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 Post subject: European super-GPS looking good
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:26 am 
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A GPS BUSTING technology – the European Galileo system – is looking good for an operational deadline of 2010. Despite its strictly civilian origins, this system must have the US military seriously scared.

It's not the fact that the first of 30 satellites - Giove-A - was put into orbit by a Russian Soyuz rocket fired from Kazakhstan on Wednesday (28th December). Or the fact that the European Union will be sharing some of the technological benefits with China. Or the fact that the Vatican cleared Galileo Galilei of heresy recently.

Nope. It's the fact that Galileo will have the potential to be accurate to within one metre (after an initial three metre accuracy). That compares with standard GPS which is accurate to within about 30 metres for civilian applications.

The crucial point is that engineers in the control room of British company, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), in Guildford, Surrey have already received signals from Giove-A. This should mean that the satellite will secure the necessary spectrum allocated to Galileo before the July 2006 deadline.

If that hadn't have happened then the European Space Agency could have lost permission to use those frequencies from the ITU (International Telecommunications Union).

Most of Galileo's potential applications have something to do with navigation. However, the potential for location-based services for mobile phones shouldn't be underestimated. For example, most 3G handsets sold by 3 in the UK now have a built-n A-GPS function.

With Galileo chips inside mobile phones, location services will work even better. Plus, unlike standard GPS, Galileo is deliberately designed to work inside buildings and built-up areas.

Giove A is an acronym of Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element A, but Giove* apparently also means Jupiter in Italian. Jupiter's son, Mars, was the god of war, of course. ยต

* INQBLOT. GIOVE equals Jove, or as he was sometimes called in ancient Rome, IO-Pater (Jupiter), cognate with Greek god Zeus (Sanskrit: Dyaus - the sky). Death to superstitions.

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