The European Space Agency’s Galileo satellites recently achieved their first successful in-flight tracking of a test machine using aircraft-generated longitude, latitude and altitude. A pair of Galileo test receivers was used aboard the aircraft, the same kind currently employed for Galileo field-testing.
Last year was a challenging time for Galileo, Europe’s fledgling global navigation satellite system (GNSS). It started with the collapse of the private consortium established to build the system and culminated in European Union transport ministers making a “do or die” decision to allow the European Commission (EC) to manage the project in conjunction with the European Space Agency (ESA).
On December 28, the European Space Agency launched the first test satellite of its future Galileo navigation system. Three days earlier, Russia launched three satellites to join the previous 14 in its Glonass navigation network. Meanwhile, U.S. Department of Defense officials expressed concern about whether GPS could remain competitive without major technology upgrades.
Inmarsat announced it has been selected to manage the company that will look after Galileo’s global network operations, including performance monitoring and operations security.