Galileo Update, News Archives

NEWSBRIEFS – Galileo update

May 2006 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – Galileo update

Galileo – the European Programme for Global Navigation Services for civil purposes is an initiative led by European Union. We provide regular updates to our readers on the Galileo programme.
Galileo to be scaled down?

The Financial Times claims the EU may be forced to operate the Galileo constellation with fewer than the currently proposed 30 satellites. The FT quotes Philippe Busquin, a former European research commissioner who now oversees the Galileo project as a member of the European Parliament as saying: ‘It’s not clear that we really need 30 satellites. We could certainly make Galileo a success with 24 or 25.’ Jack Metthey, a director handling research in the European Commission, also describes the Galileo budget situation as ‘very, very tight’, adding: ‘Having less satellites would certainly help address the money issue.’’ However, it is acknowledged that a reduction in the number of satellites could undermine the quality of the system, by reducing coverage and precision, two of Galileo’s trump cards as a 21st- Century constellation.

Galileo ‘on track’

On 19 April, the Financial Times reported that funding constraints could lead to a reduction in the number of satellites in the Galileo constellation. But on 21 April the Austrian Vice Chancellor, Hubert Gorbach, reported during a meeting of EU ministers that ‘This very important satellite programme . . is fully on course’. Austria currently holds presidency of the EU. Two European Commissioners at the Graz meeting also expressed surprise; Commissioners for Science & Research and Enterprise & Industry were reported to be unaware of any such problems. In January 2006, ESA signed a E1 billion contract with Galileo Industries to build 4 satellites and the terrestrial infrastructure for Galileo. The total cost is estimated at E3.4 billion and the system should be operational from 2010.

Galileo Masters – UK Challenge 2006

The Galileo Masters – UK Challenge 2006 is opening up opportunities for small companies, researchers, academics and entrepreneurs across the UK to come forward with location- and positioning-based applications, services and technology which will have an impact on how we live and work today – or in the future. Last year’s Galileo Masters UK Challenge was a resounding success – it saw over 240 innovative ideas put forward for the competition, and the UK contributed to almost 40% of the ideas from across Europe. The 2006 Competition will run from 1 May to 30 June.

Workshop on tools and facilities for Galileo receivers

In late March 2006 a workshop on tools and facilities for Galileo receivers was held at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Noordwijk, The Netherlands. The workshop was organised jointly by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Galileo Joint Undertaking (GJU), with the support of the European Union’s Sixth Framework Programme for Research & Technological Development (FP6). The workshop provided an open forum where those involved in receiver development can share their experience.

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