Europe's Galileo system increases its budget by €1.9bn

Since day one it has been a bumpy ride for Galileo, Europe's satellite navigation system. Wikileaks Cables caused Senior managers to be removed, the United States objected owing to fears of troops being attacked and the expanding list of GPS vulnerabilities has continued to grow. However, the project still continues. Although the budget has nearly tripled since its launch in 2003, the most recent price hike is needed to increase the number of spacecraft in orbit to 30.

According to EC Vice-President Antonio Tajani, "We do intend to move ahead because we believe in this project," he told reporters. "It is necessary to reach 30 satellites; I think it would be a mistake not to go ahead and launch the other satellites."

Whilst the initial starting contracts for 18 spacecraft have already been issued, the rest are due to be allotted sometime between 2014 and 2020. This budget increase will not only add additional satellites but also provide its users with greater availability and accuracy to within one metre, compared to the US GPS system which provides a location within several metres. There are also big implications for civilian aviation and for providing redundancy if the US Global Positioning Service or the Russian GLONASS systems are not available.

Although the service should be running by now, the EC's continued support and the future prospect of a hefty return on investments made in a multi-billion dollar industry means Galileo will finally be available to all by 2014.

Image Credit: ESA

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15 Comments

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I guess it's a licit right for EU to try at least to become independent from others satellite navigation systems. Not really at any cost but once here they've to finish

Geocaching will also benefit from this but I wonder for how many since the fun is getting close to the target and search. I bet some will prefer to keep using the old (!) system.

UN1X said,
What ever happened to old fashioned maps?
What ever happened to old fashioned horse and carts? What ever happened to old fashioned abacuses? What ever happened to old fashioned mud huts? I demand answers.

Kirkburn said,
What ever happened to old fashioned horse and carts? What ever happened to old fashioned abacuses? What ever happened to old fashioned mud huts? I demand answers.

There is a big difference: you loose your horse..... you walk; you run out of batteries and you have no idea what a map is........ you are lost.

All the gadgets we, meaning people of my generation in the 40/50 years old, got used to are very convenient but if I loose my internet connection I know how to search my Britannica Encyclopedia; young people? I am not sure they know what it is.......

Fritzly said,

There is a big difference: you loose your horse..... you walk; you run out of batteries and you have no idea what a map is........ you are lost.

All the gadgets we, meaning people of my generation in the 40/50 years old, got used to are very convenient but if I loose my internet connection I know how to search my Britannica Encyclopedia; young people? I am not sure they know what it is.......

+1

The US Government don't want it as they don't have exclusive control over it unlike the current system (selective availability) the other governments do because they don't want a system that's totally reliant on the Americans saying "Yeah you can use it"

Theirs to much at stake for most governments to be dependent on the US system and if Americans suddenly decide to switch off it would have massive implications. The UK for one can't be Dependant on it as they will no doubt within the next decade be forcing in road charging so they dump Fuel Duty and not have to worry about so much backlash from people sourcing out alternative fuels and screwing over the economy.

It will be interesting to see which mobile devices use Galileo first.
1 Metre positioning is very nice, but the commercial option of 1cm accuracy (yes, 1 centimetre!) is insane... I think most of us would find what we need to within 1 metre.

I'd assume the 1cm option would be handy for parking a 747, or dropping a bomb into small chimney pot from a few miles up without laser guidence or a visual sighting of it.

Exosphere said,
or dropping a bomb into small chimney pot from a few miles up without laser guidence or a visual sighting of it.

I LOL'ed!

Exosphere said,
It will be interesting to see which mobile devices use Galileo first.
1 Metre positioning is very nice, but the commercial option of 1cm accuracy (yes, 1 centimetre!) is insane... I think most of us would find what we need to within 1 metre.

I'd assume the 1cm option would be handy for parking a 747, or dropping a bomb into small chimney pot from a few miles up without laser guidence or a visual sighting of it.

the map tiles themselves probably have bigger offsets than 1 metre. that bomb would probably not reach the chimney!

I don't see a problem. I really doubt we'd be attacked because of better GPS. Heck, the war we are in right now, we are pretty much in the middle of nowhere getting shot at by people who disappear into the mountains.

I'd like to see my GPS improved to where I don't get taken on a back road adventure because its quicker. A river happened to block the shortcut.

SpeedyTheSnail said,
I'd like to see my GPS improved to where I don't get taken on a back road adventure because its quicker. A river happened to block the shortcut.
That has nothing to do with GPS, that's a software issue on your device to blame.