Commission Communication to the European Parliament and the Council "Progress report on the GALILEO research programme as at the beginning of 2004" (link)

February 20, 2004

Brussels, 19 Feb 2004

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1.2.3. Work and research relating to satellite radionavigation applications

Following the research carried out under the Fifth Framework Programme for research and development on satellite radionavigation applications, including those of the technological programme of the Information Society, the Joint Undertaking has signed contracts resulting from the first call for proposals on the use of the funds provided under the Sixth Framework Programme for research and development. Five research areas were defined in conjunction with the European Space Agency's ARTES8 programme: development of receivers, experiments involving the local components of the infrastructure, promotion of future services generated by the GALILEO system thanks to the use of EGNOS, development of the satellite radionavigation market and definition of the tasks assigned to the system in the various sectors of activity.

Furthermore, numerous players involved with satellite radionavigation have been consulted over the last few months, such as motor vehicle manufacturers, mobile telephone companies, digital cartography producers, persons with reduced mobility, manufacturers of work-site machines, stakeholders in intelligent transport, agricultural and fishing interests, insurers and banking institutions, authorities responsible for civil protection and the railway community.

Owing to its unique characteristics, the future European system of satellite radionavigation offers new monitoring, control and management possibilities in a wide variety of sectors, thereby authorising new services and new rules. Thus, the proposal for a Directive on electronic road toll systems makes wide use of the technical capabilities associated with satellite navigation. A detailed examination of the Community rules likely to benefit from the services generated by the GALILEO system is currently under way.

1.2.4. EGNOS will soon be operational

The development and finalisation of the EGNOS system went ahead satisfactorily during 2003. The first experimental signal was transmitted on 6 June 2003 and, since that date, the setting-up of the entire system has been gradually completed.As at November 2003, the following were in place:two of the four main monitoring centres envisaged, viz. Langen in Germany and Torrejon in Spain; three of the six NLES9 transmitting stations envisaged, viz. Goonhilly, Scanzano and Torrejon; and more than 16 of the 34 RIMS10 signal receiving stations envisaged.

A number of tests demonstrating the possibilities offered by EGNOS were completed successively during 2003 in several European countries, notably in France and Switzerland, as well as in Africa and Latin America. Other experiments are in progress or in preparation, e.g. in China, South Africa and in the Mediterranean countries. Following the Operational Readiness Review due in April 2004, the services offered by EGNOS will become permanent. It will then be possible to embark on the system validation and certification procedures in certain very exacting sectors with regard to security and reliability, such as civil aviation and maritime transport.

As regards the institutional and financial aspects, the Council, in its conclusions adopted on 5 June 2003, asked to place the EGNOS programme under the control of the Joint Undertaking, in order to guarantee the integration of EGNOS in GALILEO. In the same conclusions, the Council also asked for EGNOS to benefit from public funding from various sources between 2004 and 2008 and that the European Community would continue to participate in the funding of EGNOS. The European Space Agency and the Joint Undertaking are currently preparing the financing in collaboration with Eurocontrol and the national civil aviation authorities operating within the EOIG.11

Lastly, it should be pointed out that, for air traffic control purposes, the Eleventh ICAO Air Navigation Conference held in Montreal at the end of September 2003 came out largely in favour of the use of procedures based on the "augmentation" systems, the European component of which is none other than EGNOS. Moreover, the ICAO has confirmed that, ultimately, satellite radionavigation should become the single tool for use in air traffic management.

1.2.5. The European Radionavigation Plan

Radionavigation systems are a crucial safety element in numerous sectors. Consequently, it would appear necessary, as a result of the elaboration of a European Radionavigation Plan, to harmonise the information available on existing radionavigation systems, their period of validity and the technical transitions envisaged, as well as their characteristics and their redundancy capacity vis-à-vis other systems. It should be noted that the two countries that have a satellite radionavigation system, i.e. Russia and the United States, already possess such a radionavigation plan.

The Commission has launched a study which should provide exhaustive information that is essential for drawing up a European Plan. This study will contribute to the integration of the system issued from the GALILEO programme in existing navigation systems, notably terrestrial systems. It will permit the launching and harmonisation of the technical certification procedures from the EGNOS and GALILEO programmes with regard to transport by air, land and sea . It should be noted that the future European Radionavigation Plan does not cover just the Member States of the European Union; it also concerns all neighbouring countries of the Union.

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