Galileo will allow the users to know their exact position in time and space, just like GPS, but with greater precision and reliability.
Galileo is the Programme of the European Commission to develop a global satellite navigation system under European civilian control. It will be compatible and, for some of its services, interoperable with the American GPS and Glonass (Russia), but independent from them.
Galileo makes life easier for citizen and economy
Europe needs Galileo to be independent in a sector that has become critical for its economy and for the well-being of its citizens. The positioning and the timing signals provided by satellite navigation systems are used in many areas of the economy, including power grid synchronization, electronic trading and mobile phone networks, effective road, sea and air traffic management, in-car navigation, search and rescue service. Thus, it is estimated that already 6-7% of Europe's GDP, or €800 billion, relies on satellite navigation applications. These are among the strong benefits of Galileo:
- Higher precision. In a combined GPS-Galileo use, compared to GPS alone, the higher number of satellites available to the user will offer higher precision which will allow positions to be determined up to within a few centimeters.
- The number of satellites in view will grow dramatically and become fully independent in the case of failure to either GPS or Galileo.
- The higher number of satellites will also improve signals in high-rise cities as well as in mountain regions, where buildings/hills can obstruct signals from satellites that are low on the horizon.
- Galileo will also provide a better coverage at high latitudes than GPS, thanks to the location and inclination of the satellites. This will be particularly interesting for northern Europe.
- Signal for European enterprises. By capturing the signals for testing purpose on which to base their innovative applications European industry can use the improved signal for the development of new navigation services (see example below).
- Economic advantages: The global annual market for navigation satellite products and services is currently valued at 124 billion Euros (see next paragraph).
- In moments of crisis a special service will protect the functioning of management of critical transport and emergency services, police work and border control via its highly robust encrypted signals. It will ensure greater protection against spoofing and jamming.
- Galileo will guide aircraft: it can offer a cheaper and more efficient alternative for civil aviation users improving air traffic management, reduction of fuel consumption and safer landings