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Europe's Galileo Program In Serious Trouble 403

Posted by kdawson
from the tell-me-again-why-we-are-building-this dept.
elrous0 writes "Various news outlets are reporting that Europe's Galileo program is facing a serious financial and technical crisis and may be permanently stalled. The European program, designed to be a superior answer to the US's GPS — and, more critically, not controlled by the US — has faced numerous hurdles since its inception. To date the Galileo program has succeeded in launching only one of its 30 planned satellites and has been beset by delays and cost overruns. Apparently, squabbling between the eight companies in the consortium behind the project is responsible for many of the problems. The project is now threatened with an EU takeover. But some doubt that even an infusion of EU capital can save the flagging program."
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Europe's Galileo Program In Serious Trouble

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  • by jawtheshark (198669) * <slashdot@nosPAm.jawtheshark.com> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:40PM (#19040379) Homepage Journal

    I'm a EU citizen, and I applauded the Galileo program. Especially, because at least we would gain a bit independence to the US. (I was for a European Army too, provided that all national armied be disbanded... That idea was highly critisized by the US too). Anyway, this is typical EU technology stuff. Good idea in the beginning, bureaucracy kicks in, budgets get busted, scientists get frustrated and leave for the greener pastures in the US (or elsewhere), etc... etc... etc...

    Eurofighter... same kind of mess. The only thing the EU is good at is creating papers and using my tax money. Okay, that and technically they are responsible for keeping peace (within EU members states) for over 50 years. A fucking long time in Europes history.... Well, it's a high price for peace, but it's the only reason I'm not against the EU.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yes, had NOTHING to do with numerous US bases stationed everywhere in europe to dissuade the USSR from invading. /sarcasm

      I'm all for you guys being independant from us. Maybe we can stop spending money on bases over there.

      Just remember who was nice to you many times in the past.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by R2.0 (532027)
      "they are responsible for keeping peace (within EU members states) for over 50 years"

      Huh? The EU started out as, and effectively remains, an economic organization. How did they "keep the peace".

      If anything, I would credit the relative peacefulness of Europe in the last 50 years to cohesiveness against the external soviet threat, combined with the massive US subsidy of European defense budgets. With the mainly US funded NATO as their defense umbrella, Europe could divert funds that would otherwise have be
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by wfberg (24378)
        "they are responsible for keeping peace (within EU members states) for over 50 years"

        Huh? The EU started out as, and effectively remains, an economic organization. How did they "keep the peace".


        The EU started out as the European Coal and Steel Community, steel being the stuff you use to make bombs, trucks, tanks and other weaponry. One of the express purposes of regulation the steel and coal industries was to be able to prevent any country from suddenly starting a mass buildup of weaponry, like Germany's ef
        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by Shakrai (717556)

          I'm sure that like US states for the past 142 years, we'll see fit to take it out on nations outside the federation.

          Where ya gonna go? Russia? Good luck with that one -- Western/Central European invasions of Russia haven't done so well historically. Africa? More trouble then it's worth.

          And it's not really a good analogy to make linking the EU 'Federation' with the United States. We have a shared culture and history. You have a collection of different languages, different cultures, different priori

      • by malsdavis (542216)
        "How did they "keep the peace"."

        A wise man once said "The pen is mightier than the sword".
      • by Colin Smith (2679) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:30PM (#19041331)

        Huh? The EU started out as, and effectively remains, an economic organization. How did they "keep the peace".
        What on earth do you think wars are about? They're about getting hold of resources that other countries hold. The EEC created a large free trade area which allows the money and resources to flow freely. There has been no need for war.

        Sooner or later, European countries will have to start footing their defense bill.
        Actually no, they won't.

        They'll be able to do what the US is doing right now, as the Euro replaces the US Dollar as the world reserve currency they'll be able to print Euros without producing inflation within the EU. The inflation will be externalised. Essentially, the rest of the world will finance the EU defence budget.

        Europe's been at peace for "a fucking long time", but 50 years isn't enouigh to change huma nature, and the nature of humans is to make war.
        But of course, the war will be against whoever holds the resources which are needed within the EU. Like the massive oil fields in Saudi and Iraq...

         
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by McDutchie (151611)

        Huh? The EU started out as, and effectively remains, an economic organization. How did they "keep the peace".

        By being an economic organization. It's not in any country's interest to wage war with its closest trade partners.

        • by Da Fokka (94074)

          By being an economic organization. It's not in any country's interest to wage war with its closest trade partners.
          Care to venture a guess who was Frances' largest trade partner in 1940?
          • by Shakrai (717556)

            Care to venture a guess who was Frances' largest trade partner in 1940?

            Or Japan's in 1941?

      • by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:47PM (#19041673)

        Europe's been at peace for "a fucking long time", but 50 years isn't enouigh to change huma nature, and the nature of humans is to make war.

        No, it isn't. Europe has been at peace and will continue to be at peace because of international trade. War is caused by two factors: (1) a psychopath manages to become dictator, or (2) you can realize a significant material gain from invading your neighbour. We must be eternally vigilant against (1) (and strong democratic institutions are a good defense), but for (2), there is no sense in invading your neighbour for its resources if your neighbours are willing to harvest what you want and deliver it to your door for about the same price as if you had done it yourself.

        • War is caused by two factors: (1) a psychopath manages to become dictator, or (2) you can realize a significant material gain from invading your neighbour
          Those are both side effects.
          War is caused by a society feeling threatened (a) Economically or (b) Philosophically. In response to that fear a society will grant power to extremists who have the "solution," typically a scapegoat (Jews, Terrorists, Drugs, Canada, etc.)
      • The BBC has a great article with the EU founders about why it was created. A quick search instead brought this:

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6483585.stm [bbc.co.uk]

        As another reply to your "Huh?" comment said, the EU had nothing to do with economics, and everything to do with preventing another war. If you've been to Europe recently and noticed how citizens see themselves as European first and nationals second, you will see they've done very well on their goals.
        • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:42PM (#19042629)
          "If you've been to Europe recently and noticed how citizens see themselves as European first and nationals second, you will see they've done very well on their goals"

          What the hell are you smoking??? Go to France, and be astounded at the Frenchness of the French. Go to Germany, and be astounded at their Germanness. Go to Sweden.... you get the point. Not only are all the countries resolutely individual, they are proud to be something specific. Finally, a couple of countries voted against the EU constitution, some never really joined (they are only part of the EU market), and you'll realize that Europe is a long way from become a nation.

          Whoever modded this informative hasn't been to Europe.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by hotsauce (514237)
            I've been to all those countries of course.

            I've also been to New Mexico, and been "astounded" at their "New Mexican-ness", been to Texas, and been "astounded" at their "Texan-ness", and been to Kansas, and been "astounded" at their "Kansan-ness". However, they all still identify themselves as Americans. Europeans never did this before the EU, and they definitely do now.

            Whoever modded your comment informative can't get beyond American notions of nations. (Not that I ever claimed Europe was one.)
      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by hyfe (641811)

        Huh? The EU started out as, and effectively remains, an economic organization. How did they "keep the peace".

        By making the countries of Europe dependant on each other. Wars have a strange tendency to only happen when the political elite stands to profit from it.

        If anything, I would credit the relative peacefulness of Europe in the last 50 years to cohesiveness against the external soviet threat, combined with the massive US subsidy of European defense budgets.

        That's certainly another factor. I would howev

        • by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:09PM (#19042035)
          No, there's not going to be open warfare between EU nations. However, I do believe we're going to see some massive social upheavals and violence because of all the Muslim immigrants in Europe. They're already rioting in France and Sweden, assassinating people in the Netherlands, murdering bus drivers in Belgium, and it's just going to get worse.
    • by JordanL (886154) <jordan.ledoux@gm a i l . com> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:03PM (#19040817) Homepage
      There would be a lot of nice things about the EU fully federalizing... for the US and for Europe.

      Particularly that countries like Germany and France would be force to give up their bullying of the rest of continent. The Euro would be a lot stronger if Germany and France didn't keep breaking the deficit rules that they force everyone else to abide by.
      • by malsdavis (542216)
        You say that as if the Euro is in a weak position. It has certainly performed a lot stronger then both the U.S. Dollar and the Japanese Yen over the last half-decade. Only the Chinese and British currencies have beaten it.

        During the same period, our U.S. Dollar has decreased from being worth around 0.75 British Pounds to the point now where it is hovering around half a British Pound (i.e. 1 British Pound regularly topping 2 dollars!), a comparison not seen in several decades.

        Combined with our current massiv
        • by JordanL (886154) <jordan.ledoux@gm a i l . com> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:38PM (#19041507) Homepage
          Why does everyone have to make any statement on economics a pissing match? I never said anything about the dollar. The Euro has performed weakly compared to its goals and backing, and it is primarily due to the deficits which France and Germany have been racking up, which rival those of the US for the only types of values that matter to economists: % GDP.

          A weak dollar is actually a good way to fix outsourcing, as US goods become cheaper... in fact its the only way that the market by itself really has to fix outsourcing and trade deficits.

          As for the Yuan... it has performed where it has because the Chinese government has been more or less subsidizing its own currency, which I suppose a more communist government is capable of. No matter how good the opportunity, China can't sustain a 9% growth rate forever, and when they slow down, their currency will have to come crashing to the floor, or we'll be mopping up Chinese bonds to fund their debt.

          The global economy is a revolving door, and no one is spared, no matter how high and mighty they think they are. The state of the US dollar testifies to that.
      • by jez9999 (618189)
        Yeah, because the federal US system does a really good job of allowing individual states to preserve their independence and minimize big, power-grabbing, central government.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dedazo (737510)

      Okay, that and technically they are responsible for keeping peace

      You've been at peace for the first time in 60 years (I think that's the longest stretch so far?) thanks to the United States of America. Without the US, you'd be posting in Russian (or German. Or not at all). Wait a minute, that's not true if you consider the Yugoslavia debacle, which you had surprisingly little will to solve until the United States practically forced you to. And then essentially solved for you anyway.

      You've been perfectin

      • You mean like how the US beat Hitler all by itself? Take it easy, superman.

        How did this not get modded "Flamebait"? No matter how true something is, the tone makes the difference between "Insightful" and "Troll".
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Nothing personal, but I'd rather ya'll sweat the petty stuff and let the US be the world's police. They don't do it all that well, but I'm pretty sure the alternatives would be worse.

        Yeah, that whole US as global cop thing...the Euros bitch about the US doing everything unilaterally, but when you start doing stuff by committee nothing gets done (see current story). And it seems that for conflicts that the US doesn't get involved with for whatever reason, it seems that Europe doesn't really jump in with b

    • The European Commission (EC) set the May deadline for them to come forward with a single company structure to run Galileo, a chief executive and common negotiating position.

      But with little sign of the target being met to the Commission's satisfaction, the EC is now expected to present new proposals to overhaul the project on 16 May.

      I know this is Slashdot, but could you please read the BBC article? This is clearly not a bureaucratic problem or a financial problem. The problem is the companies concerne

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LWATCDR (28044)
      The EU hasn't been around for 50 years and has very little if nothing to do with those 50 years of peace.
      The reasons that Europe has had 50 years of peace are.
      1. Germany and France where both pretty well destroyed. So they spent a good number of hears rebuilding.
      2. Germany was rebuilt with a constitution that enforces none aggression. That was enforced by the US and the the UK for many years.
      3. The US rebuilt Europe both friend and foe alike with the Marshall Plan and continued Lend Lease.
      4. The US help fou
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NeutronCowboy (896098)
        Wow... what's with the moderation today? Maybe the American moderators should stick to moderating topics they have a clue about?

        The EU has its roots in the Franco-German Steel and Coal agreements of the 50s, whose primary goal was peace in Europe. Everything else is just added bureaucracy. The rise of the US as a superpower had no impact on peace in Europe, unless you count conflict with Russia as part of a European conflict.
    • The OP and the article it refers to make it very clear that the delays are caused by infighting between private companies. Not EU bureaucracies. In fact ... the idea is to call on one of those creaking old inefficient EU bureaucracies to actually get things off the ground. Whether that's a good idea is something else.

      It's not a question of government versus private enterprise, but one of "too many independent parties"

      Your post therefore seems to be largely barking up the wrong tree.

      What might have been a mu
  • Piggyback US (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jshriverWVU (810740) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:41PM (#19040389)
    The US GPS system is available worldwide, and with the increased amount of definition now I wonder why they want to invest so much money creating their own. Perhaps a joint US / Europe project to utilize one system, would be cost efficient.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by falcon5768 (629591)
      It's US. They dont like the idea that we can turn out the lights or degrade service if say they get it in their mind to come over and invade us. Or us them.

      Its a very silly argument though not without merit since I would be a fool to looking back 60 years now. But still I think there are much more pressing matters at hand than to worry about the US taking care of your navigational needs.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by digitig (1056110)

        Its a very silly argument
        Well, when the US DoD publicly announced that in a conflict any GPS differential station would be considered to be a valid military target, even if it were on friendly soil, it didn't look so silly. And if GPS gets a virtual monopoly on navigation then the DoD could start charging pretty much whatever they like (even more credible with Block III satellites), which is a little worrying.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by falcon5768 (629591)
          I never said it wasnt a little worrying. But much like the argument that the EU has about internet control... you guys much like the US it's self have MUCH BIGGER PROBLEMS than to be pissing in each others pool over something less than 10 years ago we used to use a compass and other tools.
          • by digitig (1056110)
            I don't think internet control is an issue; the USA can't "turn off" the internet in the same way as it could GPS (the rest of the internet would route around the "damage"), and even if it did then sure, I'd miss it, but it wouldn't be devastating. Telephone and fax would still exist, I could still go about my business. On the other hand, there's considerable commercial pressure to remove "conventional" navigation aids (DME & VOR in the case of aviation), and if that happened GPS withdrawal (or high ch
    • Re:Piggyback US (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dogtanian (588974) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:02PM (#19040807) Homepage

      The US GPS system is available worldwide, and with the increased amount of definition now I wonder why they want to invest so much money creating their own. Perhaps a joint US / Europe project to utilize one system, would be cost efficient.
      Because the US system is under the control of the US. In reality, "friendship" between countries does not exist; countries have allies, not friends.

      Beneath the PR gloss the US government has always acted in its own interest to a large extent (don't take that as a criticism, any government in its position would the same). However, in recent years this has become significantly more pronounced with the hawkish arrogance of Bush and co. In particular, Tony Blair's conceit that he has any real influence over the Bush administration is laughable, and has been for some time now. Bush will only do what Blair wants if he was going to do it anyway; out of the PR highlight, U.S. government staff have admitted as much.

      I'm sure you'll excuse me if I say that I don't trust the Bush-led government one fucking bit. When push came to shove, if they were forced to choose, they'd act in their own self-interest. Even if the US Democrats won the next election, there's no guarantee that they'd be significantly better, or how long it would be before the Bush-types regain power.

      As I said, I personally think it's undesirable to rely on the US-controlled system. You can take this as an anti-U.S. rant or not; what it comes down to IMHO is that we need a system under our own control, not something that can be yanked from under our feet if it proves inconvenient to our allies.
      • by joggle (594025)

        I still think it is a fairly low-priority issue. If the US were to disable or degrade service over Europe then it would directly affect American companies too, specifically airlines and shipping companies. Also, the US manufactures a significant portion (perhaps even most) of the consumer and almost all of the professional level GPS units used around the world. If GPS couldn't be relied upon then the sale of GPS equipment would surely be aversely affected.

        If you would want to be fully independent of the U

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by elgatozorbas (783538)

          ...If GPS couldn't be relied upon then the sale of GPS equipment would surely be aversely affected.

          Do you think this would be America's biggest concern in times of war?

          ...Rerouting the internet backbone. A significant amount of traffic still goes through US-controlled nodes in US territory.

          Do you think Europeans are happy about that either?

          Would you personally be happy to be relying on another country's goodwill for daily needs? Well, Europeans are no different and they don't like it either.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rayvd (155635)
        The reasons you list initially are sound ones. Alternatives are always better, and certainly should help spur some healthy competition. Rarely is monopoly beneficial for everyone.

        However, the rest of your post is pure and simple off-topic Bush bashing that really has no bearing on the discussion at hand, nor on any decision making made by current EU leadership. In fact, both the US and the EU came to an agreement in 2004 on GPS and Galileo frequencies helping to preserve a military advantage for both sid
    • The US has the ability to locally reduce the accuracy of the GPS in a serious manner as it likes. While I don't think that will happen any time soon, I do see the point in striving being independent from the US in that important point.

      Now, for a joint effort, I'd be all for it - if I hadn't seen how international projects tend to be even more expensive than the national ones (ISS jumps to mind).
  • by Cyberax (705495) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:42PM (#19040407)
    Well, you can always use http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GLONASS [wikipedia.org]

    Oh wait...
  • Sounds Familiar (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheWoozle (984500) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:44PM (#19040443)
    For those of us old enough to remember, this sounds very familiar [wikipedia.org]
  • This is a classic case of "too many cooks in the Kitchen"

    I suppose I can understand their not wanting to have a completely US controlled system. However to not have one true master over the project can often lead to trouble. This is what has crippled the Airbus 380 project. This will be a problem far into the future for any EU project.
  • This is what happens when you dive into a program like this motivated by little more than spite.

    Emotions wax and wane. If you project is based off little more than the sentiment of "Fscking Americans...", so too will the ability of the project to function.

    Is a re-implementation of a GPS-like system a laudable goal? SURE!

    Is the "Fscking Americans..." sentiment a good basis for such a goal? NO EFFING WAY!

    And, if the simple goal of having a product like this outside of American control remains the primary g
    • by Bearpaw (13080)

      This is what happens when you dive into a program like this motivated by little more than spite.
      Absolutely. All they had to do was look at the Apollo Program.

      "We beat the Russkies to the moon, HA-ha. Now slash the budget to hell ... except for the pork barrel stuff, of course."

      • by Chas (5144)
        I, however, see a large difference between quickie "vacations" to the moon and an ongoing service like GPS/Galileo.

    • Oh, don't be dense (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Colin Smith (2679) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:11PM (#19040943)

      This is what happens when you dive into a program like this motivated by little more than spite.
      Frankly I expected better from someone with a 4 digit ID.

      Anyway, it has fuck all to do with spite and everything to do with military independence. It's geopolitics. Whether you like it or not, the EU is gradually unifying into what will become a direct competitor to the US for world resources. Where there are trade rivalries today we will have wars tomorrow, and to conduct a war against a country who controls vital information systems like GPS would be stupidest folly.

      Oh, you don't think the EU would ever go to war against the US? Just wait till the oil and water start running out.

       
      • by JordanL (886154)
        Wow... you Europeons are fucking screwed if your water is running out. Guess you want some of our American made rain now, don't cha?
      • by jez9999 (618189)
        Just wait till the oil and water start running out.

        One of these two does not belong in this sentence.
      • by jo7hs2 (884069) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:01PM (#19041897) Homepage
        Oh please. China, India, and Russia will be the immediate geopolitical threats to both the US and the EU. I find it unlikely that the US and the EU (should it exist in some form in 25-50 years) will come to blows with those other threats to fend off. The simple truth is, both sides of the Atlantic have too much in common, culturally, intellectually, and even in political systemic functions, to find themselves enemies. Both Europe and North America have significant water resources, so I doubt that will be the issue that divides us. Hopefully, 50 years from now, we will have weaned ourselves off of oil enough that it too will not be an major problem. That's assuming the EU doesn't simply collapse, which is what my money is on.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Colin Smith (2679)

          The simple truth is, both sides of the Atlantic have too much in common, culturally, intellectually, and even in political systemic functions, to find themselves enemies.

          Lol. Sorry, this is just naive.

          Both Europe and North America have significant water resources, so I doubt that will be the issue that divides us.

          Potable water is an energy issue. The supply of sweet water for drinking and particularly irrigation is not unlimited, then it becomes an energy issue, expending energy for desalination. And with ready and cheap sources of energy becoming more scarce...

          Hopefully, 50 years from now, we will have weaned ourselves off of oil enough that it too will not be an major problem.

          Yes... on to what? There isn't anything out there with the energy density and extraordinarily low cost. There will almost certainly be wars over the oil as it becomes more scarce. Hell, they've already started.

          That's assuming the EU doesn't simply collapse, which is what my money is on.

          It began in 19

      • by amper (33785) *
        Frankly I expected better from someone with a 4 digit ID.

        [humor]You must be new here...[/humor]

        Seriously, though, I'd love to see some competition for a global navigation system, and I'm a US citizen. After all, these days we're more in danger from our own government than anyone else! Your point about possible future geopolitical conflicts is well taken, but I think that we've go a lot more to worry about in terms of China than from the EU, though I do agree that EU/US relations will see even more cooling o
    • In Europe, Amerika navigates YOU!
    • The summary is a little biased but a wiki on Galileo [wikipedia.org] better spells out the reasoning behind Galileo.

      1. More precision than GPS
      2. Local, civilian control of system

      The second reason is the more important. Remember, the GPS system is still controlled by the US Military. Civilian usage of the system may be revoked or hindered at any time the military deems fit. In a state of war, limitations or bans may occur. In fact, civilian receivers are limited by design to be less precise than military receivers. Whil

  • Obvious (Score:2, Insightful)

    by blhack (921171)
    The original GPS program was built by the DOD, meaning nearly unlimited funds. Since GPS doesn't require subscription, i can't really imagine much of a business model for something like this. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for new tech, but really why is this needed? Does anybody really need anything better than CM accuracy (which is possible with today's tech). I suppose that i can see maybe construction crews and such benefiting from a system with extreme accuracy, but a site-based positioning system see
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by delt0r (999393)
      The DOD get a little cash for *every* GPS reciver sold. You can't just build these things. You need to get a "licence". Also there is a thing called selective avaliblity.
      • Also there is a thing called selective avaliblity

        And there is a thing called Differential GPS. It was developed privately to allow people with access to only the coarse positioning signal from GPS to have positions as accurate as the precision positioning signal. More accurate, actually.

        Note that SA has been turned off since Gulf War 1, when we found that there weren't enough milspec GPS receivers available, and had to supplement our forces with off the shelf civilian units.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Kadin2048 (468275) *
        The DOD get a little cash for *every* GPS reciver sold. You can't just build these things. You need to get a "licence". Also there is a thing called selective avaliblity.

        Perhaps in the U.S. (although I've never heard of any license fees for building GPS receivers); I doubt that those license agreements would be enforceable outside the U.S. anyway, and I'm pretty certain that it wouldn't be hard to go to Taiwan or China and have a bunch of receivers made without paying. It's not like the DoD is going to degr
    • CM accuracy is available from GPS???

      I wish the receiver in my car knew that!

      You should also tell the DoD, they only ensure civilian accuracy to around 50 ft / 15 meters (it's far less accurate in many parts of the world). The Galileo system on the other hand will work with GPS to allow accuracy within a few Inches/Centimeters.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by AK Marc (707885)
        CM accuracy is available from GPS??? I wish the receiver in my car knew that!

        Well, pay a few thousand for a surveyor's GPS and let us know what accuracy you get. It'll be a little better than the systems found in cars and $100 GPS receivers. Just because you haven't heard of it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Run a couple searches on GPS accuracy and check on it, include the word "centimeter" and see how many results you get and what they are about. Don't worry, we'll be here when you get back.
  • "... not controlled by the US"

    Considering the many proposed benefits of the Galileo system (from Wiki):
    * higher precision to all users than is currently available through GPS or GLONASS
    * improve availability of positioning services at higher latitudes
    * provide an independent positioning system upon which European nations can rely even in times of war or political disagreement.

    How important is #3 to the EU? I would say the first two points are the most valuable. Is there any evidence that the US has intentio
    • by ZiakII (829432)
      I know it works in Iraq so I would believe that it works in Iran.
    • by Arimus (198136)
      It has now been turned off but the civil L1 gps (CA code) signal can have a time dither applied to it which has the effect of degrading the accuracy by an unknown amount. So yes, if the US felt the need, the civil GPS signal could be degraded reducing accuracy. Though with GPS now getting into more and more critical applications only an idiot would do so...

    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      * higher precision to all users than is currently available through GPS or GLONASS
      * improve availability of positioning services at higher latitudes
      * provide an independent positioning system upon which European nations can rely even in times of war or political disagreement.

      How important is #3 to the EU? I would say the first two points are the most valuable.


      Without #3 there would be absolutely no motivation to execute the project at all. The current GPS signal is good enough, and some minor technical imp
      • by adsl (595429)
        ACtually # 3 does not apply. The US and the EU had many meetings to discuss the issue of a "threat" and how to handle any type of GPS signal. It was jointly agreed that if either party (EU or USA) considered an imminent threat needing the shut down, or degredation, of such a service that BOTH systems would respond at the same time. As others have pointed out the reliance on GPS for navigational systems is so endemic now that it would be near catastrophic for the system to be totally shut down. Thus # 3 does
  • Russia's space agency is preparing to launch eight satellites that will nearly complete a system designed to compete directly, by 2009, with the existing global positioning system technology of the United States. GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System), is expected to begin operations over Russian territory later this year, followed by coverage of adjacent parts of Europe and Asia. By controlling the only fully operational satellite navigation system in existence today, the United States holds a strat

    • by Spritzer (950539) *

      maybe it will lower the cost of aerial & satellite imagery in general - relying on IKONOS, SPOT is expensive

      I don't see how a new satellite based location system is likely to reduce the cost of remote sensing data. The 2 systems are entirely different in their applications. The only thing that will reduce the cost of commercial satellite imagery is competition. Unfortunately the industry is shrinking in terms of the number of players. With the merger of Space Imaging and Orbimage into GeoEye we are left with basically 3 companies (Digital Globe, GeoEye, SPOT) to choose from for high resloution(.6-1m) imagery.

  • If the EU wants to dominate the world in science and technology, it's really quite easy. Pass a law that says the profits from any investment in European R&D will be entirely TAX FREE for the first ten years after a product / service is released. Obviously, there's some details to be filled in. But I'm sure that the European Parliament can create a commission to develop a concise five hundred page definition of 'R&D'.
  • by kbob88 (951258)
    Concorde, Airbus, Galileo - great job, guys.

    Can't wait until you all get fed up with US control of the Internet, and decide to make your own internet. Good luck with that one too.
  • Shock and Surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ngarrang (1023425) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:48PM (#19042775) Journal
    So, a project designed by a committee with no real purpose other than to say "this is my toy" failed. I am completely shocked and surprised.

    *rolling of eyes*

    GPS is a privilege, not a right. The US Government was kind enough to say, "okay, citizens, you can use it, too, but with a tad less accuracy." Well, a few years later, it seems some people get a stick up their butt and suddenly think that GPS is their God-given right. Well, like the internet, it isn't. And just like the internet, just because the rest of the world found a use for it and came to depend on it, doesn't justify complaints of US control.

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