Satellite navigation in Spanish industry

satellite navigation

Those of us who work in the space industry love programs like Galileo because they are the main vehicle allowing us to develop technology, generate business, wealth and welfare for the public at large. Galileo represents a huge boost to Spain’s space industry and Europe’s industry as a whole.

According to the figures of the Spanish Association of Space, Aeronautics and Defense Technology Companies (Asociación Española de Empresas Tecnológicas de Defensa, Aeronáutica y Espacio: TEDAE) satellite navigation now accounts for 15% of the joint turnover of Spain’s space-infrastructure manufacturing industry. This percentage represents a very healthy growth vector.

From the industrial point of view Galileo has two standout features:

1) The sheer size. Galileo represents a European Union investment of around a billion euros a year, making it Europe’s all-time biggest space program.

2) It is a very long-sighted program. This is EU’s first inhouse infrastructure; as such, its importance is vast. We can safely say that satellite navigation is now just one more household commodity, as necessary as water, electricity, communications, etc., and from here it ripples throughout the whole economy.

These two features, its size and long-term vision, provide us with a scenario of great stability in which we in the industry can address and plan our investments.

As for Galileo’s knock-on effect on the applications market, the economic and industrial potential is enormous. Galileo is without a shadow of a doubt the flagship of Europe’s space program, internationally recognized on the strength of the work carried out by the European Commission. This crucial spadework helps the exporting industry to develop technology and then take our products and services to other continents. Riding this multiplier effect, satellite navigation is now going from strength to strength in Africa, South America, Oceania, etc., spurring us on to turn public investments to the best possible account.

Galileo has many possible applications, making it difficult to highlight which of industry’s products are likely to benefit most from this program.

One clear application of Galileo is the terrestrial development, especially in the railway and automotive sectors. The revolution that we are about to live through in road transport in coming years, with breakthroughs like the connected vehicle and autonomous driving, strikes me personally as a fascinating development. This will be a watershed moment of such magnitude that it’s difficult to imagine it fully beforehand, and it will certainly be upon us before we think. Behind this whole phenomenon lies a wealth of development and technology.

We at GMV are convinced that satellite navigation is going to play a vital role in autonomous driving. And it’s not only us who think this; so do the world’s top carmakers, with whom we are now working on positioning systems that combine high, real-time precision with integrity.

Galileo’s precise timing applications are also bound to be taken up increasingly by sectors like banking, insurance, the stock market, etc. Perhaps less known as a Galileo application is integration with sensors like 5G, etc.

All in all, engineers are going to be very busy developing applications in the coming years.

 Author: Jorge Potti

Las opiniones vertidas por el autor son enteramente suyas y no siempre representan la opinión de GMV
The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of GMV
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