Galileo is the European Union’s Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS). Like the other global systems, Galileo provides radio signals for position, navigation and timing purposes. When completed, Galileo will offer the following services: Open Service, Public Regulated Service, Search and Rescue Service, High Accuracy Service, and Commercial Authentication Service. Click here for more information.
What is Galileo?
What does Galileo consist of?
The Galileo system is composed of three segments:
Space segment: The Galileo Space Segment consists of a constellation of satellites transmitting navigation signals providing user access to the Galileo services. The baseline constellation configuration is defined as 24/3/1 Walker constellation. 24 nominal Medium Earth Orbit satellites are arranged in 3 orbital planes.
Ground segment: The Galileo Ground Segment includes both the Ground Control Segment (GCS) and the Ground Mission Segment (GMS) and it encompasses the following infrastructures:
• Two Galileo Control Centres (GCC)
• A worldwide network of Galileo Sensor Stations (GSS).
• A worldwide network of Galileo Uplink Stations (ULS).
• A worldwide network of Telemetry, Tracking & Control stations (TTC stations).
User segment: Different GNSS receivers and devices, which receive the Galileo Signal In Space (SiS).
What is the added value of Galileo with respect to other GNSS?
Europe is the only region worldwide developing a global civil-based GNSS initiative. Galileo programme stands alone as the world’s unique option for GNSS under civilian control. This is an important differentiator with regard to other GNSS systems, especially relevant when considering that the world’s dependence on GNSS is continuously increasing.
With Galileo constellation available, there are more GNSS satellites usable, meaning more accurate and reliable positioning and timing synchronization that can be globally achieved by the end users. This is especially relevant in higher latitudes where Galileo offers better coverage than other GNSS systems.
In addition, Galileo offers other added value services devoted to improving the performances at user level. To be remarked, Galileo allows:
• Positioning accuracy down to decimetre level.
• Robust positioning through the authentication of the navigation data.
• Resistance to interference (jamming and spoofing) and high resilience.
• Introduction of a return link for Search and Rescue operations.
Galileo Search and Rescue (SAR)
What is multi-constellation capacity?
Galileo is interoperable with other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) such as GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and China’s BeiDou. Receivers with multi-constellation capacity are able to combine signals from different constellations to provide greater positioning accuracy.
To further increase the level of Galileo integration, the GSA works directly with chipset and receiver manufacturers through technology workshops, sharing Galileo updates, co-marketing efforts, and dedicated funding for receiver development projects and studies.
To learn more about multi-constellation, watch this video:
To find out if your receiver is Galileo-enabled, click here
Where can I find official Galileo programme documentation?
All the official programme documentation related to Galileo is published in the Programme reference documentation section on the GSC website. All the documents published in this section should be used as the reference arranged/listed by service (i.e Open Service, High Accuracy Service…)
Is Galileo compatible with the American GPS? and with other GNSS?
Galileo is fully interoperable with GPS, and their combined use will bring many benefits to the end user. Galileo satellites will offer more usable satellites, meaning more accurate and reliable positioning and timing synchronization for end users. Navigation in cities or in complex environments, where satellite signals can often be blocked by buildings, tunnels or cut-offs, will be particularly benefitted from the higher number of satellites in view.
Galileo’s accurate timing capability will also contribute to enabling more robust, reliable, efficient and resilient synchronisation for critical user’s domains as banking and financial transactions, telecommunication and energy distribution networks.
Galileo is designed to be fully interoperable with the rest of the GNSS constellations.
Is Galileo the same as GPS?
Who can I contact for more information about Galileo and its services?
The European GNSS Service Centre (GSC) is available to help all Galileo users. The GSC Helpdesk can be reached at http://www.gsc-europa.eu.
What is the Galileo Open Service?
The Galileo Open Service is a free mass market service for positioning, navigation and timing that can be used by Galileo enabled chipsets in smartphones or car navigation systems, for example.
What is the Galileo Public Regulated Service?
The Public Regulated Service is for government authorised users, such as civil protection, fire brigades, customs officers and the police. It is particularly robust and fully encrypted to provide service continuity in national emergencies or crisis situations, such as terrorist attacks. Click here for more information
What is the Galileo Search and Rescue service?
The Galileo Search and Rescue (SAR) service is Europe’s contribution to an international emergency beacon locating system called “Cospas-Sarsat”. Galileo is the first satellite constellation to offer global SAR capability and significantly reduces the time needed to accurately locate a distress beacon. Galileo SAR also contains a unique return link that lets users know that their distress signal has been received and that help is on the way. Click here for more information.
Galileo Search and Rescue (SAR)
What is the Galileo High Accuracy Service?
Galileo’s High Accuracy Service (HAS) will complement the Open Service by providing an additional encrypted navigation signal in a different frequency band. The HAS will allow users to obtain a positioning error below two decimetres. It will be based on the free transmission of Precise Point Positioning (PPP) corrections through the Galileo E6 signal.
What is the European GNSS Service Centre (GSC)?
The European GNSS Service Centre (GSC) is set to be an integral part of the European GNSS infrastructure and provides the single interface between the Galileo system and the users of the Galileo Open Service (OS), High Accuracy Service (HAS) and Commercial Authentication Service (GSC).
The GSC is conceived as a centre of expertise, knowledge sharing, custom performance assessment, information dissemination and support to the provision of value-added services enabled by Galileo.
Which kind of services can I obtain from GSC?
The functionality and services currently offered by GSC are:
* Helpdesk support for general queries and incident notifications from users on Galileo.
* Information about the system status and notifications on important events affecting the system. In addition, registered users can subscribe to be informed in real time about events affecting Galileo services. One example is the publication of Notice Advisory to Galileo Users (NAGUs), which inform regularly about the system status.
* Electronic Library, including Programme Reference documentation and general information.
* Support to GNSS developers, including the GNSS Simulation and Testing Infrastructure (GSTI).
* Provision of Galileo system data.
* Promotion of GNSS and Galileo in particular.
* Interface with other GNSS Service Providers.
* Monitoring of the service and measuring the level of satisfaction of Galileo and the GSC in order to propose improvements and evolve the service accordingly.
What is a NAGU?
The Notice Advisory to Galileo Users (NAGU) aims to inform the user community about the status of the Galileo constellation and, in particular, the occurrence and recovery of Signal in Space (SiS) outages. The SiS alert and warning indications received in real time by the user receivers always take precedence over the NAGU information received offline by an end user. NAGUs are 0published on the GSC web portal and automatic notifications to GSC registered users are sent once a new NAGU has been released. NAGUs are issued both for Planned and Unplanned events, and for General Notices regarding Galileo System as well as, for example, to notify users about the launch of new satellites. For more information about NAGUs, its format and templates, please, visit GSC site section NAGU information.
How can I test if my smartphone is receiving Galileo signals?
To check if a smartphone receives any Galileo satellite signals, there are several apps available in your app store such as GPSTest app (only available for Android). The application takes some time to locate the satellites. To make sure that the device tracks Galileo satellites, it is needed to be in an open space and without wifi or data connection enabled, to avoid getting almanacs from the internet. To have an idea of what can be seen on your phone, you can watch the following video. Additionally, some useful help information to test the device can be found in the following document.
How do I know if my equipment is Galileo enabled?
In www.usegalileo.eu website it is possible to consult a complete list of different Galileo enabled receivers, chipsets or modules that can be found on the market classified by sector and type of device.
Are there multi-constellation receivers capable of using GPS, Galileo, Glonass and others?
According to a recent GSA-supported study, chipset and receiver manufacturers are already equipping their devices with multi-constellation capabilities, including Galileo, and taking advantage of available services. In fact, the vast majority of current receivers are multi-constellation, and the most popular way to provide multi-constellation support is to cover all constellations, which represents over 30% of receivers.
To further increase the level of Galileo integration, the GSA continues to work directly with chipset and receiver manufacturers. Through user consultations, technology workshops, sharing Galileo updates, co-marketing efforts, and dedicated funding for receiver development projects and studies, the GSA is working with manufacturers to build an even better navigation experience.
The GSA also launched its Fundamental Elements programme, a new research and development (R&D) funding mechanism supporting the development of chipsets and receivers. The programme will run through 2020 and has a projected budget of over EUR 100 million. The main objective of the initiative is to facilitate the development of applications across different sectors of the economy and promote the development of such fundamental elements as Galileo-enabled chipsets and receivers.
Can I use Galileo on my mobile phone?
There are already over 700 million Galileo-enabled smartphones on the market and this number is increasingly rapidly.
Click here to find out if your phone is Galileo-enabled.
Can I use Galileo in my car?
Galileo- enabled navigation devices for your car are already available on the market. What’s more, since April 2018, all new type approved vehicles sold in Europe are Galileo capable as part of a requirement to comply with the EU’s eCall emergency response system regulation.
Click here to find out if your navigation device is Galileo-enabled.
Where can companies get information to help them develop products and services to take advantage of Galileo signals?
The European GNSS Service Centre (GSC) is the place to go for all things related to developing Galileo-capable products and services.
Can I use Galileo enabled devices in other regions of the world?
Yes, Galileo offers its services worldwide with no restrictions in the use of its signal in any place of the planet, unless local governments do not allow access to any of the specific services.
GSA works with other countries and GNSS systems to enable and harmonise the Galileo services provision. For instance, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted the access to specific signals transmitted by Galileo in all the devices in the United States of America.