Galileo is a European satellite navigation system. Unlike GPS and GLONASS, Galileo is under civilian control, via the EU and the European Space Agency.

European satellite system

The development of the European Galileo system started in the late 1990s and is in most ways a more modern system than GPS and GLONASS. The systemis compatible with GPS and GLONASS. The system is almost fully developed with 30 satellites distributed in three different orbital planes. Galileo satellites have an inclination of 56 degrees, which is slightly higher than for the GPS.

In December 2016, so-called initial services was reached. It means that 18 satellites had been launched.

In addition to signals solely intended for navigation, available to all users, Galileo also includes special services. An example is so-called search and rescue functions, which are to enable communication during rescue missions.

Galileo uses the reference frame Galileo Terrestrial Reference Frame (GTRF) which is an independent realisation of International Terrestrial Reference System (ITRS).

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