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Friday, October 30, 2020

Galileo Navigation Satellite System

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Galileo is a European global navigation satellite system that provides a high-precision comprehensive positioning service, guaranteed under civilian control.

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Currently, in initial service, Galileo is interoperable with GPS and Glonass, the global satellite navigation systems of the United States and Russia. It is offering dual frequencies as standard.

Galileo is a global navigation satellite system launched in 2016. The European Union created it through the European GNSS Agency (GSA) based in Prague, Czech Republic, with two operations centers at the soil in Fucin, Italy, and Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.

The 10 billion euro project is named after the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei. One of Galileo’s objectives is to provide an independent, high-precision positioning system so that European nations do not trust American or Russian GLONASS GPS systems.

Their operators could deactivate or upgrade at any time. The use of Galileo’s essential services (less precision) is free and open to everyone.

The first Galileo test satellite, GIOVE-A, was introduced on December 28, 2005, while the first operating system satellite was launched on October 21, 2011. In July 2018, 26 of the 30 planned active satellites were in operation.

Galileo began offering Early Operational Capacity (EOC) on December 15, 2016, providing initial weak signal services, and full operational capacity (FOC) is expected to reach 2019. A complete system of 30 Galileo satellites (24 operational and six active) is scheduled for 2020.

The next generation of satellites is expected to start operating in 2025 to replace older equipment, which can then be used for backup capacity.

At the beginning of 2020, the constellation had 26 live satellites: 22 are in service (that is to say that the Satellites works and contributes to the provision of services). Two satellites are in “test,” and two others are not available for users. , IOV (orbit control), and 19 types of FOC.

Galileo Navigation System Services

The fully implemented Galileo Navigation system will include 24 operational satellites and six Cabinet orbits, located in three median terrestrial orbits (MEO) at an altitude of 23222 km above Earth and with an aircraft tilt of 56 degrees orbiting Ecuador.


Since 2012, the system had 15 satellites in 2015 and will be fully operational in 2020 with the following specifications:

  • 30 spacecraft in orbit (24 in full service and six spare parts)
  • Orbital altitude: 23,222 km (MEO)
  • Three orbital planes, an inclination of 56 °, ascending nodes separated by a length of 120
  • 8 satellites in operation and two active spaces in the orbital plane
  • The useful life of satellites
  • Satellite mass: 675 kg.
  • Dimensions of the satellite body: 2.7 m × 1.2 m × 1.1 m
  • Range of solar panels: 18.7 m.
  • Power of solar panels: 1.5 kW (end of life)

Preparation for Galileo Navigation System

In 2005 and 2008, the experimental satellites GIOVE-A and GIOVE-B were launched, which are used to test Galileo’s critical technologies while providing the Galileo frequency within the International Telecommunication Union.

During the study period, scientific instruments also measured various aspects of the space environment around the orbital plane, notably higher radiation levels than on Earth or in geostationary orbits.

The operational launches of the Galileo satellite began in 2011 and lasted until the end of the decade.

Funding of Galileo Navigation System

The European Commission struggled to fund the next phase of the project, after several alleged “annual” sales scales for the project was presented in November 2001 as “cumulative” projections that included all previous sales years for each year projected.

The growing error of billions of euros in sales forecasts has led to a general awareness within the Commission and elsewhere that the program is unlikely to bring back the investment previously offered to investors and policymakers.

On January 17, 2002, a spokesperson for the project said he was “almost dead” due to economic pressure and hardship in the United States. A few months later, the situation changed dramatically.

EU member states have decided that it is essential to have satellite positioning and synchronization infrastructure that the United States cannot quickly shut down in times of political conflict.

The European Union and European Space Agency accepted in March 2002 to fund the project, pending a review in 2003 (which ended on May 26, 2003). The initial cost for the period ending in 2005 was estimated at € 1,100 million.

The necessary satellites (planned for 30) will be launched between 2011 and 2014, and the system will be operational and under civilian control from 2019. The final cost is estimated at 3,000 million euros, including the infrastructure built on Earth in 2006 and 2007.


The plan required private companies and investors to invest at least two-thirds of the implementation costs, with the EU and ESA sharing the remaining costs.

The primary open service will be free for anyone with a Galileo compatible receiver, with a broader bandwidth, a more precise commercial encryption service that was initially planned as an affordable service, but in February 2018, a high service precision (HAS). (which provides accurate position information on the E6 frequency).

It was agreed that it would be available free of charge, provided that the authentication service is commercial. At the start of 2011, project costs exceeded initial estimates by 50%.

The signals of Galileo Navigation System

Galileo Navigation Satellite System

The system composed of E5a (1176.45 MHz) and E5b (1207.14 MHz) and E6 (1278.75 MHz): and transmits three signals: E1 (1575.42 MHz), E5 (1191.795 MHz

Galileo Navigation Operational Services

The Galileo system will include four primary services:

  • Open service (OS)
  • High precision service (HAS; the result of the reactivation of the former Galileo sales department)
  • regulated public service (PRS; encrypted)
  • Search and Rescue Service (SAR)

Galileo Navigation System Applications and Impact

In July 2006, an international association of universities and research centers launched a study on the possible scientific applications of the Galileo constellation.

This project, called GEO6, is an essential study intended for the general scientific community, to define and implement new Galileo applications.

Among the various GNSS users identified by the Galileo Joint Undertaking, the GEO6 project is aimed at the scientific community of users (UC).

The GEO6 project aims to promote new possible applications within the scientific CPU for GNSS signals, particularly Galileo.

The AGILE project is funded by the European Union, dedicated to the study of technical and commercial aspects of localization services (LBS).


The system includes a technical analysis of the advantages brought by Galileo (and EGNOS) and reviews the hybridization of Galileo with other positioning technologies (online, WLAN, etc.).

In the framework of these projects, specific pilot prototypes have been implemented and demonstrated.

Fadehan Emmanuel
Moore is an Associate—Editor of TheXplorion. Got a NEWS TIP related to this story — or to anything else in the world of big tech? Please e-mail him: mooreplug[at]gmail.com. You can also connect with him via the connections below the box.
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