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GALILEO - Global Navigation Satellite System

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Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System

Is planned autonomous European Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), which should be similar to the U.S. Navstar GPS system and Russia's GLONASS. Its development is ensured by the European Union (EU), represented by the European Commission (EC) and European Space Agency (ESA). System Galileo was originally planed to be operational by 2010, according to new plans is the actual date 2015.

Both current systems (GPS and GLONASS) are military, therefore none of the providers guarantee that, if necessary, signals of its satellites won’t be turned off. If their use was based on some transport services, it could cause dangerous consequences for its users.

 The fully deployed Galileo system consists of 30 satellites (27 operational + 3 active spares), positioned in three circular Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) planes at 23 222 km altitude above the Earth, and at an inclination of the orbital planes of 56 degrees with reference to the equatorial plane. Once this is achieved, the Galileo navigation signals will provide good coverage even at latitudes up to 75 degrees north, which corresponds to the North Cape, and beyond. The large number of satellites together with the optimization of the constellation, and the availability of the three active spare satellites, will ensure that the loss of one satellite has no discernible effect on the user. Galileo will allow each holder of the receiver to determine its actual position with accuracy better than one meter.

The Galileo system has the greatest potential especially in transport (air, road, rail, sea and river, urban, etc.) but still offers a wide range of use in other areas where it will increase security, accuracy and comfort (energy industry, banking, agriculture, environmental, construction, etc.).

GALILEO will provide five basic services. These services will be provided worldwide and independently from other systems by combining Galileo signals-in-space:

  • Open Service (OS) - This service results from a combination of open signals, free of user charge, and provides superior position and timing performance compared to other GNSS systems;
  • Safety of Life (SoL) service - Will be offered and guaranteed to the critical transport community, e.g. aviation, maritime, etc., delivering enhanced performance that includes the provision of the integrity function, i.e. a warning of system malfunction that will reach the user in a given alarm time. This service will be certified against applicable standards and performance, for example the SBAS standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in 2009;
  • Commercial Service (CS) - Provides access to two additional signals, to allow for a higher data throughput rate and to enable users to improve accuracy. The signals are encrypted. A service guarantee is envisaged for this service;
  • Public Regulated Service (PRS) - provides position and timing to specific users requiring a high continuity of service, with controlled access. Two PRS navigation signals with encrypted ranging codes and data will be available;
  • Search and Rescue service (SaR) - represents Europe's contribution of to the international COSPAS-SARSAT co-operative effort on humanitarian search and rescue activities.

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