GMV contributes towards the start of Galileo’s initial services

Europe’s own satellite navigation system, Galileo, has now come into operation and its satellites are up in space delivering positioning, navigation and timing information to users around the globe.

On 15 December the European Commission, owner of the system, formally announced the start of Galileo Initial Services, the first step towards full operational capability, expected by 2020. Until that time further launches will continue to build the satellite constellation, which will gradually improve system performance and availability worldwide. 

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GMV is aware that, although there is still some way to go, this official announcement is a moment of crucial importance for the program as a whole, and it is proud to have contributed towards this watershed event.

As well as supplying several key elements of Galileo’s ground segment, GMV is currently the prime contractor for Galileo’s essential Timing and Geodetic Validation Facility (TGVF) services; it is co-leading development of the European Union’s GNSS Service Centre (GSC) and is leading the development of the Galileo Reference Centre (GSC) as well as Galileo’s commercial service (CS) demonstrator. It is also responsible for design and development of the Return Link Service Provider (RLSP) of the program’s Search and Rescue Service (SAR).

Furthermore, on the strength of its long track record in navigation, GMV has also been busy developing user apps to exploit the priceless infrastructure it is helping to build. Over the years this ongoing effort has borne fruit in the shape of numerous GNSS products, initially developed for the traditional systems (GPS and GLONASS) and then gradually brought into line with the Galileo system.

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The announcement of Galileo’s initial services means that Galileo’s ground infrastructure and satellites are now ready from the operational point of view. These signals will be very accurate but will not be available at all times. In the initial phase, therefore, Galileo’s first signals will be used in combination with other satellite navigation systems such as GPS to help in search and rescue operations, offer more accurate navigation for the public at large, better synchronized timing of critical infrastructure and secure services for public authorities in the areas of civil protection, humanitarian aid and crisis situations.

Galileo infrastructure is bound to make a decisive contribution to the satellite-navigation services and applications market, which the European GNSS Agency (GSA) expects to build up to 135 billion euros by 2025.