The EU Commission isn’t willing to accept further costs increases for the Galileo satellite navigation system, German daily Handelsblatt reported, citing industry commissioner Antonio Tajani. “On the contrary, the estimated additional costs for the time after 2014 must decrease,” Tajani told
Transport minister Theresa Villiers has warned MPs that the UK will insist on keeping within Galileo’s €3.4bn budget. It will achieve this by slashing the number of satellites proposed for the controversial EU global navigation system from 30 to 18. Villiers, addressing a UK parliament committee, added that the Commission must also accept UK demands for the inclusion of security considerations as part of the Public Regulated Service, one of four functions an 18-satellite system could deliver. The others are: an open public service, a commercial service and a search and rescue service. She conceded the reduced satellite constellation would be unlikely to be able to support a proposed safety of life service, whose main function would be to assist aircraft to land at airports lacking instrument landing systems – a function not required in the UK.
She said she had told EU Commission vice-president Antonio Tajani that Britain needed a far clearer explanation as to why the programme was over budget and had demanded assurances that problems besetting it would be remedied and that British demands for enhanced security would be met.
She admitted axing Galileo is not a viable option and claimed it would be possible to expand it later to 30 satellites.
Payloads being delivered by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) for Europe’s future satellite navigation system have passed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR), having proved to a panel including the European Space Agency (ESA) that they demonstrated a sufficient level of design maturity.
SSTL is teamed with OHB System of Bremen, Germany, for the provision of the first 14 satellites in the Full Operational Capability, or FOC, phase of the Galileo system. OHB is the prime contractor and builder of the spacecraft platform and SSTL is responsible for delivering the satellites’ navigation payloads which form the heart of the navigation system.
The 8th European Satellite Navigation Competition event will be held on 11 May and is hosted by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) in London. The event will be opened with a lively ‘elevator pitch’ session. Any innovator can apply to give a 5-minute presentation about their business idea to a jury on the evening of 10 May. The pitches will be followed by a warm-up party at the Inmarsat premises, where guided tours of their Satellite Control Centre (SCC) will also be offered.
The kick-off Conference will be opened by Carlo des Dorides, the new Executive Director of the European GNSS Agency (GSA). Representatives of the competition’s sponsors will introduce this year’s special topic prizes and all the benefits ESNC can offer participants in 2011.
European Space Agency