Galileo system, which has a wideband downlink at 1260-1300 MHz, is to go live on Thursday, December 15, 2016
Europe’s Global satellite navigation system is all set to go live this Thursday. Seventeen years and more than 10 billion euros ($11 billion) later, Europe’s Galileo satnav system promises to outperform US and Russian rivals while boosting regional self-reliance. Initial services will be free to use worldwide on smartphones and navigation boxes fitted with Galileo-compatible microchips. Some devices may only need a software update to start using the new technology, as several smartphone companies were already making chips compatible with it.
At first the signals might be a little weak but will be boosted with help from satellites in the US military-run GPS system, and grow stronger over time as orbiters are added to the now 18-strong Galileo network orbiting 23,222 kilometres (14,430 miles) above Earth.
According to the European Space Agency (ESA), Galileo should be fully operational by 2020, providing time and positioning data of unprecedented accuracy. Once complete, the system will consist of 24 operational satellites and ground infrastructure for the provision of positioning, navigation and timing services.
— Galileo GNSS (@GalileoGNSS) December 9, 2016
According to Jean-Yves Le Gall, president of France’s CNES space agency, one of ESA’s 22 country members – GPS allows a train to know which area it is in – Galileo will allow it to identify the track it is on. Such precision would also be invaluable for safer driverless cars and nuclear power plants, as well as better telecommunications.
The civil-controlled service is also of great strategic importance for Europe, which relies on two military-run services – GPS and Russia’s GLONASS. Both these systems provide no guarantee of uninterrupted service. Galileo will be interoperable with these, but also completely autonomous.
Named after Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, the project was first approved with an initial budget of around three billion euros and plans to be operational by 2008. But it suffered several technical and budgetary setbacks, including the launch of two satellites into the wrong orbit in 2014.
The European Commission expects the project to be an important commercial venture as almost 10 percent of Europe’s gross domestic product is thought to depend on satellite navigation today (Indirectly) – a figure which is projected to grow to about 30 percent by 2030. The European Comission expects the global satnav market be valued at about 244 billion euros by 2020. With Galileo itself being able to add around 90 billion euros to the EU economy in its first 20 years.
The system’s groundbreaking accuracy is the result of some of the most accurate atomic clocks ever to be used for a navigation system. There is one atomic clock in each satellite that is accurate to one second in three million years. A billionth-of-a-second clock error in a navigation system can result in a positioning error of up to 30 centimetres (12 inches)……READ MORE
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