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European Satellite Navigation System



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Europe's contribution to GNSS

GNSS Supervisory Authority

A myriad of possibilities
The programme
Programme phases, Technical features
Different actors in the programme
International co-operation
GALILEO - a global system
Brochures, Official documents, Technical  documents


|European Commission


|GALILEO Joint Undertaking

|Private sector participation



The European Space Agency (ESA) is an inter-governmental agency entrusted with the elaboration and implementation of a long term European space policy (for peaceful purposes). ESA has fifteen Member States of which thirteen are also Member states of the European Union. Greece and Luxembourg are not in ESA whereas Norway and Switzerland are.

ESA has a long-standing experience with the development and implementation of novel and complex space systems such as meteorological or communication satellites. During 1994 the European Commission, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) and ESA engaged already jointly, under the so-called tripartite agreement, into the preparation of the first generation Global Navigation Satellite System, better known as EGNOS. Today EGNOS is being developed by European and Canadian industry under ESA management.

The next step in GALILEO will be the Development and In-Orbit Validation Phase, co-financed by the European Commission and ESA. ESA will have the responsibility for the development and validation of the GALILEO space and related ground segment. In addition other ESA programmes supplement the European navigation application and service developments.

Within the Agency the responsibility for the GALILEO development programme lies with the Director for Applications Programmes. The Navigation Department within this Directorate includes the project divisions for EGNOS in Toulouse, France and for GALILEO in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

last update: 10-02-2009