The starting point for GALILEO was the European initiative of EGNOS. The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) is Europe’s first venture into satellite navigation.
Head of Technical Division
Galileo Joint Undertaking
How did the Galileo initiative begin?
The starting point for GALILEO was the European initiative of EGNOS. The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) is Europe’s first venture into satellite navigation. EGNOS is a joint project of the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Commission (EC) and Eurocontrol, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, which is Europe’s contribution to the first stage of the global navigation satellite system (GNSS). European Union and ESA wanted to develop their own positioning initiatives to provide wider services for the civilian purpose.
What is the present status of GALILEO?
Definition phase of GALILEO started in 2000 and was completed in 2003. The project is currently in the Development and Validation phase to be completed in 2008. However the first test satellite has been launched in December 2005. The second test satellite will be launched in 2006. By 2008 GALILEO in orbit validation constellation will be functional. The full operation of GALILEO will be achieved in 2010 with constellation of 30 satellites.
What is the significance of selecting the name ‘GALILEO’?
In early 1990 the Commissioner of Transport, UK had suggested the name Galileo for the European initiative for a positioning system. The suggestion remains and the project has been so named to honour the great European scientist Galileo.
What is the future use profile for positioning systems?
Positioning systems are continually touching newer application realms. In the future the maximum growth of application will be observed in LBS applications, indoor navigation and tracking applications. For instance tracking vehicles transporting dangerous goods, road tolling applications will become the most popular applications.
Who are the members of the industrial organization of the GALILEO project?
The prime contractor of the project is GALILEO Industries GmbH. Others are GALILEO Industries Spa, Alcatel Space, Alenia Spazio, EADS Astrium GmbH, EADS Astrium Ltd, Thales Navigation and Thales Communications.
What have been the key points of agreement on GNSS between US and EU?
US and EU have agreed to adopt a common signal for GALILEO L1 and GPS III L1 open signals BOC (1,1), interoperable timing and geodesy standards to facilitate the joint use of Galileo and GPS and broadcast of GPS/Galileo time offset. There has also been an agreement of non-discrimination in trade in satellite navigation goods and services and strong commitment to preserve National Security Capabilities as well as non-restrictions of access to open service end-users.
What is the nature of international cooperation in the GALILEO project?
Total 28 countries from EU & ESA Member States have agreed on cooperation for the Galileo project. An Agreement with U.S. has just concluded and an agreement is in negotiations with Russia. International agreement has also concluded with China and Israel. Agreements have been initialized with India and Ukraine and mandates are expected from Morocco, Norway, Argentina, South Korea. Some other countries interested in the project are Malaysia, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico.
What was the objective behind the launch of another positioning initiative?
The main objective behind the initiative was the European Union’s aim to gain political sovereignty in the realm of positioning systems. Whenever there is a monopoly in any sphere of life it ultimately results in the overall system stagnation and limitation of choice for end users. It is always better to have a wider choice with the provision of more signals.
What is the role of India in this realm in the future?
India will ultimately gain from her understanding with GALILEO as the GALILEO project will reduce the chances of single provider failure.