|Galileo Update|| |
The eighth European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) is now open for innovative ideas in the field of satellite navigation. Deadline for companies, entrepreneurs, research institutes, universities and individuals from all over the world, to submit their ideas is June 30, 2011. One can submit entries online at http://www.galileo-masters.eu.
Britain was a “minority of one” in opposing a £1.7 billion increase to the EU’s troubled Galileo satellite navigation system, the Transport Secretary has admitted. Philip Hammond failed to persuade other European governments to scale back a 30-satellite EU space project which one day aims to rival America’s GPS system.
“We will continue to object to any increase in the budget,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “We will certainly block any further increased spending in the next two years.” Earlier this year, the European Commission warned national capitals that a lack of enthusiasm among private investors meant that the cost of Galileo was likely to rise to £4.7 billion. The extra cost to the British taxpayer will be more than £231 million at a time of austerity cutbacks to many national state investment projects. Despite British opposition, a meeting of European transport decided “unequivocally that the programmes should continue to be financed from the EU budget”.
Acting on behalf of the European Commission (EC), European Space Agency (ESA) signed a framework contract with Thales Alenia Space, an aerospace company, on the evolution of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System (EGNOS). Using geostationary satellites and a network of ground stations, EGNOS sharpens the accuracy and guarantees the reliability of GPS signals across Europe. As the EGNOS satellite navigation system begins to be used for its primary purpose of guiding European aircraft, this new agreement will ensure the service remains available for a long time to come. The signing came in response to needs expressed by the EC – the formal owner and programme manager of the system – as well as the consortium charged with overseeing EGNOS service provision, the European Satellite Service Provider (ESSP).
The EGNOS Open Service for non-safety critical applications became operational in October 2009, and the EGNOS Safety-of-Life Service was declared available on March 2, 2011, for the safety-critical task of providing vertical guidance to aircraft on landing approach.
The European (EU) published its proposal pertaining to a new space policy. It is a first step of an integrated Space Policy 2011, to be developed with a new legal basis provided by the Lisbon Treaty.
According to the EU’s view, priorities for the future EU space policy include:
– Pursue the achievement of the European navigation satellite programmes Galileo and EGNOS. For example, a service that was recently introduced under EGNOS enables precision approaches and renders air navigation safer.
– Implement with Member States the European Earth Monitoring Programme (GMES) which is designed for land, ocean, atmosphere, air quality and climate change monitoring, as well as emergency response and security, with the objective to become fully operational from 2014.
– Protect space infrastructures against space debris, solar radiation and asteroids by setting-up a European Space Situation Awareness (SSA) system.
– Identify and support actions at EU level in the field of Space exploration. The could notably explore options to work with the ISS ensuring that all Member States participate in it.
– Pursue a Space Industrial policy developed in close collaboration with the European Space Agency and Member States.
– Support research and development to increase European technological non dependence and ensure that innovation in this field will be of benefit to non-space sectors and citizens. Communication satellites play a key role in this context.
– Strengthen the partnerships with EU Member States and the European Space Agency (ESA) and implement improved management schemes.