United Nations/Nepal Workshop on the Applications of Global Navigation Satellite Systems

Kathmandu, Nepal, 12 - 16 December 2016

Organized jointly by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and Survey Department of the Ministry of Land Reform and Management of Nepal

Co-organized and co-sponsored by the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG) and GfRmbH Galileo Control Centre, German Space Agency (DLR)

Updated Information



This Workshop will address the use of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) for various applications that can provide sustainable social and economic benefits, in particular for developing countries. Current and planned projects that use GNSS technology for both practical applications and scientific explorations will be presented. Cooperative efforts and international partnerships for capacity-building, training and research will be discussed.

The Workshop programme will include plenary sessions described below and also sufficient time for discussions among participants to identify the priority areas, where pilot projects should be launched and examine possible partnerships that could be established.

A one-day seminar on "Space Weather and its effects on GNSS" will be held during the Workshop. The purpose of the seminar is to provide a background on the phenomena of space weather and illustrate its effects on GNSS. The performance of GNSS, receivers and applications can be adversely affected by space weather phenomena whose occurrence is generally correlated with the 11-year solar cycle. This seminar will describe the challenging aspects of space weather phenomena, their impact on GNSS users, the variability of these impacts and the actions that may mitigate their effects.

For details, see Information Note

The Workshop will also be informed about the preparations towards the fiftieth anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE+50), which will be held in 2018. Information about a series of high level fora: Space as a Driver for Socioeconomic Sustainable Development, to be organized by the Office for Outer Space Affairs in 2016 through 2018, will also be presented. These series of fora will address the cross-sectoral impact of integrating economic, environmental, social, policy and regulatory dimensions of space in pursuance of global sustainable development.


Thematic Sessions

Session 1: Current and Planned GNSS and Satellite-Based Augmentation Systems

  • Programme updates on GNSS and satellite-based augmentation systems: Global Positioning System (GPS) and Wide-Area Augmentation System (WAAS), GLObal NAvigation Satellite System (GLONASS) and System of Differential Correction and Monitoring (SDCM), European Satellite Navigation System (GALILEO) and the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), Indian Regional Navigation System (IRNSS) and GPS Aided Geo-Augmented Navigation (GAGAN), Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS).

Session 2: GNSS-based applications focusing on, but not limited to

  • Advances and performance benefits due to mylti-sensor integration of GNSS applications in surveying and geodesy;
  • The use of GNSS for aviation, including integration of satellite navigation technology into air traffic management and airport surface navigation and guidance;
  • The use of navigation and timing systems for road, rail and engineering applications, including vehicle guidance, geographic information system (GIS) mapping, and precision farming;
  • Location Based Services: GNSS-enabled mobile phones and services, including the early warning in a hazard area;
  • Commercial applications of GNSS.

Session 3: GNSS spectrum protection and intereference detection and mitigation

  • ICG activities and its role in spectrum protection and interference fdetection and mitigation.

Session 4: GNSS Reference Frames/Systems and Reference Station Networks

  • Programme updates on regional and national reference frames/systems and perspectivesfor a regional cooperative mechanism;
  • International GNSS Service (IGS), the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) and other initiatives, Continuesly Operating Reference Stations (CORS) network and multi-GNSS environment.

Session 5: Capacity building, training and education in the field of GNSS

  • GNSS education opportunities at different levels/needs;
  • The strengthening of a specialized master's programmes for long-term professional education and support to PhD training and networking in GNSS;
  • GNSS education tools/open source software related to GNSS.

Seminar "Space Weather and its effects on GNSS

  • Part 1 will describe the general phenomena of space weather including the Sun and its variability; the major solar eruptions and radiation storms that challenge the space environment; and the Sun-Earth connection.
  • Part 2 will continue with more detailed presentations on the physics of the ionospher, and will provide information on the resultant gradients and scintillation on a worldwide ionospheric perspective.
  • Part 3 will focus on observations of GNSS system and user performance under nominal and distributed conditions.

Objectives and Expected Outcomes

The specific objectives of the Workshop will be to:

  1. introduce GNSS and its applicationsto transport and communications, aviation, surveying, mapping and Earth science, management of natural resources, the environment and disasters, precision agriculture, high precision mobile application, as well as space weather effects on GNSS and dual-frequency resources;
  2. promote greater exchange of actual experiences with specific applications;
  3. encourage greater cooperation in developing partnerships and GNSS networks, in the framework of the regional reference frames;
  4. define recommendations and findings to be forwarded as a contribution to the ICG.

The expected outcomes of the workshop are:

  1. recommendations and findings on discussed topics to be adopted by the Workshop participants;
  2. preliminary agreement of cooperation between countries in the region and the GNSS continuously operating reference station (CORS) networks;
  3. action plan addressing identified issues/concerns.
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