Reliable and seamless navigation technologies a necessity in future

Matthias Petschke, Director for European Satellite Navigation Programmes, explained the prospects for navigation systems in the Navigation for the Fut

The importance of location data is increasing in a society that is becoming increasingly digitalised. Petschke talked, for example, about the situation in the development of satellite navigation technologies. Research in this field has a central role in enabling the digitalisation of services and activities for instance in the transport sector.

The development of the Galileo system, of which Petschke is the leader, is a joint project of the European Union and the European Space Agency (ESA) to create a European satellite navigation system (GNSS, Global Navigation Satellite System). The Galileo system is aimed at providing the EU countries with navigation services that are independent of other states. It is an open service and can utilise location data with very high precision.

'The service is invaluable for bodies such as public institutions. EU member states can take advantage of the navigation system, for example, in their police work or other rescue activities', Petschke said.

Galileo offers the high reliability service PRS (Public Regulated Service) to the authorities. The system currently works even in the most difficult places, such as at sea and in the mountains. Tracking a location with the Galileo-based satellite navigation system now takes 10 minutes instead of the two hours it used to take. This is one of the most important services offered by the Galileo system.

Hands-on work to develop a navigation system

According to Petschke, a user-oriented use policy as well as a user-oriented approach and cooperation with the other EU member states to develop the system make development possible and enable us to keep up with it. Galileo must be an adaptive GNSS environment.

'In future, it is particularly the competitive international environment in the field of satellite navigation that will be a challenge. Galileo must continue to be a well-functioning, reliable and efficient system in future.'

What kind of services could it offer in future, then? For example, private operators have been interested in the paid precision positioning service it may offer in future.

The Galileo system will comprise a total of 30 satellites in three orbit planes. Galileo satellites will be sending signals on the same frequencies as GPS satellites, but will use different coding techniques. The Galileo system is estimated to be working between 2018 and 2020.


The most recent research data in navigation technology was presented in the Navigation for the Future seminar.

For more information on the programme and the speakers in the event


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