What is GALILEO?

Galileo is the European satellite navigation system which it will allow to know the exact position in time and space to public authorities, businesses and citizens. Once it will be completed, it will offer 5 services: the open service which is the one used for vehicles and by now it has been translated in 24 languages; public regulated service as support for public authorities in case of humanitarian helps or crisis; commercial service; search and rescue support service and integrity monitoring. Some of these services have already been activated, even if they need to be improved and make available for all kind of users.

The European Commission is very proud of Galileo system, because, thanks to it, new services have been offered, new business opportunities, confirming once again Europe’ strategic autonomy.

Its constellation is composed by 22 satellites, already on orbit. The last four of them have been joined on the 11 of December 2017 and for the 2020, it is expected  to reach the full constellation with 30 satellites.

 Combined with GPS, it will start to offer these following services free of charge:

  • Support to emergency operations: with the SAR ( Search and Rescue service), people can make a distress call from a Galileo radio station and they can be found and rescued as fast as it can be done. For instance, reduction in terms of time necessary to localize a person wherever he/she is from one hour to 10 minutes, then the distress call has been activated; better remote detection of signals in difficult territories and weather conditions; the localization of a distress call has been improved from 10 km to less than 5 km.
  • More accurate navigation for citizens: free mass – market service for navigation and mark locations using Galileo through a chip inserted in your smartphone or in the car navigations system. By 2018, Galileo will be inserted in every new vehicles all over Europe, providing an innovative navigation system and Call emergency response system. For all those living in a city, catch a signal could be difficult, because of the high buildings and with Galileo it has been provided an improved position accuracy.
  • Better time synchronisation for critical infrastructures: Galileo will provide synchronisation for delicate situations as it can be a banking transaction or energy distribution, helping the companies being more efficient;
  • Secure services for public authorities: as it has been said above, Galileo offers services also for public authorities, making available civil protection services, humanitarian aid services, customs officers.

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “Galileo is improving the life of EU citizens by allowing smartphones to navigate more efficiently and accurately, and by helping emergency services reach accident sites much faster than before. With this successful launch, the Galileo constellation is reinforced and on the right track to full operational capability by 2020.”