Home News Law & Policy Panel questions GPS, Galileo deal

Panel questions GPS, Galileo deal

An expert panel last week said that there are financial and security concerns in the integration of the U.S. Global Positioning System with Europe’s Galileo system.

The U.S. and European Union in June reached an agreement for cooperation between the two satellite navigation systems after years of rivalry.

Speakers at a panel convened by the group ‘Women in Aerospace’ expressed support and hope for cooperation, but some said conflicting interests might compromise U.S. security.

“Why? Why Galileo?” asked Michael Swiek, executive director of the United States Global Positioning System Industry Council. Swiek said GPS is superior to Galileo, so combining the two systems does not make business sense.

Other panelists — from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Undersecretary of the Air Force and the State Department — supported integration but also questioned whether it would be financially viable and non-competitive when Galileo is privately supported and GPS is free and publicly funded.

Ralph Braibanti, director of the State Department’s Office of Advanced Technology, said the U.S. government’s perspective is, however, that “we are already partners” and should work within that framework.