EU funds fuel cell bus research

September 24, 2002

Brussels, 23 Sep 2002

EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin took a ride on a prototype hydrogen-powered bus in Brussels on Sunday to promote EU funded research into alternative fuels for transport.

The event, in support of European Mobility Week and the Car Free Day, gave members of the public and journalists the opportunity to see hydrogen technology in action, and provided a glimpse into the future of public transport in Europe.

'Nowadays, more than 95 per cent of transport is based on fuels derived from crude oil,' said Mr. Busquin. 'The Commission is committed to reducing congestion and its detrimental effects, particularly in urban areas. The introduction of hydrogen fuel cell buses will help cities improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions.'

The CUTE project (Clean urban transport for Europe), supported by 18.5 million euro of EU funding, will introduce 30 improved versions of the prototype bus into major cities across Europe. The first is due to be delivered in Madrid early in 2003. The performance of the fuel cell bus is comparable with conventional diesel models, with a maximum speed of 80 km/h. The fleet, the largest of its kind anywhere in the world, should prove that zero emission bussing is already a viable option for urban areas.

Another project receiving 2.85 million euro of funding from the EU is ECTOS (Ecological city transport system). Based in Reykjavik, ECTOS will study the practicalities of a hydrogen-based transport system, looking at issues such as hydrogen production and refilling in city centres. The project will also include an environmental and social impact assessment study. The best practices identified in Iceland will benefit forthcoming EU projects in other European cities.

For further information on the projects, please consult the following web addresses: rt/en/prog_cut_en.html

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6 of 9 Commission 23 Sep 2002

ESA hunts down transmitters of radio signals in the Galileo frequency

Brussels, 23 Sep 2002

The European space agency (ESA) has spent the summer tracking down radio signals broadcast in the same frequency that Galileo, Europe's satellite navigation system, will use. Radio signals broadcast by other users in the Galileo frequency band could interfere with reception in some areas.

ESA has been touring airports, military installations and similar venues where radio signals within the frequency band allotted to Galileo are sometimes used for legitimate purposes, such as helping aircraft to land safety.

When operational in 2008, Galileo will consist of 30 satellites in circular orbits around 24,000 kilometres above the Earth. The satellites will broadcast signals from which users with Galileo receivers will be able to tell the precise time and determine their positions with greater accuracy than every before.

Some signals will be used for public services, such as the emergency services, while some will be received by the operators of commercial services, such as road traffic information services. Some signals will be used to preserve safety, at aircraft control centres for example, and some will be used for mass market applications for anyone with a hand held receiver.

Unexpected signals picked up by ESA could have come from a number of sources. Some could have come from malfunctioning equipment designed to transmit at a different frequency, while others could have been generated by illegal transmissions.

The tour has now been completed and the results are being analysed. Conclusions will be presented to Galileo project specialists at a workshop in December.

For further information, please consult the following web address:

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

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