place June 16-17 at the ESA-ESTEC center in Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands.

As well as attending presentations on NAVISP projects, participants had the opportunity to meet and talk shop in the exhibition area, which displayed products and hardware such as an improved-accuracy smartphone board and drones for data gathering.

The PNT sector accounts for 10% of the European economy.

Throughout Industry Days, the importance of innovation for competitiveness was highlighted, to enable companies to adapt to rapid technological change in the fast-growing PNT sector, which today accounts for 10% of the European economy.

“NAVISP’s strength lies in supporting all types of actors, from start-ups and SMEs to large enterprises, and space companies to companies in other sectors that have recognized the added value of PNT solutions,” said Pierluigi Mancini, NAVISP program manager. “That means playing a part in advancing research and product development, as well as commercialization to broadly foster and support European industry in addressing technology, market and regulatory risks.”

At the Industry Days, many different projects across varying market areas along different points in the value chain were highlighted such as air mobility testbeds, new technologies for roads and other infrastructure, support for maritime navigation, development of novel PNT satellites, studies for quantum-based PNT, and weather monitoring based on collaborative crowdsourcing.

The innovation potential of NAVISP activities was underlined by the fact that two new Navigation Directorate programs set to be proposed to ESA’s Council of Ministers this November — the in-orbit demonstration of low-Earth orbit PNT services and the GENESIS mission for precision Earth measurement — originated in NAVISP projects.

The entire set of the NAVISP Industry Days presentations can be found here.

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