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ESA Navigation ESA Navigation

zdroje zpráv:

Galileo Second Generation

2.4.2024 15:17   Video: 00:03:53

Europe’s Galileo is the world’s most precise satellite navigation system, providing metre-level accuracy to billions of users. ESA and European industry are preparing a new generation of satellites, the Galileo Second Generation or G2, that will revolutionise the fleet with enhanced capabilities. 

Navigation Training Course now open for application

27.3.2024 10:01  

ESA Academy is calling on university students to apply for the Navigation Training Course to be held from 24 to 28 June 2024 at ESA Academy’s Training and Learning Facility in ESEC-Galaxia, Belgium. This Training Course is a collaboration between ESA Education and ESA’s Directorate of Navigation. Would you like to know more about the future of satellite navigation? Apply for our course today!

ESA kicks off two new navigation missions

18.3.2024 15:06   FutureNAV contract signature

ESA has signed contracts with several European companies for an overall amount of € 233 million to develop Genesis and a LEO-PNT demonstrator, two new missions within the FutureNAV programme that will keep Europe at the forefront of satellite navigation worldwide.

ESA kicks off two new navigation missions

18.3.2024 15:06   FutureNAV kick off

ESA has signed contracts with several European companies for an overall amount of € 233 million to develop Genesis and a LEO-PNT demonstrator, two new missions within the FutureNAV programme that will keep Europe at the forefront of satellite navigation worldwide.

ESA kicks off two new navigation missions

18.3.2024 15:06   LEO-PNT satellite

ESA has signed contracts with several European companies for an overall amount of € 233 million to develop Genesis and a LEO-PNT demonstrator, two new missions within the FutureNAV programme that will keep Europe at the forefront of satellite navigation worldwide.

ESA kicks off two new navigation missions

18.3.2024 15:06   FutureNAV kick off

ESA has signed contracts with several European companies for an overall amount of € 233 million to develop Genesis and a LEO-PNT demonstrator, two new missions within the FutureNAV programme that will keep Europe at the forefront of satellite navigation worldwide.

ESA kicks off two new navigation missions

18.3.2024 15:06   FutureNAV kick off

ESA has signed contracts with several European companies for an overall amount of € 233 million to develop Genesis and a LEO-PNT demonstrator, two new missions within the FutureNAV programme that will keep Europe at the forefront of satellite navigation worldwide.

Contract for new Galileo atomic clock tech signed

11.3.2024 13:55   Developing new technology for atomic clocks

ESA, on behalf of the European Commission, has signed a €12 million contract with Leonardo S.p.A (Italy) and Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica to design and develop a new ultra-precise atomic clock technology for Galileo.

Contract for new Galileo atomic clock tech signed

11.3.2024 13:55   Developing new technology for atomic clocks

ESA, on behalf of the European Commission, has signed a €12 million contract with Leonardo S.p.A (Italy) and Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica to design and develop a new ultra-precise atomic clock technology for Galileo.

The geodetic community meets Genesis

8.3.2024 11:45   GENESIS Science Workshop

The first Genesis science workshop brought together the ESA project team and the scientific geodesy community to establish the Genesis Scientific Exploitation Team and to set the ground for future collaboration.

The geodetic community meets Genesis

8.3.2024 11:45   GENESIS Science Workshop

The first Genesis science workshop brought together the ESA project team and the scientific geodesy community to establish the Genesis Scientific Exploitation Team and to set the ground for future collaboration.

GENESIS mission patch

29.2.2024 11:57   GENESIS mission patch Image: GENESIS mission patch

15th satnav summer school open for registrations

9.2.2024 8:48   ESA-JRC summer school on GNSS 2023

Are you a researcher in the field of satellite navigation? Register now for this year’s ESA-JRC International Summer School on Global Navigation Satellite Systems, taking place in Slovenia in July, to learn from top-notch experts and expand your network.

15th satnav summer school open for registrations

9.2.2024 8:48   ESA-JRC summer school on GNSS 2023

Are you a young researcher in the field of satellite navigation? Register now for this year’s ESA-JRC International Summer School on Global Navigation Satellite Systems, taking place in Slovenia in July, to learn from top-notch experts and expand your network.

15th satnav summer school open for registrations

9.2.2024 8:48   ESA-JRC summer school on GNSS 2023

Are you a researcher in the field of satellite navigation? Register now for this year’s ESA-JRC International Summer School on Global Navigation Satellite Systems, taking place in Slovenia in July, to learn from top-notch experts and expand your network.

Galileo, now fit for aviation

29.1.2024 14:20   Navigation in aviation

Galileo, already the world’s most precise satellite navigation system, now meets international standards to guide civil aviation from take-off to landing, complementing Europe’s EGNOS for the most critical operations. Galileo was not designed to comply with these strict safety requirements, so how did engineers at ESA achieve this feat? This is a tale of engineering excellence.

ESA’s NavLab drone

22.1.2024 10:00   Video: 00:02:16

Based at the ESTEC technical centre in the Netherlands, ESA’s Navigation Laboratory has a high-flying new recruit: this drone can carry different types of satellite navigation receivers to collect data for follow-on analysis.

New instruments for Galileo’s tomorrow

14.12.2023 9:05   Team in charge of G2 new instruments

Galileo Second Generation is on the way with new and enhanced navigation satellites that will offer novel signals, services and even more precise positioning. But all the work being done to make it happen hinges on this single item at ESA’s Navigation Laboratory at ESTEC. The G2 test user receiver is designed to quantify the improvements the Second Generation will bring compared to current satellite navigation systems and will be used to verify the performance of early receivers processing the first G2 signals in space.

NAVISP Industry 2023 @ ESTEC

5.12.2023 18:00   Video: 00:02:04

In November 2023, ESA hosted its annual NAVISP Industry Days event. This year, more than 200 positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) professionals from across Europe gathered at ESA’s Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands to explore together opportunities for innovation, commercialisation and collaboration via ESA’s Navigation Innovation and Support Programme (NAVISP).

For more information: visit https://navisp.esa.int

Galileo Second Generation satellites take shape

5.12.2023 13:10   Galileo Second Generation Airbus satellite

To make the future of Galileo a reality, ESA and European industry are hard at work developing ultra-precise atomic clocks, system testbeds, ground mission and ground control segments and, of course, the satellites. Airbus Defence and Space, who is building six of the Galileo Second Generation constellation satellites, presented their first flight model structure to the programme’s stakeholders last week.

Navigation and telecommunications testbed vehicles

30.11.2023 9:18   Navigation vans

ESA’s navigation and telecommunications testbed vehicles are custom-built mobile test platforms operated by ESA’s Navigation Laboratory to support test campaigns for navigation and telecommunications services, most notably Europe’s Galileo constellation. Testing in the field provides a unique opportunity to complement laboratory tests, verifying the system’s performance from a user perspective in a more dynamic and realistic setting.

Unlocking Europe’s satellite navigation potential at NAVISP Industry Days

22.11.2023 9:23   NAVISP Industry Days 2023

Leading positioning, navigation and timing experts from companies and research institutions across Europe met last week at ESA’s NAVISP Industry Days, a two-day workshop dedicated to discussing trends and opportunities in this field.

Galileo Second Generation satellite aces first hardware tests

10.11.2023 9:20   G2 satellite stack

The new Galileo satellite model from Thales Alenia Space underwent mechanical and signal performance testing this summer at ESA’s ESTEC Test Centre. Structural models resisted launch-like noise and vibrations while an electrical model proved its ability to send Galileo signals - a major milestone in the development of Galileo’s Second Generation.

Satnav test on remote island lab

17.10.2023 14:45   Northern Lights over ESA's testbed vehicle

ESA’s navigation testbed vehicle participated in a campaign organised by Norwegian governmental authorities to assess the impact of jamming and spoofing on satnav systems and test innovative technologies for detection and mitigation.

Wanted: bright ideas to develop the lunar economy

9.10.2023 11:39  

ESA is calling for visionary ideas for how to use a constellation of communication and navigation satellites around the Moon to establish lunar businesses – and unlock opportunities on Earth.

Harmonizing satnav for aviation: SBAS experts meet

6.10.2023 8:38   Plane landing in Zurich

More than 150 000 aircraft and 5000 airports worldwide are equipped with Satellite-based Augmentation System (SBAS) technology for safer flying. Specialists overseeing these systems met from 19 to 21 September for the 38th SBAS Interoperability Working Group meeting, hosted by ESA in Toulouse, to coordinate efforts for seamless navigation.

NAVISP Industry Days 2023: register now

21.9.2023 14:57   NAVISP Industry Days 2022

Are you part of the positioning, navigation and timing community and want to play a part in shaping the future of this transformative field? Register now for this year’s NAVISP Industry Days!

Galileo becomes faster for every user

11.9.2023 10:22   Testbed Vehicle screen

ESA satnav receiver vans – driving between the busy heart of Rotterdam, quiet countryside, and the Agency’s ESTEC technical centre – have confirmed that Galileo signals now provide a first position fix more rapidly, while also offering improved robustness in challenging environments and streamlined access to time information.

Just add AI for smarter satnav... from rogue drone detection to safer driving

3.8.2023 10:54   AI for satellite navigation

With our society producing more data than ever before, Artificial Intelligence, AI, is allowing us to gather, analyse and make use of it in novel ways, including in space programmes. Now AI is also being applied to satellite navigation by the engineering teams of ESA’s NAVISP programme, working with European industry and academia to invent the future of navigation. The result is a growing portfolio of prototype services, variously employed to improve space and Earth weather forecasting, enhance the performance of autonomous cars and boats, and help identify rogue drones in sensitive airspace. 

New Galileo station goes on duty

24.7.2023 12:12   New Galileo station goes on duty Image: New Galileo station goes on duty

Rescue drones tested within Italian volcanoes

21.7.2023 14:28   Drone approaches Stomboli

Interconnected drones have been dispatched into volcanic territory to test their use for civil protection, to help guide responses to natural disasters using novel PNT technology. The project, named Pathfinder, is supported through ESA’s Navigation Innovation and Support Programme, NAVISP. Two test campaigns have been undertaken to date, around the active Stromboli Island volcano and within the Astroni Nature Reserve, in a volcanic crater near Naples.

A look back at our first ESA Academy’s Navigation Training Course

7.7.2023 11:19   University students and trainers visiting the 20m L-band IOT antenna of Galileo at  ESEC

From 26 to 30 June, the first ESA Academy’s Navigation Training Course took place at ESEC-Galaxia, the European Space Security and Education Centre , in Belgium. Developed in collaboration with ESA’s Directorate of Navigation, the course attracted 30 Master and PhD students of 12 different nationalities from engineering and scientific subjects with basic knowledge of Navigation to enrich their university portfolio with a unique experience. Let’s have a look at the event and impressions from the participants!  

Industry invited to bid for low-Earth orbit satnav demo

21.6.2023 14:35   LEO-PNT within a multi-layer satnav architecture

Europe’s Galileo constellation is already the world’s most accurate satellite navigation system, providing metre-level precision to users worldwide. The general expectation is that satnav is going to keep on getting better, in line with increasing user needs and accuracy requirements. But in fact, traditional Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) in medium Earth orbit are approaching their limits of technical performance.  

Industry invited to bid for low-Earth orbit satnav demo

21.6.2023 14:35   LEO PNT

Europe’s Galileo constellation is already the world’s most accurate satellite navigation system, providing metre-level precision to users worldwide. The general expectation is that satnav is going to keep on getting better, in line with increasing user needs and accuracy requirements. But in fact, traditional Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) in medium Earth orbit are approaching their limits of technical performance.  

Satnav from Earth to the Moon

9.6.2023 9:45   Satnav from Earth to the Moon Image: Satnav from Earth to the Moon

European Navigation Conference at ESTEC discusses more resilient satnav

8.6.2023 14:35   ENC 2023 participants

This year’s European Navigation Conference took place from 31 May to 2 June at ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in Noordwijk, home to the Agency’s navigation efforts. The ENC is organised each year under the umbrella the European Group of Institutes of Navigation (EUGIN) and this year by the Netherlands Institute of Navigation (NIN). Top of the list of discussions points? Enhancing the resilience of the positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) systems all of us have come to depend on.

European Navigation Conference at ESTEC discusses more resilient satnav

8.6.2023 14:35   ENC 2023 participants

This year’s European Navigation Conference took place from 31 May to 2 June at ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in Noordwijk, home to the Agency’s navigation efforts. The ENC is organised each year under the umbrella the European Group of Institutes of Navigation (EUGIN) and this year by the Netherlands Institute of Navigation (NIN). Top of the list of discussion points? Enhancing the resilience of the positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) systems all of us have come to depend on.

Galileo Second Generation enters full development phase

1.6.2023 9:35   Signing of Galileo Second Generation contracts

The main procurements batch of Galileo Second Generation initiated last summer has been finalised, leaving the system ready for its In Orbit Validation development phase. Today, following the opening session of the European Navigation Conference (ENC), ESA Director of Navigation Javier Benedicto invited Thales (Italy), Airbus Defence and Space (Germany) and Thales Six GTS (France) to sign the respective contracts commencing System Engineering Support for the next generation of Europe’s navigation satellite system.

Galileo Second Generation enters full development phase

1.6.2023 9:35   Signing of Galileo Second Generation contracts

Update July 2023:
Three more contracts for Galileo’s Second Generation development have been signed by ESA, on behalf of EUSPA, with respectively GMV (Spain) for the Ground Control Segment, Thales (France) for Security Monitoring and Thales Alenia Space (France) on the Ground Mission Segment. In total, an amount of approximately €900 million has been awarded since summer 2022 which will lead forward the development of Galileo’s Second Generation to provide more robust, resilient, and new services in the near future for users worldwide.

Galileo Second Generation enters full development phase

31.5.2023 14:35   Signing of Galileo Second Generation contracts

The main procurements batch of Galileo Second Generation initiated last summer has been finalised, leaving the system ready for its In Orbit Validation development phase. Today, following the opening session of the European Navigation Conference (ENC), ESA Director of Navigation Javier Benedicto invited Thales Alenia Space (Italy), Airbus Defence and Space (Germany) and Thales Six GTS (France) to sign the respective contracts commencing System Engineering Support for the next generation of Europe’s navigation satellite system.

GENESIS of a new Earth: join ESA’s Earth measurement mission

31.3.2023 13:41   Charting Earth from space

The idea behind ESA’s GENESIS mission is simple: a fixed framework is needed to chart the relative positions of locations across our planet, and satellites in orbit serve as the foundation of this framework. Fix a satellite’s own position in space accurately enough and you can measure Earth under it much more precisely too.   

GENESIS of a new Earth: join ESA’s Earth measurement mission

31.3.2023 13:41   Charting Earth from space

The idea behind ESA’s GENESIS mission is simple: a fixed framework is needed to chart the relative positions of locations across our planet, and satellites in orbit serve as the foundation of this framework. Fix a satellite’s own position in space accurately enough and you can measure Earth beneath it much more precisely too.   

First ever ESA Academy Navigation Training Course!

24.3.2023 16:13   University students participating in a training session at the Training and Learning Facility at ESEC in Belgium

For the first time ever, ESA Academy is opening a call for university students to apply for the pilot edition of the Navigation Training Course, to be held from 26 to 30 June 2023 at ESA Academy’s Training and Learning Facility in ESEC-Galaxia, Belgium. This Training Course has been developed by ESA Education and ESA’s Directorate of Navigation. Would you like to know more about the future of satellite navigation? Apply for our course today!

Galileo: no way without time

10.3.2023 14:55   Galileo works like a planetary-scale clock

Europe’s Galileo is the world’s most precise satellite navigation system, providing metre-level accuracy and very precise timing to its four billion users. An essential ingredient to ensure this stays the case are the atomic clocks aboard each satellite, delivering pinpoint timekeeping that is maintained to a few billionths of a second. These clocks are called atomic because their ‘ticks’ come from ultra-rapid, ultra-stable oscillation of atoms between different energy states. Sustaining this performance demands, in turn, even more accurate clocks down on the ground to keep the satellites synchronised and ensure stability of time and positioning for users.  

Galileo on the ground – infographic

10.3.2023 13:56   Galileo on the ground – infographic Image: Galileo on the ground – infographic

Galileo on the ground – infographic

10.3.2023 13:56   Galileo on the ground – infographic Image: Galileo on the ground – infographic

Galileo on the ground – infographic

10.3.2023 13:56   Galileo on the ground – infographic Image: Galileo on the ground – infographic

Galileo saving lives – infographic

9.3.2023 15:43   Galileo saving lives – infographic Image: Galileo saving lives – infographic

How does Galileo help other space missions?

9.3.2023 12:30   Galileo satellite

In 2023 satnav receivers are everywhere: in our phones, our cars, and drones, in fixed infrastructure, aboard boats, trains and aircraft. They are also in space: more than 95% of all the satellites in low-Earth orbit carry satnav receivers to calculate their position. The additional signals from Europe’s Galileo satellites are providing a big boost to the coverage, availability, redundancy, and accuracy of spaceborne receivers, in turn enlarging the possible scope of future missions, and extending the useful range of satnav much further out into space – to the Moon and beyond. 

Galileo in space – infographic

8.3.2023 14:51   Galileo in space – infographic Image: Galileo in space – infographic

Navigation Lab exploring Galileo’s future – and beyond

8.3.2023 13:00   Big dish on Navigation Lab roof

Would you like to know the future of satellite navigation? Try ESA’s Navigation Laboratory. This is a site where navigation engineers test prototypes of tomorrow's user receivers, using simulated versions of the navigation signals planned for the coming decade, such as set to be transmitted from Galileo’s Second Generation satellites. 

Galileo, how you’ve grown!

7.3.2023 10:59   Four Galileo satellites

Today Galileo is the world’s most precise satellite navigation system, delivering metre-level accuracy, and if you are a modern smartphone owner then you – like nearly four billion others around the world – are among its users. This week we are celebrating that almost exactly a decade ago, on 12 March 2013, Europe for the first time ever was able to determine a position on the ground using only its own independent navigation system, Galileo. 

Galileo, how you’ve grown

7.3.2023 10:59   Four Galileo satellites

Today Galileo is the world’s most precise satellite navigation system, delivering metre-level accuracy, and if you are a modern smartphone owner then you – like nearly four billion others around the world – are among its users. This week we are celebrating that almost exactly a decade ago, on 12 March 2013, Europe for the first time ever was able to determine a position on the ground using only its own independent navigation system, Galileo. 

How Galileo works - infographic

6.3.2023 15:01   How Galileo works - infographic Image: How Galileo works - infographic

Telling time on the Moon

27.2.2023 14:30   Moon and Earth imaged by Kaguya

A new era of lunar exploration is on the rise, with dozens of Moon missions planned for the coming decade. Europe is in the forefront here, contributing to building the Gateway lunar station and the Orion spacecraft – set to return humans to our natural satellite – as well as developing its large logistic lunar lander, known as Argonaut. As dozens of missions will be operating on and around the Moon and needing to communicate together and fix their positions independently from Earth, this new era will require its own time.

ESA invites you to satnav summer school in Sweden

24.2.2023 13:17   Controlling Galileo

This year’s ESA/JRC International Summer School on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) will take place in July in Kiruna, Sweden.  

Galileo signal component tested for Internet of Things use

9.2.2023 12:45   Digital cities

One of Europe's Galileo satellites has been reconfigured to emit a new signal component optimised to serve low-end receiver devices and Internet of Things applications. 

Industry Day: find out how to take part in low-orbit satnav testing

7.2.2023 12:01   LEO PNT

ESA is embarking on the in-orbit demonstration of a new satellite navigation constellation operating much closer to our planet, utilising novel frequencies and capabilities, so the Agency is looking for European companies interested in taking part. Attend ESA’s LEO-PNT Industry Day on 7 March at ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in the Netherlands to find out more.

New Galileo service set to deliver 20 cm accuracy

24.1.2023 15:41   Galileo constellation

Galileo’s capabilities have grown with the addition of a new High Accuracy Service, freely available worldwide to anyone with a suitably equipped receiver. Delivering horizontal accuracy down to 20 cm and vertical accuracy of 40 cm, the High Accuracy Service is enabled through an additional level of real-time positioning corrections, delivered through a new data stream within the existing Galileo signal. 

ESA to invite companies to connect with the Moon

21.12.2022 9:47  

Space companies in Europe that could create telecommunications and navigation services for missions to the Moon will be invited to bid for the work, following the completion of two feasibility studies.

Even safer satnav for aircraft: upgraded EGNOS on the way

16.12.2022 11:06   EGNOS

Making satellite navigation sufficiently accurate by improving its integrity for aircraft to rely on, the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System, EGNOS, is today employed by hundreds of airports across our continent, guiding airliners down through all weathers to the point where pilots gain sight of runways to initiate landing. Now an upgraded version of the system, EGNOS v3, has passed its Critical Design Review – putting it on track to enter service by the second part of the decade.

ESA Navigation portfolio expanded and diversified by Ministerial Council

25.11.2022 14:04  

ESA’s Directorate of Navigation was pledged a total of €351 million by the Agency’s Member States during this week’s ESA Council at Ministerial Level on November 22 and 23. With this funding boost ESA sees its leading role in satellite navigation strengthened with a new programme FutureNAV, the continuation of its innovation programme NAVISP, and the kick-off of the Moonlight initiative for lunar telecommunications and navigation coverage.

Navigating the sea from space with innovative technologies

18.11.2022 11:45   80% of global trade is carried by sea

Shipping is the most energy efficient form of transport, and more than 80% of goods traded globally are carried via the oceans, with a doubling in volume during the last quarter of a century. Recognising the global need for seamless maritime navigation, ESA’s Navigation Innovation and Support Programme, NAVISP – inventing the future of navigation with more than 200 R&D projects initiated to date – is therefore focused not only on the land but also the sea.

Saying goodbye to Galileo 1st Generation

14.11.2022 15:00   Video: 00:04:05

Galileo is Europe’s largest satellite constellation – and the world’s most accurate satnav system. The work on Galileo began two decades ago with two test GIOVE satellites, followed by a series of operational launches.

The two GIOVE satellites, the first Galileo In-Orbit Validation satellite and all 34 Galileo Full Operational Capability satellites were tested at ESA’s ESTEC Test Centre, Europe’s largest satellite testing facility.

On this day the very last satellite in the Galileo First Generation series leaves the site, and the people responsible for readying them for space have gathered to say goodbye. Next will come the Galileo Second Generation satellites, already in development.

About Galileo

Galileo is managed and funded by the European Union. The European Commission, ESA and EUSPA (the EU Agency for the Space Programme) have signed an agreement by which ESA acts as design authority and system development prime on behalf of the Commission and EUSPA as the exploitation and operation manager of Galileo/EGNOS.

NASA laser reflector for ESA satnav on Lunar Pathfinder

10.11.2022 14:32   Corner cubes making up Retroreflector Array

NASA has delivered a retroreflector array to ESA that will allow the Lunar Pathfinder mission to be pinpointed by laser ranging stations back on Earth as it orbits the Moon. Such centimetre level laser measurements will serve as an independent check on the spacecraft as it fixes its position using Galleo and GPS signals from an unprecedented 400 000 km away from Earth – proving the concept of lunar satnav while also relaying telecommunications ahead of ESA’s dedicated Moonlight initiative.

What is ESA’s Moonlight initiative?

9.11.2022 16:00   Video: 00:03:21

Going to the Moon was the first step. Staying there is the next ambition.

ESA is a key partner in NASA’s Artemis programme, which aims to return people to the Moon by the end of decade. Dozens of other international public and private missions are setting their sights on the lunar surface in the coming years.  

But to achieve a permanent and sustainable presence on the Moon, reliable and autonomous lunar communications and navigation services are required.

This is why ESA is working with its industrial partners on the Moonlight initiative, to become the first off-planet commercial telecoms and satellite navigation provider.

Following their launch, three or four satellites will be carried into lunar orbit by a space tug and deployed one by one, to form a constellation of lunar satellites. The number and specification of these satellites are currently being defined.

The constellation's orbits are optimised to give coverage to the lunar south pole, whose sustained sunlight and polar ice make it the focus of upcoming missions.

Moonlight will provide data capacities sufficient to serve these planned and future missions, with a navigation service that enables accurate real-time positioning for all lunar missions.

What is ESA’s Moonlight initiative?

9.11.2022 16:00   Video: 00:03:21

Going to the Moon was the first step. Staying there is the next ambition.

ESA is a key partner in NASA’s Artemis programme, which aims to return people to the Moon by the end of the decade. Dozens of other international public and private missions are setting their sights on the lunar surface in the coming years.  

But to achieve a permanent and sustainable presence on the Moon, reliable and autonomous lunar communications and navigation services are required.

This is why ESA is working with its industrial partners on the Moonlight initiative, to become the first off-planet commercial telecoms and satellite navigation provider.

Following their launch, three or four satellites will be carried into lunar orbit by a space tug and deployed one by one, to form a constellation of lunar satellites. The number and specification of these satellites are currently being defined.

The constellation's orbits are optimised to give coverage to the lunar south pole, whose sustained sunlight and polar ice make it the focus of upcoming missions.

Moonlight will provide data capacities sufficient to serve these planned and future missions, with a navigation service that enables accurate real-time positioning for all lunar missions.

Testing Galileo for space

3.11.2022 15:00   Video: 00:06:36

Galileo has grown to become Europe’s single largest satellite constellation, and the world’s most accurate satellite navigation system, delivering metre-level positioning to more than 3.5 billion users around the globe.
It all began at ESTEC’s Test Centre, Europe’s largest satellite testing facility. This is where the very first positioning fix took place in March 2013, after the launch into orbit of the initial four IOV satellites. Following that, all 34 Galileo Full Operational Capability satellites also passed by ESTEC for their pre-flight testing.
This 3000 sq. m environmentally-controlled complex, operated and managed by European Test Services for ESA, hosts an array of test equipment able to simulate all aspects of spaceflight, from the noise and vibration of launch to the vacuum and temperature extremes of Earth orbit.
The production line at manufacturer OHB in Germany completed one new satellite every six weeks. After integration each satellite was then shipped to the ESTEC Test Centre for a three-month test campaign, after which it would be accepted by the Agency and declared ready for flight. Some facilities have had to be adapted specifically for Galileo, and the ESTEC Test Centre had to institute new security protocols because this was the first time that satellites with security restrictions were being tested at the site.
Today there are 28 of these Galileo First Generation satellites in service, with 10 more due to be launched in the next years. Upgraded Galileo Second Generation satellites are under development and will follow them into orbit later this decade.
Members of ESA’s Galileo team and ETS look back on this massive testing effort that established Galileo was ready for space.

About Galileo
Galileo is managed and funded by the European Union. The European Commission, ESA and EUSPA (the EU Agency for the Space Programme) have signed an agreement by which ESA acts as design authority and system development prime on behalf of the Commission and EUSPA as the exploitation and operation manager of Galileo/EGNOS.

ESA plans for low-orbiting navigation satellites

26.10.2022 13:21   Mega-constellation coverage

Satellite navigation is headed closer to users. ESA’s Navigation Directorate is planning an in-orbit demonstration with new navigation satellites that will orbit just a few hundred kilometres up in space, supplementing Europe’s 23 222-km-distant Galileo satellites. Operating added-value signals, these novel so-called ‘LEO-PNT’ satellites will investigate a new multi-layer satnav system-of-systems approach to deliver seamless Positioning, Navigation and Timing services that are much more accurate, robust and available everywhere.

Mapping planet Earth for better positioning: ESA’s GENESIS mission

20.10.2022 12:43   Precise Earth measurement from space

ESA’s Navigation Directorate is planning a new satellite whose results will enable the generation of an updated global model of Earth – the International Terrestrial Reference Frame, employed for everything from land surveying to measuring sea level rise – with an accuracy down to 1 mm, while tracking ground motion of just 0.1 mm per year. This improvement, at a stroke, will have a major impact in multiple navigation and Earth science applications, including enhancing the precision of the Galileo navigation system. This mission, called GENESIS, is being proposed to ESA’s Council Meeting at Ministerial Level next month.

Mapping planet Earth for better positioning: ESA’s GENESIS mission

20.10.2022 12:43   Precise Earth measurement from space

ESA’s Navigation Directorate is planning a new satellite whose results will enable the generation of an updated global model of Earth – the International Terrestrial Reference Frame, employed for everything from land surveying to measuring sea level rise – with an accuracy down to 1 mm, while tracking ground motion of just 0.1 mm per year. This improvement, at a stroke, will have a major impact in multiple navigation and Earth science applications, including enhancing the precision of the Galileo navigation system. This mission, called GENESIS, is being proposed to ESA’s Council Meeting at Ministerial Level next month.

Navigation at Ministerial Council 2022

12.10.2022 10:56   LEO PNT

The ESA Council at Ministerial level, CM22, is a time for critical decisions. In November 2022, ESA’s Member States, Associate States and Cooperating States will come together to strengthen Europe’s space sector and ensure it continues to serve European citizens.

Navigation at Ministerial Council 2022

12.10.2022 10:56   ESA Ambition

The ESA Council at Ministerial level, CM22, is a time for critical decisions. In November 2022, ESA’s Member States, Associate States and Cooperating States will come together to strengthen Europe’s space sector and ensure it continues to serve European citizens.

Wanted: firms to connect and guide Moon missions

3.10.2022 11:27  

Are you ready to join ESA’s initiative to support European space companies to create a constellation of lunar satellites that connect and guide missions to the Moon?

Invent tomorrow’s driving with NAVISP

20.9.2022 12:11   Smart mobility with cars on city streets at night

The way we drive is evolving rapidly, trending towards progressively more automated vehicles and smarter road infrastructure. ESA’s NAVISP programme, in cooperation with new partner ERTICO-ITS, the organisation for intelligent transport systems in Europe, invites ideas from European industry, institutions and research institutes to support this trend through the provision of ‘positioning, navigation and timing’ (PNT) information to let vehicles know exactly where and when they are as they drive.

Galileo Second Generation technology tested in ESA labs

14.9.2022 13:50   Roof of the satnav world

Europe’s first generation Galileo constellation is already the world’s most precise satellite navigation system – delivering metre-scale positioning to more than 3.5 billion users worldwide – but Galileo Second Generation will enable still better performance and an expanded range of services. Essential elements of the G2 system are currently being evaluated in ESA laboratories, including key algorithms to synchronise satellite timings and determine orbits as well as test versions of a satnav receiver and emergency beacon.

ESA completes end-to-end test of enhanced, secure Galileo service

9.9.2022 11:30   Galileo Control Centre

Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system continues to evolve. For the very first time, end-to-end testing of the Galileo system demonstrated signal acquisition of an improved version of the Public Regulated Service (PRS), the most secure and robust class of Galileo services. The system test extended from the Galileo Security Monitoring Centre in Spain and the Galileo Control Centre in Germany to a Galileo satellite at ESA’s ESTEC technical heart in the Netherlands, which then broadcast in turn to a user receiver.

Latest Galileo satellites join constellation with enhanced, faster fix

1.9.2022 13:24   Galileo satellites

Europe’s latest Galileo satellites in space have joined the operational constellation, transmitting navigation signals to three billion users across planet Earth as well as relaying distress calls to rescuers. Their entry into service follows a summer test campaign and will result in a measurable increase in positioning accuracy and improved data delivery performance of the overall Galileo system.

ESA technology leading to safer, smarter European roads

23.8.2022 13:40   NAVISP for driving

An agreement signed yesterday looks to extend the use of ESA space technology along European roads. The Agency’s Navigation Directorate has finalised a Memorandum of Intent with ERTICO, the organisation for the European Road Transport Telematics Implementation Coordination, a public-private partnership focused on the development, promotion and connection of intelligent road systems and services.

ESA technology for safer, smarter European roads

23.8.2022 13:40   NAVISP for driving

An agreement signed yesterday looks to extend the use of ESA space technology along European roads. The Agency’s Navigation Directorate has finalised a Memorandum of Intent with ERTICO, the organisation for the European Road Transport Telematics Implementation Coordination, a public-private partnership focused on the development, promotion and connection of intelligent road systems and services.

ESA testing sensor network for smart city navigation

4.8.2022 10:27   HANSEL

New infrastructure added to ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in the Netherlands is helping to test how tomorrow’s smart cities will operate in practice. The HANSEL system is hosted in ESTEC’s Navigation Laboratory and allows linking to sensors across the site, providing insight into the collective networking and computing needed to get a variety of ‘intelligent elements’ to mesh seamlessly together – what the brain of a future smart city might look like.

Sharpening satnav for smartphones

19.7.2022 9:24   Array antennas for smartphone satnav

Satellite navigation has transformed the way people live and work, but because the majority of us access it via our smartphones, the actual precision of positioning that we end up with has plenty of room for improvement. ESA led a project investigating if an array antenna approach borrowed from satellite design might deliver enhanced positioning for future smartphones, tablets, drones and other mass-market devices.

Galileo Second Generation takes 11 leaps forward

14.7.2022 14:25   Galileo constellation

Europe’s Galileo constellation is already the world’s most precise satellite navigation system, but now Galileo Second Generation, G2, is coming. A set of 11 procurements – adding up to a maximum of up to approximately 950 million euros – are being released over the course of July by ESA, aiming for this next generation satnav system to begin operations and provide new capabilities later in this decade.

Galileo 2nd Generation takes 11 leaps forward

14.7.2022 14:25   Galileo constellation

Europe’s Galileo constellation is already the world’s most precise satellite navigation system, but now Galileo Second Generation, G2, is coming. A set of 11 procurements – adding up to a maximum of up to approximately 950 million euros – are being released over the course of July by ESA, aiming for this next generation satnav system to begin operations and provide new capabilities later in this decade.

Smart competition for clever navigation at NAVISP Industry Days

7.7.2022 13:45   NAVISP Industry Days 2022

Europe’s leading companies and research institutes working on positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) technologies met at ESA’s technical heart in the Netherlands in mid-June for this year’s NAVISP Industry Days, devoted to the latest developments in the Agency’s Navigation Innovation and Support Programme.

New navigation missions for enhanced satnav and Earth mapping

6.7.2022 13:22   International Terrestrial Reference Frame

ESA’s Navigation Directorate – already the design architect of the Galileo satellite navigation system, Europe’s largest satellite constellation – is reaching out to European industry as it plans the development and in-orbit validation of future ‘positioning, navigation and timing’ (PNT) missions into novel orbits.

EGNOS technology for Africa – ESA signs deal with ASECNA

29.6.2022 17:10   Signature ceremony ESA-ASECNA in ESA HQ on 29th of June 2022

European technology that allows satellite navigation signals to safely guide aircraft down for landing in the majority of Europe’s airports will now be put to use across Africa and the Indian Ocean. ASECNA, the Agency for Air Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar, and ESA today signed an agreement to deploy a Satellite-based Augmentation System (SBAS) across a service region of more than 16.5 million sq. km, one and a half times the size of Europe’s coverage area.

Space tech to be put to test on Asia-bound Fiat Panda

20.6.2022 10:47   Fiat Panda in Sahara

Two ESA engineers are offering a unique testbed for novel space technology: a second-hand, two-decade-old Fiat Panda, set to be driven 16 000 km to compete in the Mongol Rally from Europe to the Mongolian steppes during summer 2023. Having already taken part in the Panda Raid race to Morocco and back, the ‘space2ground’ team plans to perform on-board testing over the course of their epic Asiatic drive.

Galileo – a new tool for science

13.6.2022 9:12   Galileo satellites

Every moment of every day, Europe’s constellation of Galileo navigation satellites that ring our planet transmits precisely shaped and timed signals, down through the atmosphere, reflecting back from Earth’s land, seas and ice and extending far out into space, as far as the Moon. 

The face of Galileo

10.6.2022 8:40   The face of Galileo Image: The face of Galileo

Volunteers watching the skies

19.5.2022 16:04   Volunteers watching the skies Image: Volunteers watching the skies

Find your way to the future at ESA’s NAVISP Industry Days

16.5.2022 11:46   NAVISP for driving

After a pandemic-induced gap of more than two years, Europe’s leading companies working on positioning, navigation and timing technologies will meet face-to-face at ESA’s technical heart in the Netherlands for the NAVISP Industry Days, devoted to the latest developments in the Agency’s Navigation Innovation and Support Programme.

Meet the navigation team | Space jobs

5.5.2022 18:00   Video: 00:07:13

Dive into our navigation activities and hear about the projects, goals, challenges and work environment from ESA staff working in the Navigation Directorate and the Directorate for Technology, Engineering and Quality.

Find out more about Careers at ESA: https://careers.esa.int/

ESA’s satnav summer school open to students

22.4.2022 17:44   Galileo satellite

This year’s ESA/JRC International Summer School on Global Navigation Satellite Systems will take place in July, at Kraków in the South of Poland.

Newest Galileo satellites join working constellation

22.4.2022 16:43   Galileo satellites

Europe’s latest Galileo navigation satellites in space have completed their post-launch commissioning process, leaving them ready to join the working constellation, transmitting navigation signals across planet Earth as well as relaying distress calls to rescuers.

The Moon – where no satnav has gone before

20.4.2022 15:29   Lunar Pathfinder

The test version of a unique satellite navigation receiver has been delivered for integration testing on the Lunar Pathfinder spacecraft. The NaviMoon satnav receiver is designed to perform the furthest ever positioning fix from Earth, employing signals that will be millions of times fainter than those used by our smartphones or cars.

The Moon – where no satnav has gone before

20.4.2022 15:29   Lunar Pathfinder

The test version of a unique satellite navigation receiver has been delivered for integration testing on the Lunar Pathfinder spacecraft. The NaviMoon satnav receiver is designed to perform the farthest ever positioning fix from Earth, employing signals that will be millions of times fainter than those used by our smartphones or cars.

406 Day: how Galileo helps save lives

6.4.2022 9:45   Arctic rescue exercise

Today is the annual 406 Day, celebrating the life-saving importance of emergency beacons, named for the radio frequency they operate on, as well as the satellites that relay their signals – with Europe’s own Galileo constellation prominent among them. While Galileo’s main purpose is satellite navigation, the system also picks up distress messages from across the globe and relays them to regional search and rescue authorities.

Satellites around the Moon come another step closer

29.3.2022 9:30  

ESA is going to the Moon – in collaboration with its international partners – and seeks to build a lasting lunar link to enable sustainable space exploration.

Turn your phone into a space monitoring tool

22.3.2022 16:30   Stormy ionosphere

A newly released Android app will turn your smartphone into an instrument for crowdsourced science. Leave it by your window each night with your satnav positioning turned on and your phone will record small variations in satellite signals, gathering data for machine learning analysis of meteorology and space weather patterns.

Satellite navigation signals help map sea surface shape

22.3.2022 12:30   Video: 00:05:00

Monitoring the constantly changing shape of the sea surface is important for scientific and societal applications such as ocean current forecasting, climate research, ship routing, cable laying, and debris tracking.

A project supported by the Discovery element of ESA’s Basic Activities recently investigated a new technique to measure sea surface topography very precisely. The project was based on an idea submitted by the Institute for Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC) through the Open Space Innovation Platform (OSIP) – ESA’s place for your space ideas.

The technique involves looking at satellite navigation (GNSS) signals that have been reflected off of the sea surface at very low angles. At these so-called grazing angles, waves and surface roughness have very little impact on the reflection process; the sea surface acts as a very smooth mirror.

IEEC’s Estel Cardellach, principal investigator and submitter of the OSIP idea explains: “In a mirror-like reflection the phase of the signal can be tracked – it is continuous. Different surface heights result in different phase measurements. It gives a very precise measurement of the surface altitude at a few centimetres’ precision.”

The ESA-funded activity involved developing a GNSS receiver and setting up an experiment in the Balaeric Islands to collect GNSS signals reflected off the sea surface. The team – made up of IEEC, imedea, SOCIB and DLR – then processed the signals for optimised measurements of the shape of the sea surface.

“Thanks to OSIP and ESA Discovery we have been able to conduct this experiment on grazing GNSS reflectometry under monitored conditions,” says Manuel Martin-Neira, ESA technical officer for the project. “We have linked the coherence of the reflected signals to wave height and elevation angle of GNSS satellites. These results have been very useful for preparing the PRETTY mission.”

ESA’s PRETTY (Passive REflecTomeTry and dosimetry) CubeSat mission is a small satellite that will carry out grazing angle GNSS altimetry from orbit. It is due to launch later in 2022.

ESA probing navigation via the quantum realm

14.3.2022 13:31   Atom interferometry

ESA’s NAVISP programme – helping to invent the future of European navigation – is probing the science of the very small. The aim is to employ hyper-sensitive quantum technology-based sensors as supplementary navigation solutions, including tracking local variations in gravity that could be matched onto regional and global gravity maps.

Wanted: your new ideas for navigation

17.2.2022 15:52   Applying imaging sensors and 3D mapping to navigation

It is hard to overstate the importance of knowing precisely where (and when) you are and where you are going within today’s economy and society. Do you have a promising idea to improve the current positioning state-of-the-art? Then ESA’s navigation-focused NAVISP research programme wants to hear from you, before the end of March.

Inventing the future of Navigation

14.2.2022 14:30   Video: 00:05:15

Many of the experts that designed and oversaw the Galileo satnav system are now supporting cutting-edge European companies in the development of new navigation technologies and services. The result is ESA’s Navigation Innovation and Support Programme, NAVISP.
NAVISP is looking into all kinds of clever ideas about the future of navigation: ways to improve satellite navigation, alternative positioning systems and, new navigation services and applications. Working in partnership with European industry and researchers, more than 200 NAVISP projects have been initiated so far.
NAVISP is divided into three elements, the first looking into improving and expanding satellite navigation, as well as establishing novel ‘positioning, navigation and timing’ (PNT) services. NAVISP’s second element focuses on innovation for competitiveness, developing all kinds of new PNT products and services. Its third element covers support to Member State priorities, including support for national testbeds and programmes.

The drone has landed

10.2.2022 13:02   The drone has landed Image: The drone has landed

Roof of the satnav world

2.2.2022 9:07   Roof of the satnav world Image: Roof of the satnav world

Two new satellites mark further enlargement of Galileo

5.12.2021 6:59   Galileo satellites 27-28 liftoff

Europe’s largest satellite constellation has grown even bigger, following the launch of two more Galileo navigation satellites by Soyuz launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on 5 December. Galileo satellites 27-28 add to an existing 26-satellite constellation in orbit, providing the world’s most precise satnav positioning to more than 2.3 billion users around the globe.

Watch Galileo launch on night of 4-5 December

4.12.2021 1:34   Galileo launch to orbit

Galileo satellites 27 – 28 lifted off by Soyuz launcher VS26 from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana at 01:19 CET on 5 December (4 December at 21:19 local Kourou time). Follow the launch live on ESA Web TV Two.

Galileo launch postponed

4.12.2021 1:34   Galileo launch to orbit

The launch of Europe’s latest Galileo satellites has been postponed. Launch operations were interrupted at H-10 minutes due to adverse weather conditions (lightning). The Soyuz launch vehicle and satellites are in a stable and safe condition.

Watch Galileo launch on night of 4-5 December

4.12.2021 1:34   Galileo launch to orbit

The launch of Europe’s latest Galileo satellites is now scheduled for the night of 4-5 December.

Watch Galileo launch on night of 2-3 December

2.12.2021 10:34   Galileo launch to orbit

The launch of Europe’s latest Galileo satellites is now due to take place tonight, very early on Friday morning. The original launch date was postponed due to adverse weather conditions at the launch site.

Galileo launch postponed

2.12.2021 10:34   Galileo launch to orbit

Due to unavailability of a downrange tracking station, Arianespace has taken the decision to postpone the fueling of Galileo's three stage Soyuz launcher. The VS26 Soyuz launch vehicle and the satellites are in a stable and safe condition. 

Watch Galileo launch on night of 3-4 December

2.12.2021 10:34   Galileo launch to orbit

The earliest launch date for Europe’s latest Galileo satellites is now during the night of 3-4 December. 

Watch Galileo launch on night of 3-4 December

2.12.2021 10:34   Galileo launch to orbit

Europe’s latest Galileo satellites will be launched on the night of 3-4 December. Arianespace has taken the decision to begin fuelling their three-stage Soyuz launcher.

12 things you never knew about Galileo satellites

2.12.2021 10:12   Galileo at ESTEC

Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system is providing the world’s most precise positioning services, but the satellites at its heart are surprisingly compact, and dependent on many different technologies to keep running. Here are 12 things you probably didn’t know about them:

Galileo satellites placed on Soyuz launcher

30.11.2021 13:28   Galileo satellites placed on Soyuz launcher Image: Galileo satellites placed on Soyuz launcher

Galileo satellites given green light for launch

29.11.2021 10:16   Galileos encapsulated for launch

UPDATE: GALILEO LAUNCH NOW SCHEDULED FOR 3 DECEMBER AT 01:27 CET (2 DECEMBER 21:27 KOUROU TIME)

Europe’s next pair of Galileo satellites have been given a green light for launch. Last Friday’s Launch Readiness Review confirmed that the satellites, the supporting ground installations, and the early operations facilities and teams are ready for lift-off on the early hours of Thursday morning, European time.

Galileo satellites given green light for launch

29.11.2021 10:16   Galileos encapsulated for launch

Europe’s next pair of Galileo satellites have been given a green light for launch. Last Friday’s Launch Readiness Review confirmed that the satellites, the supporting ground installations, and the early operations facilities and teams are ready for lift-off on the early hours of Thursday morning, European time.

Galileo satellites given green light for launch

29.11.2021 10:16   Galileos encapsulated for launch

UPDATE: GALILEO LAUNCH NOW SCHEDULED FOR 3 DECEMBER AT 0127 CET (2 DECEMBER 2127 KOUROU TIME)

Europe’s next pair of Galileo satellites have been given a green light for launch. Last Friday’s Launch Readiness Review confirmed that the satellites, the supporting ground installations, and the early operations facilities and teams are ready for lift-off on the early hours of Thursday morning, European time.

Galileo: en route to full operational capability

26.11.2021 13:00   Video: 00:05:36

Soon another pair of Galileo satellites will be launched on top of a Soyuz from Europe spaceport in French Guiana. These satellites are the first of the so-called 'Batch 3', comprising of 12 additional first-generation Galileo satellites commissioned in 2017 to bring the constellation to full operational capability. They will be used to further expand the constellation up to 38 satellites and act as backups and spares for satellites that reach their end-of-life.

This 11th Galileo launch also marks the 10 year anniversary of the first launch of the Galileo operational satellites and the start of the construction of the constellation. Ten years later Galileo is the most accurate satellite navigation system in the world and available on every recent smartphone and device. It is also two decades since satellite navigation was first introduced as a completely new activity in the European space sector.

Meanwhile ESA continues to ensure the future of the Galileo programme and European expertise in satellite navigation. For Galileo ESA has already commissioned a second generation of more powerful and flexible navigation satellites while new services are being developed to meet market demand.

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