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European Navigation System Galileo in Crisis

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:07 pm
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Today, the 27 transportation ministers of the European Union signed a contigency plan for the European Navigation System Galileo. This happened because of severe problems and delays with the realization of the system.

The European Council of Ministers ordered the EU Commission to investigate and develop alternatives to the current Galileo consortium until June. Additionally the Council set the involved companies a deadline of May 10 to fulfill their obligations.

Originally Galileo should have been available in 2010 but recent delays pushed that date to 2011 and now even this seems unachievable. Cost overruns are a major problem. The Commission has now two months to find solutions, one idea is to increase public financing of that project.

The civilian Galileo system is Europe’s response to the US built GPS and the Russian Glonass navigation systems. It will consist of 30 satellites and deliver precise navigation data. Currently there is one test satellite, GIOVE-A, in orbit in order to save the necessary frequencies for Galileo.

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