Galileo Update, News Archives


Aug 2007 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS –GALILEO UPDATES


US, EU agree on GPSGalileo compatibility

The United States and the European Union (EU) have announced a formal agreement to make respective global navigation satellite systems (GNSS)-GPS and Galileocompatible with one another. The European Commission (EC) said a joint working group had overcome technical challenges to design interoperable civil signals. Experts have agreed that a multiplexed binary offset carrier (MBOC) waveform will be used on both systems instead of the binary offset carrier, or BOC (1,1) waveform, as stated in a 1984 agreement between the United States and the EU. The MBOC signal was proposed by a technical working group to examine further refi nements to the design.

Galileo challenges sat-nav firms

A competition, which aims to find novel ideas that exploit the pin-point accuracy of Europe’s soon-to-launch Galileo system, is calling for entries. The eventual winner of the UK Satellite Navigation Challenge will then compete in a European tournament for cash and support to kick-start the business. “Everybody has been amazed at what clever entrepreneurs have been able to do [with GPS]; it does far more than what anyone could have dreamed of when they invented the system,” said Richard Peckham of EADS Astrium Navigation, and one of the Judges of the UK competition. “I think the same will be true in the future when you have Galileo plus GPS.” He said the UK competition was primarily looking for something that had business potential. Last year’s competition, for example, was won by Genesys Consultancy, which suggested a product to help predict natural disasters like volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

UK presses private Galileo role

The UK says it still believes the private sector should share the risk and the cost of developing Europe’s satellitenavigation system, Galileo. In May, the European Commission abandoned negotiations with a private consortium to help it build the system. But new UK transport minister Rosie Winterton said the commercial sector should still have a role in developing the new satnav service. “Galileo is considered a key [European] Community project, but we are clear that it cannot be carried out at any price; it has to be affordable, and it has to be value for money,” she told a House of Commons debate on the project.

Germany remains opposed to extra EU budget

German fi nance minister Peer Steinbruck remains opposed to using additional public funds to pay for the Galileo satellite navigation system, saying he does not want any changes to the original fi nancing plan. Germany does not want to siphon off extra cash from the EU budget for Galileo as proposed by the European Commission.

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