EU and US fail to agree on interoperability of satellite navigation systems

February 5, 2004

Brussels, 04 Feb 2004

Discussions between the European Union and the US in Washington concerning the interoperability of the EU's proposed Galileo satellite navigation system and America's existing GPS service have ended without agreement, according to reports in the New Scientist.

The sticking point is said to be the standard signal that the EU would like to use for Galileo. Europe's preferred option, known as binary offset carrier (BOC) 1.5, 1.5, would give users of Galileo the most accurate information possible, but the US argues that this would interfere with the GPS system's proposed new encrypted military signal.

The US intends to introduce the new signal, known as the M-code, in 2012. During a military conflict, the US would attempt to jam all civilian satellite systems so as not to allow enemies to use satellite navigation. But jamming Galileo's BOC 1.5, 1.5 signal, argue US officials, would also disrupt its own M-code.

The US proposes that Galileo uses an alternative signal, such as BOC 1.1, which does not overlap the M-code signal, but the EU is concerned that this will result in a less accurate system for commercial users of Galileo.

Officials from the EU and the US will meet later in February to try to resolve the issue.

For further information on Galileo, please consult the following web address: nsport/galileo/index_en.htm

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities

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