Europe’s link between space technology and user needs
By telling us exactly where we are and what time it is, Galileo and EGNOS –
Europe’s independent satellite navigation programmes – are revolutionising transport, farming, logistics and our daily lives.
Driving this revolution is the European GNSS Agency (GSA), the only European Union agency working in space. Our unique mission is to serve as the essential link between space technology and user needs, translating Galileo and EGNOS signals into valuable, reliable services for European citizens.
To accomplish this mission, the GSA is responsible for the operations and service provision for both programmes. This is no simple task, and one that requires us to wear multiple hats. For example, following the launch of a new Galileo satellite, the GSA manages the Early Orbit Phase (EOP), one of the most important phases of a space mission.
Our responsibilities also include overseeing the operation of such key service facilities as the Galileo Security Monitoring Centre (GSMC) in France and the UK, the European GNSS Service Centre (GSC) in Spain, the Galileo Reference Centre (GRC) in the Netherlands, the Galileo Control Centres (GCC) in Fucino and Oberpfaffenhofen and the Galileo Integrated Logistic Support Centre (GILSC) in Belgium. Collectively, these facilities ensure Galileo’s security and performance so that people can trust and rely on it in their daily lives and when they need it most.
Watch This: Linking space to user needs
Furthermore, the GSA is charged with maximising adoption of European GNSS across user market segments. By constantly working closely with a broad range of stakeholders, Galileo can now be found in applications and devices ranging from smartphones to wearables and from aircraft to personal vehicles. In fact, preliminary figures show that some 75 million Galileo-enabled smartphones were sold in 2017, and 95% of the chipsets on the market are Galileo-enabled. As of April 2018, all new models of cars sold in the EU must be equipped with Galileo as required by the eCall regulation. Galileo is also being increasingly used in drones to ensure smooth navigation and in Search and Rescue operations to save lives.
As a result of this impressive market uptake, today Galileo is providing millions of users with global positioning, navigation and timing information. You can get an up-to-date listing of all available Galileo compatible products at www.useGalileo.eu.
Since taking over the EGNOS service provision, the GSA has supported its expansion to benefit a wide range of users. For example, today hundreds of airports have EGNOS-based approaches, the vast majority of European farmers rely on EGNOS to enhance precision farming, and EGNOS has become the standard for mapping and surveying in Europe.
Clearly, the European Union has invested heavily in the development of Galileo and EGNOS. With EGNOS growing and Galileo quickly moving towards full operational capability, now is the time to solidify the vital link between space technology and the end user – the European citizen.