Septentrio and QinetiQ Partnership Delivers First Galileo PRS Signal Reception

Leuven, Belgium – March 12, 2012 – Another major milestone in the Galileo European Navigation Satellite System’s development and deployment program has been achieved. Septentrio and QinetiQ, working in close partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) and their industrial partners, achieved the world’s first successful reception of the encrypted Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS) signal from the first Galileo satellites (launched in November 2011).

The signal was received on the Galileo PRS Test User Receiver (PRS-TUR) jointly developed by Septentrio and QinetiQ under an ESA contract. For the reception test, the receiver was installed in the Galileo Control Centre in Fucino, Italy and operated by technical experts from ESA. This milestone builds on a number of previous major Septentrio/QinetiQ achievements including:
• First ever laboratory demonstration of the PRS signal acquisition and tracking in QinetiQ (Malvern, UK, 2006)
• Successful RF compatibility test between a Galileo payload and the PRS-TUR (Portsmouth, UK, 2010)
• Successful Galileo end-to-end system test including the Galileo Ground Mission Segment (GMS) and its key management facilities, satellite and PRS-TUR (Rome, Italy, 2011)

Septentrio and QinetiQ are proud to be a key, long-term contributor to the Galileo Programme, working closely with ESA, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and European industrial partners since 2003.

Peter Grognard, Founder and CEO of Septentrio Satellite Navigation, said: “Septentrio is extremely proud of this historic milestone for the Galileo programme. This is the most important milestone for Septentrio since the reception of the world’s first Galileo signal from space on January 12, 2006 with a Septentrio receiver. We are honoured and grateful for the excellent collaboration with ESA. Septentrio is marking another industry-first on the Galileo programme, and will continue playing a key role in this exciting and ambitious European project. Today, together with our partners, we take a decisive step in the early availability of commercial PRS receivers to foster user acceptance and market success of this Galileo service.”

Leo Quinn, CEO of QinetiQ, said: “I am very proud of the part QinetiQ is playing in the Galileo programme. Working closely with ESA and our industrial partners, we are delighted to have been able to deliver real value to the programme as seen by today’s milestone success. This achievement, together with Europe’s recent commitment to a full Galileo constellation, has been a necessary step in giving European industry confidence to start investing in developing commercial PRS receiver products ready for the launch of Galileo navigation services in a few years time.”

Galileo, one of Europe’s largest high-technology cooperative infrastructure programmes, will provide Europe with a sovereign global satellite navigation system ensuring the availability of reliable navigation services for a wide range of different users. The Galileo system will deliver a number of navigation services including an open service, a commercial service and the Public Regulated Service (PRS). The PRS is an encrypted service for Government authorised users who have an enhanced security need (such as police, security services etc). For more information on Galileo please see the ESA website ( and european GNSS Agency (GSA) website (

About QinetiQ
A FTSE250 company, QinetiQ uses its domain knowledge to provide technical support and know-how to customers in the global aerospace, defence and security markets. QinetiQ has a long association with the Galileo programme, particularly in the areas of security, space technology supply and security for user receivers. For more information about QinetiQ and our range of products and services, please visit our website at As well as developing its own products QinetiQ is supporting ESA, the European Commission and European GNSS Agency (GSA) with the development, deployment and preparation for Galileo operations. QinetiQ has provided expert consultancy and information assurance services to support the security accreditation of the highly complex pan-European Galileo project. QinetiQ’s work contributes directly to the risk management for the Galileo project which is conducted through a bespoke methodology, established by security experts from across the 27 EU Members States.

About Septentrio
Septentrio Satellite Navigation NV designs, manufactures, markets and supports high-end OEM GNSS receivers for demanding professional navigation, positioning and timing applications. Septentrio is Europe’s leading manufacturer of professional GNSS receivers. Septentrio has an international team of experts in all areas of satellite navigation receiver design and applications. For more information about Septentrio, please visit our website at