Galileo HAS will be the most significant game-changer for mobile GIS users
Once it is more widely adopted, we anticipate that various industry professionals will discover additional use cases where Galileo HAS can fill a crucial gap left by SBAS and RTK
The new year holds great promise for GIS users who utilize global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) technology. In 2023, many of us followed closely the announcement by the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) about the initiation of the first testing phase for their new Galileo High Accuracy Service (HAS). This development has made worldwide positioning accuracy at the 10-20 centimeter level accessible as a completely free service. Our latest GNSS receiver, the Arrow Gold+™, immediately capitalized on this new corrections source, broadcast directly from the Galileo constellation GNSS satellites. Looking ahead as 2024 is upon us, we predict that Galileo HAS will be the most significant game-changer for mobile GIS users globally. This is based on two factors: Firstly, EUSPA has planned operational improvements and enhancements that will drastically boost the performance of Galileo HAS. Secondly, the increased availability of Galileo HAS will enable various industries to explore even more use cases, surpassing our previous expectations.
Let’s explore the improvements EUSPA plans in the next phase of Galileo HAS. Currently, Galileo HAS is in Phase 1, termed “Initial Service.” With a lot of deployment work happening in 2024 towards Phase 2, we can anticipate a range of performance improvements in preparation for the “Full Service” (date unknown). One of the most exciting enhancements will undoubtedly be the improved convergence time. In the current initial service phase, convergence outside of Europe takes about 30 minutes to achieve approximately 20-centimeter accuracy globally, based on our initial tests. Within the European Union, convergence time is already much shorter than this, down to about 5 minutes. In Phase 2 of Galileo HAS, EUSPA has stated that convergence time will drop to an impressive 5 minutes worldwide, and under 2 minutes within the European Union! This improvement could come relatively soon, and we eagerly await to see if it will happen (or part of it) during 2024. For more details on what to expect in Phase 2, refer to the EUSPA website for Galileo HAS here: https://www.euspa. europa.eu/european-space/galileo/services/ galileo-high-accuracy-service-has.
Another exciting expectation we have for Galileo HAS is the proliferation of its use worldwide. Once it is more widely adopted, we anticipate that various industry professionals will discover additional use cases where Galileo HAS can fill a crucial gap left by SBAS and RTK . For instance, imagine georeferencing drone imagery on a remote island in the Galápagos Archipelago, which lacks an RTK network, internet, and SBAS. Galileo HAS’s decimeter-level accuracy can prove invaluable here — as demonstrated by one of our customers who has already piloted this workflow on Santa Fe Island. Now, envision the need to map a newly installed water distribution system in a remote African village, also without RTK, internet, and SBAS. Once again, Galileo HAS could provide essential GNSS corrections in such an environment. We can imagine infinite use cases where free, decimeterlevel accuracy could prove truly impactful.
Of course, utilizing Galileo HAS will necessitate the use of a compatible GNSS receiver. When Galileo HAS entered its initial service phase, the Arrow Gold+, designed by Eos was the only receiver on the GIS market to support its use. We had designed it with Galileo HAS in mind, way before it entered Phase 1.