European Union launches navigation satellite to replace GPS

PARIS, 28 Dec. 2005. The European Union launched the first satellite in its Galileo navigation program on Wednesday, which European officials expect one day will end the continent's reliance on the U.S. Global Positioning System.

The Galileo satellite, named "Giove A," took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz rocket. Journalists monitored the liftoff through a linkup at the European Space Agency headquarters in Paris.

After the launch amid clear skies, the satellite was released into orbit and began transmitting signals, scientists said.

The $4 billion Galileo project will eventually use about 30 satellites and is expected to more than double GPS coverage, providing satellite navigation for everyone from motorists to sailors to mapmakers. Because Galileo is under civilian control, the ESA also says it can guarantee operation at almost all times, unlike the American system.

Last year, President Bush ordered plans for temporarily disabling GPS satellites during national crises to prevent terrorists from using the navigational technology.

"Galileo is made in Europe by Europeans," ESA spokesman Franco Bonacina said. "If the Americans want to scramble GPS, they can do it whenever they want."

Galileo will also be more exact than GPS, with precision of about three feet, compared to about 16 feet with GPS technology, ESA spokesman Franco Bonacina said. With Galileo, for example, rescue services will be able to tell ambulance drivers which lane to use on the highway, he said.

The satellite launch was originally scheduled for Monday but was delayed because of a technical problem in the ground station network. While in orbit, Giove A will test atomic clocks and navigation signals, secure Galileo's frequencies in space and allow scientists to monitor how radiation affects the craft.

A second satellite named "Giove B" is scheduled to be placed in orbit this spring. Two more satellites will then be launched in 2008 to complete the testing phase, which requires at least four satellites in orbit to guarantee an exact position and time anywhere on earth.

Consumers are expected to be able to buy Galileo receivers in 2008, and they will be able to switch back and forth between GPS and Galileo, similar to how people can change between cell phone networks now, Bonacina said. The Galileo system should be fully functional by 2010.

Three non-EU nations -- China, Israel and Ukraine -- have also signed on to the program set up by the European Commission and the ESA. Discussions are also under way with India, Morocco, South Korea, Norway and Argentina, the EU says.

The EU is to allocate an initial $1.2 billion from its 2007-2013 budget to fund deployment and commercial operations of the satellite system. The private sector will contribute two-thirds of the funds for the project, which is expected to create more than 150,000 jobs in Europe alone.

EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot praised the program for benefiting both companies and ordinary citizens.

"Radio navigation based on Galileo will be a feature of everyday life, helping to avoid traffic jams and tracking dangerous cargos, for example," he said.

Last year, the EU and United States struck a deal to make Galileo compatible with the U.S. GPS system, ending a trans-Atlantic feud over the issue.

The Pentagon had initially criticized Galileo as unnecessary and a potential security threat during wartime, saying its signals could interfere with the next-generation GPS signals intended for use by the U.S. military.

Source: Associated Press

Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.


Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

VPX3-453 3U VPX Virtex-6/8640D Digital Signal Processor

The Curtiss-Wright VPX3-453 is a high performance 3U VPX DSP and FPGA processor card that combine...

Electronic Warfare VPX Products

The VPX product line includes three products: Modular Quad IF Up and Down Converter, Modular Dire...

Interpoint™ MTR Series™ 50 Volt

The MTR Series™ MTR 50, 28 volt dc-dc converter offers up to 30 watts of output power from single...

Interpoint™ MFP Series™ Down-Leaded Point of Load

The new down-leaded version of its Interpoint™ MFP Series Point of Load (POL) converters are avai...

HS-5104AEH Radiation Hardened, Low Noise Quad Operational Amplifiers

The HS-5104ARH, HS-5104AEH are radiation hardened, monolithic quad operational amplifiers that pr...

XVR16 6U 4th Generation Intel Core i7 Based Rugged VME Single Board Computer

The XVR16 Rugged 6U VME Single Board Computer (SBC) from GE Intelligent Platforms features the hi...

IBX400 6U OpenVPX InfiniBand® Switch Fabric Module

The IBX400 is the world's first, fully rugged, 6U OpenVPX InfiniBand® switch fabric module (SFM) ...

PMC-E2001 Audio/Acoustic Waveform Generating PMC Card

PMC-E2001 Delta-sigma PMC features 16-bit resolution with 8 Analog Outputs and 4 Analog Inputs wi...

CHAMP-FX4 6U OpenVPX Virtex-7 FPGA Processor Card

The CHAMP-FX4 is the flagship 6U product in Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions’ family of ...

SBC326 - 3U OpenVPX 4th Generation Intel Core i7 based Single Board Computer

The SBC326 Rugged Single Board Computer (SBC) from GE Intelligent Platforms features the high per...

Related Companies

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

About Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions (CWCDS) is a long establish...

Crane Aerospace & Electronics

When failure is NOT an option...rely on Crane Aerospace & Electronics. We supply high-density, high-reliability c...

Intersil Corp

Intersil is leveraging a deep portfolio of intellectual property, a history of design and process innovation and a sy...

Symmetricom Inc

A leading source of highly precise timekeeping technologies, instruments and solutions. Provides timekeeping in GPS s...

GE Intelligent Platforms

Provides embedded computing solutions. Products include single-board computers, networking products, avionics interfa...

ASC Signal Corp

Manufactures satellite earth station, air traffic control radar antenna and high frequency antenna products for broad...

Aeroflex Metelics Hi-Rel Components

Manufactures high reliability semiconductors for the military, defense, satellite and aerospace industries as well as...

Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp

Offers antennas, cryogenics, electronic supplies, electro-optic systems and equipment, GPS equipment, laser communica...

bavAIRia eV

The bavAIRia e.V. association is responsible for cluster management of aerospace and satellite navigation.

MOOG

Designs, manufactures and integrates precision motion control products and systems. Moog's high-performance systems c...
Wire News provided by   

social activity

Webcasts

Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Digital signal processing for signals intelligence and electronic warfare

Military & Aerospace Electronics presents an expert Webcast on the design considerations for blending general-purposes processors (GPUs), general-purpose graphics processors (GPGPUs), field-programmable ...
Sponsored by:

Advantages of Intel Architecture Products and Wind River Solutions in Military & Aerospace Applications

This webinar explains the individual advantages of the Intel Architecture hardware, available for long-life supply, and the WRS software portfolio.  There are extraordinary advantages of combining such ...
Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

View the 2014 Buyer's Guide Now!


Mil & Aero Magazine

November 2014
Volume 25, Issue 11
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE