-->NEW GALILEO NAVIGATIONSSYSTEM NEWS-BLOG<--
for the european satellite navigationsystem!
What means Galileo?
The Galileo positioning system is a
proposed satellite navigation system, to be built by the European Union
(EU) as an alternative to the US military-controlled Global Positioning
System and the Russian GLONASS. The system should be operational by 2010,
two years later than originally anticipated.
19 04 2006 EU could be forced to
scale down Galileo system
Last December, EU leaders ended months of haggling by
agreeing to a new EU budget for 2007-2013 that will force substantial
cuts in some areas of EU spending, notably transport. However, in order
not to jeopardise the flagship satellite project, they set aside a specific
budget line of almost €1bn for Galileo. There are question marks
about additional public financing, as well as the inflow of private funding,
which EU officials are currently negotiating with the corporate consortium
developing Galileo. Others are concerned that Brussels might be forced
to tap further into the already-depleted EU transport budget to plug any
subsequent gap in Galileo’s funding, a move that would be fiercely
resisted by companies that, for example, are relying on earmarked EU funding
to support their aeronautical research and development.
24 04 2006 India, Germany to set up Science
"This Science Centre is a unique project that will have equity participation from both Indian and German governments and their private sectors," Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal told.
"It will be a new milestone in our cooperation in the arena of technology and research," he added.
"The Indo-German Science Circle has given a new impetus to this cooperation and will further strengthen contacts between science and academic communities,"¨ said a joint statement issued at the end of talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday.
The envisaged Indo-German Science, Research and Technology Centre is expected to accelerate the process of buttressing links between the two countries' academic and strategic communities.
Germany has backed India's participation in the multibillion dollar Galileo project, the Global Navigation Satellite System and will continue ongoing bilateral cooperation in the Chandrayan moon mission project.
Berlin also promised to place a higher premium on cooperation between India and Germany during its presidency of the EU next year. Both countries plan to organise a ministerial conference on science and technology early next year.
The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and its German counterpart, the Helmholtz Association of German Research, are to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
"There is no limit to what India and Germany can do in the area of science, technology and research," Sibal said.
|04-05-2006 Russia-EU space co-op: testing the limits|
The equatorial rainforests of South America may seem an unlikely place to find the iconic Russian spacecraft Soyuz.
But from 2008 the family of launch vehicles that sent the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and the first satellite, Sputnik, into space, will be launched from Europe's spaceport in French Guiana.
For the European Space Agency (ESA) and others involved in the project this is something of a coup: the first launch of a Soyuz spacecraft in its 49-year history outside Russia or Kazakhstan.
The launch will be the culmination of almost ten years of deepening co-operation between the EU and Russia on all things stellar.
The ESA has spent millions of euros adapting facilities in French Guiana to accommodate Soyuz, including a custom-built launch facility.For Russia, co-operation on Soyuz is a valuable source of funds and secures access to the world's most modern launch facility.
For the EU the potential benefits are both commercial and strategic.Soyuz will join the ESA's workhorse craft Ariane and the Vega launcher which will be operational from 2007.
Arianespace, the outfit running commercial launches, is akin to an extraterrestrial DHL. It and the ESA hope Soyuz will fill the gap between Ariane, which is capable of heavy lifting, and the smaller and lighter Vega launch vehicle, bringing Europe closer to its aim in delivering commercial payloads "any mass, any time, any orbit". Already Spaceport and Ariane are big business, delivering into space everything from satellites for Mexican television to the Spanish ministry of defense’s military telecommunications satellite.In practical terms, Soyuz will make delivering medium-sized payloads of around two tonnes more cost-effective. While Ariane makes economic sense with six to seven Galileo-style satellites, Soyuz is cost-effective with only two. Soyuz is also capable of sending humans into space, helping Europe bridge the gap until the next generation of launch vehicles arrives, expected sometime in 2020.
But despite good relations so far on Soyuz, according
to one Commission official, the limits of effective EU-Russia co-operation
may be fast approaching. "Our relations with Russia have always been
positive, the question is to have an assessment of the credibility of
th level of ambition that they can support," the official said. In
other words, if Russia wants to take part in more advanced projects it
has to pay its way."It has been a long time since they have carried
out any scientific missions. However they have a lot of experience and
a lot of know-how," said the official. In 2001-03 some 25% of allocated
funding failed to reach Russian space projects, but according to recent
statements from the head of the Russian space agency, Anatoly Perminov,
around 150 million euro in extra funding will be found for programs this
year, bringing the total to 670m euro. By contrast, the European Space
Agency's annual budget stands at around 3 billion euros. Today the level
of ambition is outlined in the 'four spaces' agreement between the EU
and the Russians on economic and political co-operation, where space featured
prominently. Along with Soyuz, the deal agreed in May 2005 covered deeper
co-operation on the EU's satellite navigation system Galileo and the Russian
counterpart, GLONASS.Also covered is the Global
Monitoring for Environment and Security program, where, according to the
Commission, Russia and the EU have 'good interoperability'.But limits
for this co-operation may be found in political mistrust over the uses
of such hi-tech observation systems.As one Commission official put it,
"it is important to explore any possibilities".
04-05-2006 Royal Institute of Navigation Brings
Euro-Conference to Manchester
In conjunction with the UK Industrial Space Committee and the Location and Timing Knowledge Transfer Network, the RIN is bringing the cream of Europe's navigation experts and developers to the Manchester International Convention Centre for a three-day satnav conference and exhibition, showing the worldwide importance of satellite technology to the way people will get from A-B in the future - on land, sea, and in the air.
Several RIN members have been involved in the development of the new European satellite navigation network Galileo, and the RIN hosted the media launch for the first preparatory satellite, GIOVE-A, in December 2005. So the Institute is well-placed to host this year's European Navigation Conference and to bring it to Manchester.
While companies at the forefront of developing technologies will be on hand in the exhibition hall, the conference will also run three parallel streams, focusing on a broad range of applications for satellite navigation technology.
Highlights will include:
Day 1 - Galileo simulations - see how Europe's new satellite constellation will work
Day 2 - Signals and interference - an exploration of Galileo's technical aspects
Day 3 - Government and security applications - how the technology may be used in a post-9/11 world
Both the conference and the exhibition will be opened on May 8 by RIN Patron HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. President of the RIN Professor David Last said the royal visit underlined the importance of satnav technology for travellers.
'The Duke has always been a dynamic patron, and we are delighted to welcome him to ENC 2006. Given his busy schedule, it's especially gratifying that he recognizes and is able to support the vital work of the navigation industry,' he added.
08-05-2006 LogicaCMG Gets Selected
For Galileo Programme
Galileo will be inter-operable with the American Global Positioning System (GPS) and Russian GLONASS, the two other global satellite navigation systems.
Sylvain Loddo, ESA’s Galileo Systems, ground segment and operations manager, said, “LogicaCMG has proved in earlier work on Galileo to have a sound understanding of the facilities needed to manage the 30-satellite Galileo system, and to have an innovative and pragmatic approach to solving the many technical challenges."
|23-05-2006 Europe warned that Galileo navigation
jobs could go east|
Europe is in danger of losing many of the 140,000 jobs expected to be created by Galileo - the EU satellite radio navigation system due for launch in 2008 - to emerging economies such as China and India, an executive of the project said yesterday.
Rainer Grohe, executive director of the Galileo joint undertaking, the public body negotiating with a consortium of eight technology groups to deploy the system, said it could attract 2.5 billion users by 2020 - creating even more jobs.But, he said, China, which is contributing €200m (£136m) to the €3.6bn (£2.5bn) project, and India, which is negotiating to join, are already planning to take the lead in developing the receivers and associated software required for the pinpoint accuracy promised by Galileo. Component costs, benefiting from receiver miniaturisation, are falling at up to 30% a year, with receivers now costing less than €150.
"We are stressing that European industry should start now to develop ideas for applications or the receivers will be built in China and the software developed in India," said Mr Grohe. "Our forecasts suggest there could be 140,000 new jobs in Europe, but there's no guarantee."
In Britain, companies clustered around the University of Surrey in Guildford and a small east Midlands business, Nottingham Scientific Ltd (NSL), are among pioneers of the new navigation system that is a civilian rival to - but compatible with - the American GPS (Global Positioning System) developed by the Pentagon. NSL won a government grant last week to develop receivers.
The development phase of Galileo, which ends later this year, has seen costs overrun by €400m on top of the €1.1bn originally earmarked. But Mr Grohe dismissed reports that the consortium negotiating the terms of the 20-year Galileo concession, worth some €1bn a year, would have to reduce from 30 the number of satellites planned for launch between now and 2008. "I don't expect costs to explode," he said.
The joint undertaking, set up by the European commission and the European Space Agency (ESA), is due to complete its work by the end of this year. In January, the ESA signed a €1bn contract with the consortium, Galileo Industries, to build four satellites and a network of ground stations, which are due to be deployed by the end of next year.Full Article here
23-05-2006 Galileo satellite project
proves to be costly
The over-run was due mainly to miscalculations for the costs of building and launching two test satellites, said Rainer Grohe, director of the Galileo Joint Undertaking.
The first satellite was sent into orbit in December while the second is due to head into space by the end of the year.
Grohe said improvements to the project's security system also added to the financial burden.
The spending brings to €1,5-billion the total cost of the first phase. Around $4,5-billion have been budgeted for the entire project, which will involve putting 30 satellites into orbit.
Europe hopes the Galileo project, scheduled to be up and running commercially by 2010, will rival the reigning GPS network from the United States.
Unlike GPS, which is controlled by the US military, Galileo will stay under civilian control, increasing the European Union's strategic independence.
The new system is expected to be more accurate than GPS, giving mariners, pilots, drivers and others an almost pinpoint-accurate navigational tool.
01-06-2006 Galileo launch could be delayed to 2010 as EU, contractors
dispute costs -report
'Divergences [...] remain mainly over the sharing of risks related to development of the system, and for those related to commercial revenues and market developments,' the EU said in a statement to be released on June 7, quoted in the report.
The eight contractors, which include EADS, Alcatel, Thales and Finmeccanica, consider that EU governments should raise their contributions to the development phase, expected to cost 2.5 bln eur.
The report claims that although the EU is supposed to contribute 1 bln eur to this initial phase, only 900 mln eur has been budgeted for the 2007-2013 period.
But Rainer Grohe, executive director of Galileo Joint Undertaking, told Le Monde that although it is difficult to fully determine all the risks of the project, 'public governments should not pay for everything'.
Grohe also ruled out any reduction in the number of satellites to be put into orbit for the system. 'It would be ridiculous to save money with 4 fewer satellites, when we want to have a high quality system that is profitable thanks to the richness of its applications,' he said.
However, an official at Thales countered that many of the applications wanted by Galileo depend on political decisions that have not yet been made. 'It is therefore normal that European authorities cover these risks,' the official said in the report.
Since the complex negotiations will not be resolved soon, Galileo may not be operational until 2010 instead of 2008
June 2006 QinetiQ has signed a €7.3m
QinetiQ has signed a €7.3m, four year contract, covering its contribution to the European 'Galileo InReach' Consortium for Phase CDE1 of the European Galileo system. The Consortium, led by the Belgian company Septentrio Satellite Navigation (SSN), is contracted by the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop the Galileo second source Test User Segment (TUS). This will play a crucial role in the end to end evaluation and performance validation of the Galileo system during the In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase.
The Consortium previously competitively bid, won and successfully completed the Phase C0 contract of the Galileo TUS. This addressed atmospheric propagation analysis, validation of the user requirements, receiver architecture design and specification for the test support tools (TST). Phase CDE1 was awarded by ESA as a follow on contract to build on these.
The major activities being led by QinetiQ include more comprehensive propagation analysis, security module development, and TST design, build and use. The ionospheric propagation analysis will be performed by the QinetiQ Centre for Propagation Analysis and Atmospheric Research (CPAR) and will theoretically validate the ESA expected performance.
Government and official users of Galileo will benefit from increased security and higher integrity provided by the Public Regulated Service (PRS). The security module being developed by QinetiQ provides the PRS Test User Receiver with access to this additional classified functionality. Prior to delivery, the security module will be evaluated and certified by the UK national security authority to the ESA Galileo security requirements.
The TST being built by QinetiQ will be used for independent validation of the Test User Receivers (TUR) being developed by the Consortium.
Galileo is Europe's global navigation satellite system, which will provide a wide range of user positioning services with well-defined guarantees of quality and continuity. Galileo will be compatible with existing systems such as GPS and EGNOS, and is expected to be fully operational before the end of this decade with a constellation of 30 satellites. The ‘Galileo InReach’ Consortium is lead by the Belgian company Septentrio Satellite Navigation and includes QinetiQ, Delft University of Technology, Ursa Minor, Orban Microwave Products, Deimos and SkySoft.
29-06-2006 ESA's Navigation Facility ready for the future
ESA's recently opened Navigation Facility has fast become
a world-class provider of highly accurate navigation information, significantly
enhancing data from cornerstone systems including GPS, EGNOS and –
soon – Galileo.
The facility is directly connected to a network of 44 GPS signal receivers located worldwide, and can receive data from several hundred others.
These receivers monitor signals from GPS satellites
and relay them to just a handful of highly specialised processing centres,
including ESOC's Navigation Facility. These in turn process the raw data
into valuable atmospheric and geoscience information sets.
This enhanced data can then be used to boost the accuracy
of the original location data sent by the satellites, leading to enhanced
GNSS applications for scientific studies, climate monitoring and tracking
large-scale, long-term changes in the Earth's geology.
IGS analysis centres, which include ESOC, Germany's
GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ) and the University of Bern, among others, make
their processed data sets available to a growing user community, including
national weather offices, satellite operators, universities, geoscience
institutes and researchers worldwide.
10-07-2006 Cracking top secret satellite codes
Researchers have cracked the so-called pseudo random number (PRN) codes of Europe’s first global navigation satellite, despite efforts to keep it under wraps.
Sat-nav can support the driver on the most remote roads.
Cornell University’s Global Positioning System
(GPS) laboratory discovery is a breakthrough for those who use navigation
10-07-2006 More Competition for GPS
July 10, 2006: India will spend $370 million to build and launch eight satellites to provide a regional GPS system. This will give people one more alternative, in addition to GPS, GLONASS (Russia) and Galileo (Europe). Next year, India will spend $80 million to equip a satellite with technology that will provide enhanced GPS service in India. This system. GAGAN (GPS aided geo augmentation navigation), will then be followed by India's own version of GPS. India is trying to get commercial firms for participate in the project, with both technology and money. Apparently, the project won't go forward if the private sector does not respond enthusiastically enough. India not the only one building their own GPS. China is planning a similar regional system. Russia's answer to GPS, GLONASS, was at full strength (24 satellites) shortly after the Cold War ended (1995). But the end of the Cold War meant the end of the regular financing for GLONASS. By the end of 2002, only seven GLONASS birds were still operational. However, a series of launches in 2003 increased the number of active satellites to twelve, and it is supposed to go to 18 by the end of 2007, and the full 24 birds a year or two after that. The money is coming from a Russian government that does not want to be dependent on the American Department of Defense controlled GPS system. But the money is only there because of high oil prices. Most GLONASS receivers in use are actually combined GPS/GLONASS receivers. Russia will have to put billions of dollars into GLONASS over the next few years to get the system fully operational, and then spend even more money to maintain the satellite network. Worse yet, no one has found a way to make a buck off a network of navigation satellites. There are plenty of ideas, but no one has yet turned any of those ideas into cash. A European consortium is going forward with it's own version of GPS, called Galileo. So far, only two satellites have been launched, although the original plan called for four to be up there by now, to provide a sufficient number of birds for a test system. If there are no problems with the test system, the full array of 27 satellites will be launched and operational some time in the next decade. The system will cost nearly $3 billion when completed, and the fifteen nations of the European Space Agency (ESA) have put in about a hundred million dollars already. The Europeans don't like being dependent on an American system, and don't believe the Russians will be able to keep their GLONASS system viable.
GPS World Article
Galileo gets a Chinese overlay
Galileo originated as a “Euro-nationalist” response to the success of America’s GPS. As the program developed, some in Europe sought to use it as a way to limit and control US military power. This was the heart of the transatlantic “frequency overlay” dispute that ended with the EU backing down. The Europeans had registered certain frequencies with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), that were dangerously close to the ones the US planned to use for the future military GPS 3 signal. They were hoping that the Pentagon would have to accept that the use of this signal would be regulated by a joint US-EU committee in which the EU, particularly France, would have a veto power over US satellite navigation warfare. In essence, the European goal was to insure that if the US went to war against the will of the EU, it would do so without the advantages that its GPS system has given it.
Today, the Chinese are attempting to do to the Galileo system the same thing that Europe tried, and failed, to do to the US. China has registered with the ITU its intent to use frequencies that are as close to Galileo’s as Galileo’s were planned to be to GPS 3. The speculation is that this is the Chinese response to the European refusal to allow China into the charmed circle of senior Galileo management.
China was brought into the program as a distinctly junior partner. This may have been done as an anti-American gesture, or it may have been that some European leaders truly thought that they could use China’s membership in Galileo to gain some sort of privileged commercial position in the Middle Kingdom’s huge and expanding market. In any case, China’s contribution to the program was never going to be a policymaking one.
For Europe, Galileo may yet turn into a technological
triumph, but the odds are getting longer.
For Europe, the question is how will they react to China’s latest move. Can they put pressure on China the same way the US did to them over their overlay ploy? They do not have a formal military alliance with China, and their commercial clout is limited. They would find it difficult to offer to lift the post-Tiananmen ban on sales of military equipment in spite of the decision a few years ago to “in principal” resume arms sales. In theory they could threaten to sell weapons to Taiwan. Taipei would certainly be happy to buy more submarines from Germany, France, or Sweden. If the Europeans can credibly threaten this, it may be the only card they really have.Full Article
August 2006 Europe's satellite positioning system edges forward
Construction of a new satellite navigation system, Galileo,
came a step closer to realization Monday when the two bidders for the
contract to build and operate it submitted a common proposal. Their move
could end months of indecision at the body set up to select a preferred
bidder, which has so far been unable to choose between the two consortia.
Construction of a new satellite navigation system, Galileo, came a step
closer to realization Monday when the two bidders for the contract to
build and operate it submitted a common proposal. Their move could end
months of indecision at the body set up to select a preferred bidder,
which has so far been unable to choose between the two consortia.
The group is evaluating the joint proposal, which could be accepted if the consortia can show it will offer better value than their individual bids, Marchlewski said. The joint proposal is not a full bid, the documents for which would run to several thousand pages, he said.
Eurely and iNavSat will have to wait until June 27 to find out whether their new proposal is accepted, he said.
Eurely's members are Aeropuertos Espa'oles y Navegaci'n A'rea (AENA), Alcatel SA, Finmeccanica SpA and Hispasat SA, while iNavSat comprises European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. EADS NV (EADS Space), Inmarsat Ventures Ltd. and Thales SA.With their joint proposal, the consortia say they can deliver the project at a lower cost, yet still have it ready on time. Galileo is due to enter service in 2008.The Commission and the ESA are together advancing around '1.1 billion (US$1.3 billion) of the '3.2 billion they expect it will cost to develop Galileo. The system has found supporters outside of Europe too: The National Remote Sensing Center of China (NRSCC) has said it will contribute '200 million to Galileo's development.Conceived for civilian applications, Galileo is intended to free European businesses from dependence on a military system controlled by a foreign government. There is no risk to users that service will suddenly be withdrawn or encrypted in case of conflict, its backers say. While the basic Galileo signals will be free for all, additional encrypted signals will provide a higher level of service for a fee, which will allow its operators to repay the money advanced by the Commission and the ESA.Galileo is intended to cooperate, rather than compete, with GPS: The U.S. and the European Union signed an agreement in 2004 to make the systems interoperable. Full ARticle
Ready for the future
The boom in Indian aviation, so far, synonymous with
extremely low-cost fares and a wide bouquet of carriers to choose from
has had its downside as well — complete chaos prevailing at majority
of the airports, not to mention the inordinate delays in landings and
takeoffs. But thanks to relentless efforts being undertaken by Airports
Authority of India (AAI) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
along with their technology partnerson the ground as well as in the skies
could soon be a thing of the past.
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