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GALILEO UPDATE

Jun 2007 | Comments Off on GALILEO UPDATE
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European Union to sole-fund Galileo

Financing for Europe’s GNSS, Galileo, will come solely from the public sector, the European Commission declared, May 16, in Brussels. The public-private partnership (PPP) that had crippled the ambitious project was abandoned. EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot said that the 27-nations bloc’s biggest-ever joint technological project could only reach orbit altitude if the public sector took full financial responsibility. He made the announcement as he presented three options for the bogged-down Galileo project: a complete EU takeover, partial public financing, or total elimination.

Barrot prefers to take over the project now, at an estimated public cost of about E2.4 billion in addition to the E1.5 billion already allocated in the 2007-2013 budget, and to issue a new tender to operate the system once it is built and in space by the end of 2012, according to recent forecasts. The European Space Agency would oversee construction and deployment of the satellites, though European aerospace companies would still supply technology, without assuming financial risk. EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen ruled out cancelling Galileo. “Galileo is from the European Commission standpoint an absolutely essential project,” he stated. “We don’t have an option of giving up on Galileo.” http://sidt.gpsworld.com

NovAtel licensed to sell Galileo receivers

NovAtel Inc has received a license valid for 10 years from the European Space Agency (ESA), which allows NovAtel to sell receivers that track Galileo signals. Its EuroPak-15a production standard receiver allows customers to not only receive GPS L1/L5 signals, but to also add the additional capability for Galileo L1/E5a tracking. It received this license based on its participation in the Galileo Receiver Chain (GRC) program. www.novatel.com

Galileo clocks keeping good time

Signals from GIOVE-A, together with those from GPS satellites, are combined with ground-based laser ranging of GIOVE-A to determine the accuracy of the clocks allowing for delays introduced by the Earth’s atmosphere and the receiving equipment. According to ESA officials, “The precision of the calculations is so great that even the tiny orbit disturbances caused by the pressure of sunlight shining on the satellites is taken into account.” www.itwire.com.au

Galileo begins navigation transmissions

GIOVE-A, the first satellite of Galileo, has begun transmitting information about its position in space. While this is only a demonstration – information from a single satellite does not allow a receiver to fix its position – it is an important step along the path to a fully working system. www.itwire.com.au

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