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EU Space Science

Galileo: Europe's Version of GPS Reaches Key Phase 328

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-yet-persecuted-by-the-catholic-church dept.
another random user sends this quote from the BBC: "The third and fourth spacecraft in Europe's satellite navigation system have gone into orbit. The pair were launched on a Russian Soyuz rocket from French Guiana. It is an important milestone for the multi-billion-euro project to create a European version of the U.S. Global Positioning System. With four satellites now in orbit — the first and second spacecraft were launched in 2011 — it becomes possible to test Galileo end-to-end. That is because a minimum of four satellites are required in the sky for a smartphone or vehicle to use their signals to calculate a positional fix."
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Galileo: Europe's Version of GPS Reaches Key Phase

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14, 2012 @12:43AM (#41646907)

    Wikipedia seems to indicate that the Galileo orbits are medium-earth orbits

    Not to be confused with Middle Earth Orbits, which are where we place the spy satellites used to monitor Sauron.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14, 2012 @12:55AM (#41646967)

    Competition is never redundant, and EU is trying new things with their GPS systems.

    The GPS system the US built hasn't been improved for a decade, they haven't blocked spoofing of civilian signals, yet they did for military ones. EU wants to have its own system and they'll expand the features list independently of the USA. This in turn will causes the USA to improve its system. So we'll all get more accurate GPS and less prone to spoofing and interference.

    Besides, the USA is run by nutcases, what if one of those nutters decides to defund GPS because God told him to??

    http://bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view/20121006congressman_calls_evolution_lie_from__pit_of_hell
    Republican Paul Broun is on the Congressional science committee BTW.

  • by c0lo (1497653) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @02:15AM (#41647237)

    Wikipedia seems to indicate that the Galileo orbits are medium-earth orbits

    Not to be confused with Middle Earth Orbits, which are where we place the spy satellites used to monitor Sauron.

    I guess you mistake the for Middle Earth Orbs used for the same purposes.

    The ones made by the Elves of Valinor in the Uttermost West, and marketed under the Palantir [wikipedia.org] brand, were considered the best... until it was discovered that not only they tracked the location of its users but also subtly altered the information, in a way targeted for each particular user (very much like the targeted ads today):
    1. Saruman looked through the Orthanc stone, and saw what he thought was an unassailable strength in Mordor, helping to corrupt him
    2. Sauron, looking the other way with voyeuristic intent thought, thought Pippin had the One Ring
    3. when Denethor used the stone, it convinced him there was no hope for Minas Tirith, driving him to suicide

    Needless to say, once all of the above has been exposed, their customers lost confidence, so the production of new devices was interrupted.
    It took quite a long time until the brand was resurrected and today it seems to enjoy commercial viability again.
    A word of caution for the would-be consumers of their services: rumours have it that the new management team can not resist co-contracting alongside trolls [wikipedia.org] if they were given an opportunity.

  • by Noughmad (1044096) <miha.cancula@gmail.com> on Sunday October 14, 2012 @03:11AM (#41647473) Homepage

    Its simply not reliable enough to use when peoples lives are at stack.

    Just allocate people on the heap, and we're all safe?

  • by Conley Index (957833) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @06:48AM (#41648237)

    ISTR that due to budget cuts the newer GPS satellites don't operate in polar orbits, giving poor coverage at the poles.

    Poor coverage at the poles is not a problem: If I can see the sky but no GPS satellite, I just have to figure out if there are polar bears or penguins around to know at which pole I am.

All constants are variables.

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