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European Satellite Navigation System



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Europe's contribution to GNSS

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A myriad of possibilities
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The science community will be significantly impacted by the use of GALILEO. In the area of environment monitoring, GALILEO could for example be used for oceanographic and cryospheric mapping, including the determination of the extent of polluted areas, studies of tides, currents and sea levels, and tracking of icebergs. It could help in the monitoring of the atmosphere, including analysis of water vapour (for weather forecast and climate studies), or ionospheric measurement (for radio communication, space science, and even earthquake forecasting).

Some examples of practical uses of GALILEO:

Environment monitoring

A great deal of information can be learnt from the signals coming from the Galileo satellites. The navigation signals can be efficiently used for accurately determining atmospheric profiles over wide areas, including density, pressure, moisture content and wind patterns. Continuous measurement of atmospheric parameters will provide valuable data for weather forecasting and – over the longer term - for climate monitoring.

The GALILEO system will also help in studies of the sea and oceans, including surveys with buoys floating on currents and tides.

Other Earth sciences will benefit from GALILEO. It can give information for continuous monitoring of the ice caps and for the movements of icebergs. Experiments have already shown the efficiency of satellite navigation for the tracking of recent glacier meltdown caused by a volcanic eruption beneath the ice sheet, when the data can help to predict the movement of the ice and flood water. It can be used in vulcanology, the study of tectonic movements, and the study and prediction of earthquakes. Galileo could even be used for surveying archaeological sites.

Natural sciences

The use of GALILEO can be extended to biology and animal behaviour, with the great advantage of continuously tracking wild animals. A miniaturised receiver can be attached with a collar to monitored or protected animals, to follow the movement and migration of species that might be in danger. Ethologists and biologists will benefit greatly from this technique. This is important for the study of behaviour and for the monitoring and preservation of habitats.

GALILEO Application Sheet: pdf Environment  (145 Kb)

last update: 10-02-2009