GALILEO helps people find what they are looking for © Peter Gutierrez
The benefits of satellite navigation are all around us. For example, GNSS improves traffic flow and vehicle efficiency, guides users, and helps track parcels and shipments – and even lost pets - by providing added value logistic solutions. It can facilitate civil protection operations in harsh environments, speed up rescue operations and provide critical tools to coastguard and border control authorities. GNSS is also a formidable instrument for time-stamping financial transactions, for conducting scientific research in meteorology and geodesy, and for conducting scientific research in meteorology, troposphere and geodesy.
Europe’s own GNSS programme
Galileo is Europe’s GNSS. Until now, GNSS users have had to depend on American Global Positioning System (GPS) or the Russian GLONASS signals. With Galileo, users now have a new, reliable alternative that, unlike these other programmes, remains under civil control.
This is important as satellite positioning has become an essential service that we often take for granted. Just think what would happen if GNSS signals were suddenly switched off. Truck and taxi drivers, ship and aircraft crews and millions of people around the world would suddenly be lost. Furthermore, financial and communication activities, public utilities, security and humanitarian operations and emergency services would all come to a standstill. With the addition of Galileo, we can minimise these risks.
Galileo provides improved positioning and timing information with positive implications for many European services, businesses and users. For example:
- Thanks to the multi-constellation of receivers that Galileo adds to, users can now know their exact position with greater precision.
- The products that people use every day, from the GPS in your car to a mobile phone, benefit from the increased accuracy that Galileo provides.
- Critical, emergency response-services benefit from Galileo.
- Galileo helps make Europe’s roads and railways safer and more efficient.
- It boosts European innovation, contributing to the creation of many new products and services, creating jobs and allowing Europe to own a greater share of the EUR 175 billion global GNSS market (Source: GSA GNSS Market Report Issue 4).
While European independence is a principle objective of the programme, Galileo also allows Europe to seat at the rapidly expanding GNSS global table. The programme is designed to be compatible with all existing and planned GNSS and interoperable with GPS and GLONASS. In this sense, Galileo is positioned to enhance the coverage currently available – providing a more seamless and accurate experience for multi-constellation users around the world.