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GALILEO is Europe’s initiative for a state-of-the-art global navigation satellite system (GNSS), providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service. Galileo will be not too different from GPS and GLONASS. An essential difference is that Galileo is under civilian control.
Galileo will provide autonomous navigation and positioning services, but it will be interoperable with the two other global satellite navigation systems. This means that a user will be able to take a position with the same receiver from any of the satellites in any combination.
Galileo will deliver real-time positioning with an accuracy down to the meter range. It will guarantee availability of the service under all, but the most extreme circumstances and will inform users within seconds of a failure of any satellite. This will make it appropriate for applications where safety is vital, such as running trains, guiding cars and landing aircraft. The combined use of Galileo and other GNSS systems can offer much improved performance for all kinds of users worldwide.
Galileo will provide three levels of services:
In addition there is a Safety-of-Life Service
As a further feature, Galileo will provide a global Search and Rescue service
Galileo will be comprised of a constellation of 30 satellites. Galileo was expected to be in operation by the year 2008, but it has been postponed for several times due to financial problems. The first satellite of the Galileo system has already been launched on 27th December 2005.
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