Global Positioning: EGNOS and Galileo

Article excerpt

Europe has followed a two-step approach to develop its own global navigation satellite system. The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS)--the forerunner to Galileo--was developed by ESA in partnership with the EU and EUROCONTROL, the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation.

EGNOS, already available throughout Europe and the Mediterranean, utilizes a network of ground stations and transponders installed in geostationary satellites to improve the accuracy of information derived from U.S. GPS signals. Financed by the EU, EGNOS is the first European-owned and operated satellite navigation infrastructure, and contributes to safer and more efficient air traffic management.

Galileo, the EU's first flagship space program and a state-of-the-art global satellite navigation system, will provide a highly accurate, versatile, and secured global positioning and timing service by 2013. A joint ESA-EU program, it is the first such system entirely under civilian control and is fully compatible with the American GPS and the Russian GLONASS systems. Once its full array of 30 satellites is operational, Galileo will be able to accurately determine positioning to within a meter, even in high-rise cities. …

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