European Galileo system set to meet 2010 deadline

By Derek Sooman on January 2, 2006, 8:09 PM
The European Galileo system, which is set to supplant GPS when it hopefully gets going properly, is all set to meet its operational deadline of 2010. The first of 30 satellites was put into orbit on Wednesday. An international effort through and through (the European Union will be sharing some of the technological benefits with China), the system will have the potential to be accurate to within one metre. GPS is only accurate to within about 30 metres for civilian applications.

Most of Galileo's potential applications have something to do with navigation. However, the potential for location-based services for mobile phones shouldn't be underestimated. For example, most 3G handsets sold by 3 in the UK now have a built-n A-GPS function.

With Galileo chips inside mobile phones, location services will work even better. Plus, unlike standard GPS, Galileo is deliberately designed to work inside buildings and built-up areas.




User Comments: 16

Got something to say? Post a comment
cyrax said:
Now this is a way to start the new year! I've checked their site and when this service fully operational it will put gps to shame!
Kaleid said:
I might be overly paranoid but all this gives me is a feeling that we're heading closer and closer towards Orwellian big brother society. Sure there are benefits with better GPS technology but they hardly come exclusively:British, U.S. spying draws us closer to Orwell's Big Brother:[url]http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/1350
583.htm[/url]
anas_t said:
I really think that's a very nice news to start 2006 with !
MonkeyMan said:
This is ground breaking technology. I do believe that the Europeans are moving closer to a technological war with the United States. The Europeans are eager to be a dominating force in world conflicts, and this new Galileo system is a step in that direction.
PanicX said:
[b]Originally posted by Kaleid:[/b][quote]I might be overly paranoid but all this gives me is a feeling that we're heading closer and closer towards Orwellian big brother society. Sure there are benefits with better GPS technology but they hardly come exclusively:British, U.S. spying draws us closer to Orwell's Big Brother:[url]http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/1350
583.htm[/url][/quote]Just the opposite. "Big Brother" already has satelite tracking capabilities far more accurate than GPS 30 meters. [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gps]Wikipedia[/url] says that accuracy can be down to about 1cm. Not to mention that these satellites are at IEO (Intermediate Earth Orbit) where the military has satelites at LEO (low earth orbit) which allows for an even greater degree of accuracy. If you read the article, you'll find that the US Military should actually be concerned about this project not enthused.
rahuls said:
This system is offering such a great degree of accuracy.I think that may become a cause of concern to sensitive government organisations
otmakus said:
Galileo is operated by private company, whereas GPS is operated by US military. That fact alone points that Galileo has a more promising future than GPS. However, I heard US has been complaining that Galileo's wave will have some interference with GPS's
Masque said:
[b]Originally posted by otmakus:[/b][quote]Galileo is operated by private company, whereas GPS is operated by US military. That fact alone points that Galileo has a more promising future than GPS. However, I heard US has been complaining that Galileo's wave will have some interference with GPS's[/quote]I'm not surprised that their complaining....they're going to be in the shadow of this system and will be losing face (not to mention revenue) once Galileo is fully functional. The government has a habit of sitting on it's haunches once it's got something running, rather than try to improve it.
mentaljedi said:
Remember when Google Earth came out? Everyone started picking out black hawk helicopters and stuff. It was a nightmare for the military even if it was acouple of months off. However, even if we could see cars in detail, and don't foget its free so imagine a paid service, we didn't feel much like our privacy was in danger even if people can determine where you live. Same goes with this GPS thing. This is for location anyway, not for spying. Military have enough of that.
asphix said:
[b]Originally posted by Masque:[/b]I'm not surprised that their complaining....they're going to be in the shadow of this system and will be losing face (not to mention revenue) once Galileo is fully functional. The government has a habit of sitting on it's haunches once it's got something running, rather than try to improve it.[/quote]Haha, yeah.. the internet comes to mind. Can't really blame them with that since its such a huge undertaking to do a massive upgrade to something like the web.This thing sounds really cool! With things like this there will always be skeptics, and early adopters. But the key to things like this is that the full extent of their use is not always known when they are first introduced.Back to the Internet analogy. It was initially developed to exchange files between learning institutions (correct me if I'm mistaken). Now it has changed all of our lives and effected things such as global economy, communication and education.Be sure a close eye will be kept on this, and hopefully some really cool, original and ultimately beneficial use will come out of it. I just hope the corporations dont try to capitalize too much on us poor consumers ;)
Bartzy said:
[b]Originally posted by Kaleid:[/b][quote]I might be overly paranoid but all this gives me is a feeling that we're heading closer and closer towards Orwellian big brother society. Sure there are benefits with better GPS technology but they hardly come exclusively:British, U.S. spying draws us closer to Orwell's Big Brother:[url]http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/1350
583.htm[/url][/quote]You are so wrong. Military satallites have a low-course orbit. They have much better accuracy than any public or private satallites. 1 Meter accuracy is a joke to those. Talking about 10cm is more appropriate.So, all the great nations already see us with an investigating eye. A public system like the Galileo will only benefit us.Naturally, United States is against this project, because it can expose its secert military facilities. Actually, I don't think you'll see USA's or any other great nation's nuclear reactors in this system, nor with current Google Earth for example.
Nic said:
So many systems use GPS technology these days that we Europeans can't take the chance that the US might switch off the current systems. That's why we need our own. As to the US military, well they've been able to tell what newspaper you're reading, from orbit, for over twenty years now, it's just that we don't get to hear about it. PS: That last comment wasn't about GPS as you probably already noticed. It is an interesting *fact* though. 'Big Brother' is already watching you...[Edited by Nic on 2006-01-03 12:58:54][Edited by Nic on 2006-01-03 13:07:50]
Kaleid said:
We'll see where it will lead. To try to predict the future is nothing more than trying to make hypothetical guesses.
John Smith said:
On first read it seems that Europe and China are seeking more independence from U.S. hegemony - now it seems more like this is just another step towards a police state.
zachig said:
Just a few days ago, I've heard about the Galileo Project. I think this is a really great project. Finally, a great European development, which will probably perform better than the American GPS.
hawkmoon1 said:
A few points..1. Please differentiate between GPS/Galileo navigation satellites and Spy Satellites. They are two very different technical animals. US has many spy satellites... Europe only has a few owned by the French...(Techies don't confuse RAM and Hard Disk ) 2. GPS and Galileo have nothing to do with "Big Brother" unless your government forces you to walk/drive around with a GPS/Galileo reciever AND another transmitter to transmit your location data to them (ie. cellular modem)3. Galileo is not new groundbreaking technology. It is exactly the same as GPS but when it is operational it will be somewhat more accurate than the current GPS II constellation. (actually by the time it's operational you'll have the upgraded GPS III constellation) All applications for Galileo apply equally to GPS. It is a redundant system which provides upgraded functionality.4. Some of Galileo's features such as 'availability in urban canyons' and 'inside' are actually based on the Galileo reciever taking a position from BOTH Galileo AND GPS satellites. Because this DOUBLES it's chance of finding 4 visible satellites. Without its interoperability with GPS these features don't exist.5.The US doesn't stand to lose revenue because of Galileo because GPS is free and doesn't generate revenue to the US government or military.6. The US Military cannot "switch off" GPS. They can 'degrade the signal' in a localized area. Continuity of GPS was made US policy by an Executive Order under Clinton in 2000. Also, 'switching off' GPS would cause catastrophe in the US as well as elsewhere since all Commercial airlines use GPS for navigation. Not to mention maritime vessels worldwide.Galileo will be useful if they can sucessfully get the operational constellation up and running. It's not that easy or the Russian GLONASS system would already be operational in a useful state.Good luck Europe...
Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.