Drive Automation & Autonomy to the next level: GALILEO for Safe & Secure Systems


Driverless cars and unmanned ships, automatic flying and precise landing, unpiloted aeroplanes and fully autonomous UAVs, self-controlled robots and industrial process automation – to name just a few promising applications of tomorrow. The future will involve systems with ever greater degrees of automation and autonomy. And so, consequently, precise and robust navigation – especially GNSS – is a core asset and a major driver.

Applications range from consumer markets to professional, governmental/institutional, and also safety-critical applications. Along with the applications, new challenging requirements have to be fulfilled: Highly robust, resilient and ubiquitous navigation information for the mobile platforms is mandatory – as well as utilising connectivity e.g. via the Internet of Things (IoT).

This includes positioning in challenging environmental conditions such as in dense urban scenarios, in areas with potential radio interference or other types of radio propagation.

Setting out from this development, this years’ DLR Special Prize Challenge will provide maximum benefit to the user community by triggering new applications and solutions to meet the needs of the real world for automated or autonomous systems. Simply put: to make things work as perfectly as they should!

All of the ideas and innovations should contribute to further optimising both the operation and its development by strenghtening existing approaches as well as with completely new thoughts to refuel the ideas tank!

TOPIC: GNSS for Automation, Autonomy, and Connected Systems
Extended usage of GNSS requires reliable position services with appropriate

  • accuracy
  • availability
  • integrity and
  • continuity.

Challenge: Enabling automation and autonomy with reliable PNT – positioning, navigation, and timing – and strengthening PNT with robust designs or backup

Areas of search:

  • Application of GNSS and further navigation systems in automated or autonomous systems
  • Making GNSS receivers robust in challenging conditions
  • Fusing GNSS data with third party information from other sensors for Resilient PNT
  • Using wireless connection capabilities for improvements in positioning
  • Mitigating the cyber security threat
  • Complementing PNT with non-GNSS (…)

Scope: Identify the problem – create a solution – overcome current limitations – prepare for the future


  • Technical and application-oriented solutions
  • From space to spatial
  • Ready & robust
  • For the best usage of GALILEO/GNSS
  • Moving towards automated & autonomous operation!


The winner will receive a voucher for five man-months of DLR services to aid in the further development of their idea, including technical support for research activities, access to testing and simulation facilities, expert advice, and feasibility or concept studies. These services will thus support the idea’s eventual realisation. A mutual agreement between the winner and DLR about the focus of work is required.

The prize itself is a bundle of activities which are executed purely within DLR; there is no way to turn this in a cash prize to be paid to the winner or other external parties. While all contestants will demonstrate their innovation competence merely by participating, the winner will enjoy the added benefit having the DLR Special Prize on their record as a testament of quality.

Furthermore, the winner will get access to to tailored E-GNSS Accelerator business support worth EUR 62,000 (if eligible) if he/she is among the top ten ESNC 2018 candidates and convinces the experts at the E-GNSS Accelerator Bootcamp 2018!

An extra EUR 10,000 cash prize will be allocated to the ESNC 2018 Overall Winner


All ideas and innovations shall contribute to further optimise the operation and the evolution – by sharpening existing approaches as well as by completely new thoughts to refuel the ideas tank!


The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is the national aeronautics and space research centre of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its extensive research and development work in aeronautics, space, energy, transport, digitalisation and security is integrated into national and international cooperative ventures. In addition to its own research, as Germany’s space agency, DLR has been given responsibility by the federal government for the planning and implementation of the German space programme. DLR is also the umbrella organisation for the nation’s largest project management agency.

In determining the focal points of its research, DLR is to a large extent guided by industry’s demand for innovative products and services. In addition, it invests in promising technologies and offers its research and development capacities to customers for their own use. Numerous products have been successfully developed in this way and launched on the market in cooperation with innovative enterprises. DLR has approximately 8000 employees at 20 locations in Germany: Cologne (headquarters), Augsburg, Berlin, Bonn, Braunschweig, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Dresden, Goettingen, Hamburg, Jena, Juelich, Lampoldshausen, Neustrelitz, Oberpfaffenhofen, Oldenburg, Stade, Stuttgart, Trauen and Weilheim. DLR also has offices in Brussels, Paris, Tokyo and Washington D.C.


German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Mr Robert Klarner
+49 (0) 8153 28 1782