Galileo Service Degraded On All Satellites Until Further Notice

The EU’s Galileo program posted an official notice on 11 July advising users that Galileo service is degraded on all satellites until further notice.

Our source inside the European GNSS Agency (GSA), which is the EU agency responsible for Galileo services, has told us “They are working on it. Teams from industry and the Agencies are working 24/7 to restore the Galileo services as soon as possible to their nominal levels. The current estimation is that the services should be restored within 48 hours. In any case, we expect the service to be again nominal before the end of the weekend [13-14 July 2019],” our source said.

Another source close to the program told us, “As far as I know, it is a problem of the PTF [Precise Timing Facility] in Italy – time has an impact on the whole constellation!”

The Precise Timing Facility is a ground station that generates the Galileo System Time, or GST. The GST is uploaded to the Galileo satellites to make the user localization possible, and it is also disseminated to every user as an accurate time reference. The Precise Timing Facility hosts several Cesium clocks and a Hydrogen Maser clock.

At the time of this writing, Galileo appears to have been down for about 70 hours. 

We’ll let the notice speak for itself – the message below currently appears on the GSA’s European GNSS Service Centre website (our emphasis).

Users will be hoping for the rapidest possible resumption of services along with a detailed explanation of what caused the crash. And it will be in the European Commission’s best interest to provide those answers ASAP. 

NOTICE ADVISORY TO GALILEO USERS (NAGU) 2019025

DATE GENERATED (UTC): 2019-07-11 14:45

NAGU TYPE: GENERAL

NAGU NUMBER: 2019025

NAGU SUBJECT: SERVICE DEGRADATION

NAGU REFERENCED TO: N/A

START DATE EVENT (UTC): 2019-07-11 01:00

END DATE EVENT (UTC): N/A

SATELLITE AFFECTED: ALL

EVENT DESCRIPTION:

UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, USERS MAY EXPERIENCE SERVICE DEGRADATION ON ALL GALILEO SATELLITES. THIS MEANS THAT THE SIGNALS MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE NOR MEET THE MINIMUM PERFORMANCE LEVELS DEFINED IN THE SERVICE DEFINITION DOCUMENTS AND SHOULD BE EMPLOYED AT USERS’ OWN RISK.

THE NOMINAL SERVICE WILL BE RESUMED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.