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European Satellite Navigation System



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Europe's contribution to GNSS

GNSS Supervisory Authority

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The programme
Programme phases, Technical features
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GALILEO - a global system
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The programme

|User needs and service definition

|GALILEO services

|System architecture

|Programme phases

Programme phases

The GALILEO programme comprises the following phases.

Definition of the system

During the definition phase, the Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA) have mobilised a very large part of the European space industry as well as a large number of potential service providers with a view to defining the basic elements of this project.

A number of projects and comprehensive studies have contributed to this phase:

  •  GALA for the overall architecture definition

  •  GEMINUS to support the GALILEO service definition

  •  INTEG for EGNOS (European Geostationary Overlay Service) integration into Galileo

  •  SAGA to support the GALILEO Standardisation process

  •  GalileoSat for the space segment architecture definition

  •  GUST related to GALILEO receivers pre-specification and certification

  •  SARGAL related to potential SAR (Search and Rescue) applications of Galileo.

Based on the outcome of the definition Phase, the GALILEO Mission High Level Definition document (HLD) has been produced and consolidated through a consultation process, involving Members States, users and potential private investors. It presents a picture of the main characteristics and performance of the GALILEO Mission. It will be used as framework for the GALILEO programme and forms the basis for the Mission Requirements Document and the System Requirements Document.

Two major activities have consolidated the definition of the GALILEO system:

  • Phase B2 of the GalileoSat study led by ESA focussed on the consolidation of mission and system requirements, system architecture and finalisation of phase B activities leading to the Preliminary System Design Review (PSDR).

  • The Community-funded GALILEI project defined the overall service and user approach for GALILEO, complementing the studies performed by ESA in the frame of the GALILEO definition phase, in particular on the following topics:

    • architecture of GALILEO Local Components and customisation for some key applications,

    • interoperability between GALILEO and other systems (GNSS, GSM/UMTS, etc.),

    • co-ordination and protection of frequencies used by GALILEO,

    • standardisation and certification aspects,

    • market observatory of applications using GALILEO,

    • definition of the legal, regulatory and institutional framework of GALILEO.

    GALILEO Project Sheet: pdf Galilei (62 Kb)
    Brochure: pdf The Galilei project (1466 Kb)

Development of the system

The development and validation phase (2002 – 2005) covers the detailed definition and subsequent manufacture of the various system components: satellites, ground components, user receivers.

This validation will require the putting into orbit of prototype satellites from 2005 and the creation of a minimal terrestrial infrastructure. It will allow the necessary adjustments to be made to the ground sector with a view to its global deployment and the launching, if necessary, of operational prototypes manufactured in parallel. During this phase it will also be possible to develop the receivers and local elements and to verify the frequency allocation conditions imposed by the International Telecommunication Union.

Deployment and commercial operation

The constellation deployment phase will consist in gradually putting all the operational satellites into orbit and in ensuring the full deployment of the ground infrastructure so as to be able to offer an operational service.


last update: 10-02-2009