Galileo is Europe's global navigation satellite system. It provides accurate and reliable positioning and timing information, used for example in your mobile phones, your cars (and in the future autonomous and connected cars), railways, aviation and other sectors. Galileo has been operational since December 2016, when it started offering services to public authorities, businesses and citizens.
- Galileo allows users to know their exact position with greater precision than what is offered by other available systems.
- The products that people use every day, from the navigation device in your car to mobile phones, benefit from the increased accuracy that Galileo provides.
- Critical, emergency response-services benefit from Galileo.
- Galileo’s services will make Europe’s roads and railways safer and more efficient.
- Galileo provides Europe and European citizens with independence and sovereignty, an array of environmental benefits and several new services specific to the Galileo programme (Open Service, Commercial Service, Search and Rescue).
Europe launched its first two operational satellites for Galileo on 21 October 2011. In total, the Galileo constellation will consist of 30 satellites, while the ground segment contains control centers located in Europe, and a network of sensor stations and uplink stations installed around the globe.
Galileo services and applications
Galileo is currently offering three Services:
- Open Service: a free mass-market service for positioning, navigation and timing;
- Public Regulated Service: for authorised users of EU Member States, such as defence, civil protection services, customs officers,police, etc. This system is particularly robust and fully encrypted to provide service continuity during emergencies or crisis situations.
- Search and Rescue Service: Europe’s contribution to the international distress beacon locating organisation COSPAS-SARSAT. Galileo's data helps to locate beacons and rescue people in distress in every kind of environment. Galileo/SAR bring a unique and innovative feature, the Return Link, that sends a message back to the transmitting beacon, informing the person in distress that the call has been received and located.
These services are free of charge and are available for citizens, business and authorities.
Galileo Services are managed by the EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), based in Prague, Czech Republic.
For more information about Galileo Services and on the Galileo system status, please visit the European GNSS Service Center
Why the EU needs Galileo
Many sectors of the European economy rely on precise localisation. The market for satellite navigation services has been growing steadily and is expected to be worth €250 billion per year by 2022. Today, around 7% of the EU economy is dependent on the availability of global navigation satellite signals. This includes transport, logistics, telecommunications and energy. This includes direct revenues for the space, receivers, and applications industries, and indirect revenues for society such as more effective transport systems, more effective rescue operations, etc.
Galileo ensures the sovereignty and independence of Europe in the fields of Navigation and timing.
Galileo helps strengthen the competitiveness of our industry. Space is a source of industrial excellence and technological development with several potential spill-over effects into other sectors.
The goals of the EU’s satellite navigation programmes (Galileo and EGNOS) are to:
- achieve technological independence with respect to other global navigation satellite systems
- mobilise the economic and strategic advantages of having European control over the continuous availability of satellite navigation services
- facilitate the development of new products and services based on satellite signals
- generate related technological benefits for research, development, and innovation
What the European Commission does
The European Commission analyses the impact that satellite navigation has on competitiveness in four main segments of the EU economy:
- Upstream – the contribution of the European space industry to the building of global satellite navigation systems
- Service provision – European businesses supplying commercial or public positioning, navigation, or timing services
- Downstream – the European applications industry, which depends on service provision to supply the hardware and software needed to exploit satellite signals
- End users – businesses using services and applications provided by satellite signals.
The Galileo programme is fully funded and owned by the EU.
The European Commission has overall responsibility for the programme, managing and overseeing the implementation of all activities on behalf of the EU.
Galileo's deployment, its design, and the development of the new generation of systems and the technical development of infrastructure is entrusted to the European Space Agency (ESA).
The Commission has delegated the operational management of the programme to EUSPA, which oversees how Galileo infrastructure is used and ensures that Galileo services are delivered as planned and without interruption.
➡️ Find out more about how Galileo impacts our lives at: https://www.gsa.europa.eu/