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Satellite navigation

Galileo/EGNOS: range of potential applications

EGNOS is already operational. A clear timeline has been set for the implementation of Galileo. Opportunities for the development of applications based on Europe's very own global navigation satellite systems are many – especially given the systems' capabilities in terms of positioning, navigation and timing.

Market opportunities exist in a wide range of domains (in all modes of transport, precision agriculture and personal mobility) in a global market for GNSS products and services of more than 100 billion Euros per year, to double by 2030.

To foster development, the European Commission issued, on 14 June 2010, an Action Plan on GNSS applications encompassing 24 measures focusing on the 2010-2013 period. This plan aims at increasing the EU share of the satellite navigation (GNSS) global market (currently 20%, but with the objective to reach 33%, like in other high-tech sectors) and at improving the EU's independency in this field (currently 6-7% of EU GDP relies on the American GPS).

Today EGNOS provides the user with improved accuracy thanks to the corrections it brings to the GPS signal. Moreover, in urban areas where acquiring the signal from the satellites becomes difficult and entails a loss of accuracy, EGNOS can still provide its corrections through the EGNOS Data Access Server (EDAS) provided over the Internet.

As far as Galileo is concerned, the improved characteristics of its signals in terms of power, band used make it more efficient in challenging environments than a traditional GPS receiver. But combined with GPS, associated benefits are brought in terms of both accuracy and availability.

Domains of application

The European Commission is committed to 6 priority domains identified in the impact assessment accompanying its Action Plan on GNSS Applications:

The Public Regulated Services is a specific domain restricted to authorized users by governments.

Fostering GNSS pervasiveness

As well as the above-mentioned application domains on which the European Commission acts to develop related EGNOS and Galileo-based applications, cross-cutting measures are being implemented to foster GNSS pervasiveness in general and to enhance innovation.

For instance, the European Commission funds R&D activities through the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013), in particular related to the reduction of EGNOS/Galileo receiver costs and supports the establishment of an international prize to promote innovative EGNOS/Galileo-enabled applications.

GNSS awareness raising will be promoted through an international Galileo Application forum, the establishment of a virtual information centre and with a dedicated action towards SME through instruments of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP).

Synergies will also be sought with other programmes such as those run by the European Investment Bank or the Technology Transfer Programme from ESA, or with other initiatives such as GMES, GEOSS and telecommunication programmes to enhance combined services.

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