Brussels View

May 27, 2017

Galileo in the Here and Now

No longer consigned to predicting what might one day happen, the folks at the Galileo program can now look at and talk about what is happening right now, starting with initial services. To help us understand what’s going on, we enlisted no less than Matthias Petschke, Galileo Program Director at the European Commission (EC).

Read More >

By Peter Gutierrez
April 1, 2017

Bad clocks, Brexit and what’s happening at the European Space Policy Conference

Speakers at the 9th Annual Conference on European Space Policy wasted no time in addressing the somewhat worrying failure of several Galileo onboard clocks, as revealed by European Space Agency Director General Johan-Dietrich Woerner at a press briefing earlier in January in Paris. He made clear at the time that the clock failures, while indeed troubling, had had no effect on the operational integrity of the Galileo system.

Read More >

By Peter Gutierrez
May 19, 2016

The “Brussels View” from Prague

Carlo des Dorides, GSA Executive Director

Last October, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) Administrative Board reelected Carlo des Dorides as executive director of the GSA, giving him a second — and final — four-year term in charge of this key agency responsible for supporting the effective operation, maintenance, and security of Europe’s satellite navigation systems. We met with him recently at the GSA office in Prague to learn how he plans to see out his mandate.

Read More >

By Peter Gutierrez
January 19, 2016

Galileo Themes, Threads and Visions

Europe’s space community rang in the New Year with two of its brightest annual fixtures: the European Union (EU) Space Policy conference in Brussels and the European Space Agency (ESA) media briefing in Paris.

The events brought out all of the relevant voices and served to illustrate not only the disposition of materiel and troops but also their intent and even the level of morale. 

Read More >

By Peter Gutierrez
July 20, 2015

ESA and EC at Odds (Again) over Space Governance

At the European Economic and Social Committee’s Space & Society Conference, from left, Daniel Calleja Crespo, director general of European Commission’s DG Growth; EESC Space and Society Project Coordinator Edgardo Maria Iozia, and Giulio Bartolani di Montauto, European Space Agency’s Brussels office.

Reporting from Brussels last year, we explained that the then–brand new EU GNSS Regulation had effectively put to bed years of wrangling over who does what in Europe’s GNSS programs. But the issue reared its head again in Brussels recently, in a highly charged discussion hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).

Read More >

By Peter Gutierrez
March 14, 2015

Seriously Seeking a Galileo Service Operator

Carlo des Dorides, El?bieta Bie?kowska

Last January, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) announced a new invitation to tender for the role of Galileo service operator (GSOp). Speaking at the recent EU Space Policy Conference in Brussels, GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides called it the largest contract ever to be awarded under the Galileo program.

“It will shape the future of Galileo,” he said.

Read More >

By Peter Gutierrez
November 17, 2014

EU and Russia: Lost in Space?

Space business as usual — ESA Director-General Jean-Jaques Dordain addressing Munich Satellite Navigation Summit 2014 earlier this year.

Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine crisis has turned much of public opinion in the West against that country, in particular souring the relationship between the European Union (EU) and Russia. And, while the ceasefire signed in September technically is still in force, the EU-Russia rift is far from smoothed over.

Read More >

By Peter Gutierrez
May 6, 2014

It’s Spring, and EGNOS Is in the Air

Europe has been talking up its European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS, for short) — and why shouldn’t it? Talking about Galileo doesn’t get satellites off the ground. EGNOS, on the other hand, is up and running, and has been since 2009. If the object is to build confidence in European savoir faire, why not talk about a real success like EGNOS?

Read More >

By Peter Gutierrez
November 18, 2013

Questions in Wake of New Galileo Delay

Some of the specific technical issues behind the latest delay for Galileo’s first full operational capability (FOC) satellites have already been reported. The story, as it is told, generally starts with a late navigation payload delivery by British firm Surrey Satellite Technology to the German prime contractor, OHB. Next, OHB ran into issues with the payload and the platform, further stretching out the timeline.

Read More >

By Peter Gutierrez
May 23, 2013

Europe Needs Entrepreneurs

Honestly, one gets the feeling that the European navigation community has finally had enough of talking and is ready to take Galileo out of the hands of politicians and put it into the hands of users, including businesses that can translate European GNSS into real products and services to be bought and sold.  

The feeling has certainly been growing within the European navigation community, as evidenced by the conversations at the recent European Navigation Conference (ENC) in Vienna.  

Read More >

By Peter Gutierrez
March 18, 2013

eCall Rising

eCall is the European Union (EU) initiative aimed at reducing road casualties by increasing the speed and efficiency of emergency response. It involves a device installed in cars that will automatically dial the EU’s “112” emergency phone number in the event of a serious road accident.

Key data including time, date, and GNSS coordinates will be sent to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and then relayed to the most appropriate emergency service. The eCall is triggered by airbag deployment and impact sensor information.

Read More >

By Peter Gutierrez