Galileo Update, News Archives


Jan 2008 | Comments Off on GALILEO UPDATES


Galileo gets the go-ahead

Galileo finally got the go-ahead at the end of November when European nations involved in the project agreed to build the EUR 3.4 billion satellite navigation system. Thirty satellites will be placed in a mid-earth orbit and supported by ground stations in Italy and Germany. A third ground centre dedicated to civil protection, in particular in the area of maritime, air and rail security, will be based in Spain. This control centre is expected to take on further responsibilities as the Galileo system is developed.

EU lawmakers endorse ‘08 budget including Galileo funds

European Union lawmakers have endorsed the European Union’s 2008 budget worth EUR120.3 billion and including extra funding for the bloc’s Galileo satellite navigation network. Approval comes after European Parliament negotiators and EU member states reached an agreement in November to pump extra public money into the Galileo project, which risked collapse without it. The EU has agreed to inject an extra EUR2.4 billion into the program over the 2007-2013 period, with EUR1.6 billion coming from unused EU agriculture subsidies.

Lawmakers at the European Parliament also approved a sharp rise in spending on the E.U.’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, which will reach EUR285 million in 2008, EUR125 million more than this year.

The E.U.’s joint budget will be 4.15% bigger next year, in terms of payment appropriations, representing 0.96% of gross national income in the area.

Galileo signal reflections used for monitoring waves and weather at sea

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and the University of Surrey have succeeded for the first time in capturing a Galileo signal reflected off the ocean surface in orbit, demonstrating the potential for determining the weather at sea with remote sensing satellites. The pioneering GPS Reflectometry Experiment was launched onboard SSTL’s UK-DMC satellite in 2003 to demonstrate the use of GPS reflections to determine the roughness of the ocean, using a method called ‘bistatic radar’ or ‘forward scatterometry’. This experiment has now successfully detected a Galileo satellite navigation signal reflected by the ocean’s surface. GIOVE-A, the first Galileo demonstration satellite, also built by SSTL, was commissioned by the European Space Agency and has been transmitting prototype Galileo signals since its launch in December 2005.

Dr Martin Unwin, Head of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) / GPS team at SSTL explained: “This is an important achievement in remote sensing and demonstrates the potential offered by Galileo for scientific purposes. A constellation of small satellites could be deployed at low cost to take measurements over the oceans where there are large gaps in forecast knowledge at present. An improved measurement system in space could be used to warn mariners of storms and to provide data for global climate change models – potentially even to detect Tsunamis.”

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