Galileo navigation satellite system
Galileo is the global navigation satellite system under development by the European Commision and the European Space Agency. It consists of a constellation of 30 satellites –set in a Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), with its corresponding ground infrastructure– and it will be in place by 2008, according to the official timetable.
Galileo, under civilian control, will provide Europeans with satellite navigation independence. It has been designed to be completely compatible with the other two systems that currently use the same technology: the American GPS and the Russian GLONASS.
The primary difference with Galileo is that it will guarantee the integrity of its services; that is, the system will offer guarantees regarding the precision of the signals sent by the satellites. Galileo has an integrity channel that GPS does not have, which was the main achievement reached by EGNOS.
Additionally, Galileo will have a series of paid commercial services available to governments and private enterprises. Likewise, European nations will be able to benefit from the system's countless applications in rescue aid, emergency detection, citizen protection and much more.
When Galileo goes online, the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) will enter its second phase.
For more information, see the official Galileo webpages:
Download Air Navigation charges for 2011.