Happy Birthday Galileo Initial Services!

Today, December 15, marks the first anniversary of the declaration of Galileo Initial Services. This is an ideal opportunity to look back at what has proven to be an exciting year full of achievements for Galileo, as well as the European GNSS Agency (GSA).

The most recent milestone, falling almost on the anniversary of the Galileo Initial Services declaration, was the successful launch, on December 12, of four new Galileo satellites from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, bringing the Galileo constellation to a total of 22 satellites and reinforcing the provision of Galileo services. This mission was the first for which the GSA was part of the launch team and responsible for the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP), overseeing Spaceopal in its role as Galileo Service Operator (GSOp) and LEOP Mission Director.

Watch this: Galileo Initial Services – one year on

An eventful year

Responsibility for the LEOP mission came as a result of the July 1 handover to the GSA of oversight of operations and service provision for Galileo. This was a milestone for the programme and the agency, as this responsibility includes overseeing the operation of key Galileo service facilities, ensuring a return on investment in Galileo in the form of across-the-board services and applications, and maximising Galileo adoption across user segments.

Since the declaration of Initial Services, many device and chip manufacturers have taken steps to incorporate Galileo into their products. In September, Apple launched its latest iPhone offering, which included, for the first time, built-in support for Galileo, among other GNSS. This announcement completed the list of major smartphones brands compatible with Galileo.

Also in September, Broadcom Limited, a leading developer of digital and analogue semiconductor connectivity solutions, announced the launch of the world’s first mass-market, dual frequency GNSS receiver device for smartphones, the BCM47755, enabling a new suite of high-precision LBS applications. The expanded availability of L1/E1 and L5/E5 frequencies in satellite constellations, in particular thanks to Galileo, makes it possible to use both frequencies to compute position much more accurately.

And this: Galileo in your pocket

To keep track of the ever-expanding range of Galileo-enabled devices serving a variety of needs as they become available, check out: USE.GALILEO.EU.

Feedback from users

These expanded opportunities for using Galileo fed into the discussions at the 1st Galileo User Assembly, held in Madrid on November 28-29. This event brought together 280 Galileo users to participate in the first EGNSS User Consultation Platform and share their experience, discuss their needs and provide feedback on Galileo performance, one year after the launch of Galileo Initial Services. This feedback and user experience is a valuable tool in fine-tuning and improving the provision of Galileo services – so we invite you to participate in our Galileo user satisfaction survey here.

“Thanks to the hard work and teamwork of the European Commission, the European Space Agency, the GSA, and a network of excellent industrial partners across Europe, Galileo has truly taken positive strides forward since last December’s milestone,” says Carlo des Dorides, GSA Executive Director. “The future is bright for Galileo and satellite navigation users around the globe.”

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