Today, geolocation and navigation have become essential tools for a wide variety of industries and applications. From ground transportation to public safety, the accuracy and reliability of these systems have become critical to ensure their proper functioning.
In this regard, the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Galileodeveloped by the European Commission and its space agencies, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Agency for Space Programs (EUSPA), represents a strategic commitment to the European space industry and to the creation of a future in which technology responds to the challenges of the planet and its inhabitants.
What is the Galileo system
Galileo is the only satellite navigation system designed and controlled by Europe. It began operating in 2016 and currently has 26 satellites in orbit covering the entire planet. Its objective is to provide a highly accurate and reliable signal, allowing users to know their position with an accuracy of up to 20 centimeters anywhere in the world.
One of the main advantages of Galileo is its independence from other navigation systems such as the U.S. GPS or the Russian GLONASS, which increases the safety and availability of the service in emergency situations. In addition, Galileo is compatible with other systems and can be used in conjunction with them to improve accuracy and reduce positioning errors.
Galileo technology is particularly relevant for applications requiring high precision, such as air or maritime navigation, vehicle fleet management or critical infrastructure monitoring. It is also useful in the field of precision agriculture, where it is used to improve resource efficiency and maximize production.
Galileo offers various types of geolocation and navigation services, tailored to the needs of different sectors and applications. We can highlight the following:
Open Services (OS)
Galileo’s open services (OS) are freely accessible and available to any user. These services provide low-precision positioning, weather and other navigation-related information.
Commercial Services (CS)
Galileo’s commercial services (CS) provide highly accurate, fast and secure positioning information with quality assurance. These services are fee-based and are aimed at users who require superior accuracy and reliability.
Services associated with the safety of human life (SoL)
Galileo’s Safety of Life (SoL) services are designed to protect people in emergency situations. These services provide highly accurate and reliable real-time positioning information, enabling emergency services to reach people at risk more quickly.
Services associated with search and rescue (SAR)
Galileo’s Search and Rescue (SAR) associated services are designed to assist in search and rescue operations. These services provide highly accurate and reliable positioning information in real time, enabling rescue services to locate people in emergency situations.
Regulated Public Services (PRS)
Galileo’s Public Regulated Services (PRS) are targeted at government and security applications, and offer high-precision positioning and timing information, as well as additional security features. PRS is the equivalent of GPS PPS and is the big reason for Galileo, since the robustness of the signal against potential threats (jamming, spoofing, etc.) is what makes it possible for everything related to critical government operations in applications such as those described below to be guaranteed.
Galileo’s geolocation applications are wide-ranging and cover different sectors. The following are some of the most outstanding applications:
Galileo offers navigation and geolocation solutions for different modes of transport, such as land, maritime and aeronautical. These systems improve travel safety, efficiency and comfort, as well as reduce costs and pollution.
Civil protection services
Galileo offers geolocation and navigation services for emergency situations and civil protection, enabling a faster and more effective response to risk situations. For example, SoL and SAR services can be used to locate people trapped in areas that are difficult to access, such as mountains or rugged coastlines.
Galileo’s PRS services are intended for government and security applications such as fleet management, fisheries monitoring and maritime surveillance. These services offer greater accuracy and security than open and commercial services, allowing for better decision making and greater management efficiency.
Galileo can also be used for environment-related applications such as air quality monitoring, natural resource management and climate change monitoring. These services can help improve people’s quality of life and protect the environment.
Defense and Security
PRS, in particular, has a particularly important role because of the paramount importance for any country to protect its critical facilities, as well as the missions of its security forces and armed forces.
The European bet
Galileo represents a strategic commitment by the European Union and the European Space Agency to technological innovation and independence in the field of satellite navigation. With Galileo, Europe has its own geolocation and navigation system, guaranteeing the autonomy and security of its applications.
The implementation of Galileo has required significant investment by the European Union and its Member States, but is expected to generate significant economic and technological benefits in the long term. According to data from the European Commission, it is estimated that by 2030 Galileo will generate an economic value of at least 90 billion euros per year and create more than 200,000 jobs in the EU.
In addition to Galileo, the EU is developing other projects related to geolocation and navigation. One of them is the EGNOS program, which improves GPS accuracy in Europe for civilian applications such as agriculture, river navigation or emergency management. Work is also being carried out on the Copernicus project, an Earth observation system that provides information on the environment and global security.
Oesía Group and Galileo
As a leader in the technological innovation sector, Grupo Oesía is proud to be a Spanish company that actively contributes to the development of this kind of projects. We are committed to excellence and quality in our products and services, and strongly believe in the importance of collaboration and cooperation to propel European technology and industry into a brighter future.
The European Union’s commitment to geolocation and secure navigation through the Galileo system and other related projects represents a key strategy for technological development, the competitiveness of European industry and the strategic autonomy demanded by our democratic societies. With its high accuracy and reliability, Galileo has become a benchmark in the field of satellite navigation and is expected to continue to generate significant economic and social benefits in the future.
Finally, Tecnobit-Grupo Oesía, has achieved in the last two years to become the main contractor in the security field of Galileo Second Generation (G2G). It is very relevant to be working on what will be the new signal and capabilities of the new generation.
Juan Carlos Castellanos, KAM Space at Tecnobit-Grupo Oesía