Industry and Entrepreneurship
A traffic jam in town and an appointment not to be missed. A typical situation in which car satellite navigation systems are most needed, but also a time when the limits of the existing technology can be plainly exposed. Interference and the scarce availability of signals in high-rise cities often prevent the reception of vital information in a timely manner. With Galileo this will be a problem of the past.
Galileo, the European global satellite navigation system, is the largest space infrastructure designed in Europe and a joint effort of all European countries. Currently under construction, the system will be fully functional before 2020. Galileo will offer world-wide navigation services, will be more precise than existing systems, more resistant to interference and reflection, and will better serve the needs of Europe.
This will be possible thanks to both the deployment of a higher number of satellites than those currently available and to the transmission of new generation navigation signals. Galileo will also be compatible with US and Russian satellite navigation systems, thus allowing customers to exploit the advantages of the combined systems.
"Galileo is of strategic importance for the independence of the European Union in satellite navigation and will help European businesses to develop new products and services. It will significantly contribute to Europe’s economic recovery and address major challenges such as sustainable transport, intelligent farming and assistance for the elderly."
Transport is an obvious sector to benefit from increased precision offered by Galileo, but it is not the only one. Civil protection operations in harsh environments will find Galileo a precious asset. The agriculture community will benefit from improved monitoring of the distribution and dilution of chemicals, thanks to customised treatment and more efficient property management.
Energy exploration will be able to rely on more accurate data. Wireless telecommunication networks will function more effectively thanks to Galileo's excellent time synchronisation. Even the financial sector will profit: using Galileo's extremely accurate clock for the authentication and ‘time stamping' of financial transactions.
Galileo's advantages will be felt in the wider economy. It is estimated that it will have an overall economic impact of around €90 billion over the next two decades. The satellite navigation system market alone is estimated to double its size by 2020 to €244 billion.
The value of the applications and services market relying on satellite navigation data is estimated to be around €14 billion over the next 20 years. Spill-over effects are very large and will spread to diverse sectors, including healthcare, transport and computer science, as new technologies developed for space projects are often used in terrestrial applications.
Today, up to 7% of Europe's GDP relies on products and services using satellite navigation signals provided by the USA’s Global Positioning System (GPS). In the future, Galileo will gradually build on GPS services available in the EU, providing an obvious added-value to Europe’s economy, research and security. However, Galileo's services, including security services, will be firmly under EU civilian control.