URSULA is a project, funded by the EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), that aims to deploy an online demonstration for GNSS services and earth observation data.

  • Title: User Space Virtual Laboratory
  • Funder: EUSPA
  • Call: EUSPA/NP/23/22
  • Budget: 140.000 €
  • Partners: Rokubun
  • Duration: 6 months

Keywords: EGNSS, GNSS, Galileo, Software-as-a-Service, Cloud computing


The scope of the project is the development, delivery and deployment of the User Space Virtual Laboratory at EUSPA facilities. Rokubun will undertake the development and validation of the cloud based tool implementing the User Space Virtual Laboratory and will further install it in the EUSPA facilities.

This project is based on the concept and experience of Rokubun’s cloud based GNSS processing service, JASON. The main idea is to provide a user-friendly experience that encourages users to get introduced to GNSS.

From an architectural point of view, URSULA proposes a modular and scalable platform that can host multiple services and can be easily upgraded with new functionalities in future releases.

Main objectives

Rokubun’s understanding of the EUSPA User Space Virtual Laboratory is focused on the central idea of keeping it simple and appealing so that users that are not acquainted with GNSS are introduced to the navigation application development process. URSULA will fit the essence of the EUSPA User Space Container by smoothly connecting a set of GNSS processing services and providing them to users via a cloud platform.

URSULA will fulfil the following main objectives:

Objective 1: Learn-by-doing

The User Space Virtual Laboratory has to be practical and provide the means to the users for learn-by-doing. This involves having an eye-catching and easy-to-use User Interface (UI) that encourages users to try different configurations and use cases in their navigation application development process. The primary goal of the User Space Virtual Lab will be to introduce non-acquainted users into the EGNSS technologies showcasing the benefits of the basic concepts such as multi-constellation and multi-frequency.

Objective 2: Platform-agnostic service

The resulting cloud service implementing the User Space Virtual Laboratory will be platform-agnostic. This means that it will process GNSS raw measurements from major receiver brands (Septentrio, u-blox, …) and will also process raw measurements stored in standard RINEX format. Additionally, the cloud nature of the User Space Virtual Laboratory makes it agnostic on the platform used by the user: users will be able to access it from any device having an internet browser and will always enjoy the most up-to-date version of the service.

Objective 3: Modular and scalable

The User Space Virtual Laboratory will be conceived as an aggregation of microservices with a modular architecture allowing future additions of new services. Therefore, the service, by the end of the project, will be an open platform that can be enhanced with new services in response to users feedback, EUSPA needs and/or new GNSS technologies. Thanks to the proposed cloud-based microservice architecture, the service will be able to handle as many simultaneous users as requested.

Use cases

URSULA will be able to address the following use cases:

  • Assist the user in implementing the EGNSS differentiators in their applications. Initially, the service will be able to process raw measurement from all the major GNSS constellations, in particular Galileo. However, with further extensions, the service will be able to add new features such as processing of Galileo HAS corrections, monitoring of potential interference via OS-NMA (extracted from receiver real time streams), …

  • Provide neutral information to the users in order to select the most suitable type of receiver for each application. URSULA will allow testing data generated from various receivers so that users will be able to extract the relevant information in order to perform a selection of equipment. For instance, a user with various GNSS receivers could record raw measurements into RINEX files and perform multiple runs in the platform with different configurations (e.g. different choice of GNSS constellations, different choice of frequencies and signals, …) and then process the resulting output files (in CSV or KML) and run custom comparisons.

  • Assist in the user configuration of the GNSS receivers. The user will be able to process the data extracted from different receivers and configurations and evaluate the best possible combination for each scenario. This includes the possibility of choosing the constellations and the frequencies to be processed.

  • Facilitate the comparison of positioning performances. The platform will allow running the positioning engine under various configurations for the users to be able to assess the different positioning strategies performance.