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Thread: Galileo goes live!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Trail Boss's Avatar
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    Galileo goes live!

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-4366_en.htm
    http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Na...ving_the_globe
    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release...16-4382_en.htm

    Last week, the European Union's Galileo system commenced its initial phase of service. Galileo joins the pantheon of existing Global Navigation Systems (GNS), including USA's NAVSTAR GPS, Russia's GLONASS, China's BeiDou, and India's NAVIC.

    When fully operational, it will offer the following two benefits for hikers:

    1. Improved accuracy (potentially ten times more accurate than GPS; down to one meter accuracy).
    2. Emergency beacon utilizing COSPAS-SARSAT (same international emergency monitoring system employed by PLBs).

    Currently, very few Android phones are equipped with the necessary hardware. However, Android phones built in 2016 equipped with certain models of Qualcomm chips have the potential to use Galileo. A future firmware upgrade may unlock that potential. Naturally, one can expect future phone hardware to include support for Galileo. The EU has mandated its inclusion in all car-based satnav systems in 2018. The EU has indicated higher location accuracy will be available as part of a paid, premium service.

    ​Not only will your phone be capable of pinpointing your position, in the event of an emergency it can transmit your location to COSPAS-SARSAT to initiate a rescue. A future enhancement will have the system respond with an acknowledgement of the receipt of your emergency request. It's unclear if this service will be free or fee-based.

    As with many technological improvements, it's a double-edged sword. Having a direct channel to COSPAS-SARSAT built into all new phones, it's likely to save lives and reduce human suffering. On the flip side, it has the potential to be abused for "low-bar emergencies" or as a substitute for being prepared. Time will tell but it behooves rescue organizations to take note of this development for future capacity-planning.

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    I guess Garmin will have one more chance to extract few more bucks from gps aficionados, myself including.

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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Boss View Post
    When fully operational, it will offer the following two benefits for hikers:

    1. Improved accuracy (potentially ten times more accurate than GPS; down to one meter accuracy).
    2. Emergency beacon utilizing COSPAS-SARSAT (same international emergency monitoring system employed by PLBs).
    1. Galileo has a history of comparing its projected future accuracy to the current accuracy of GPS in their press releases. Ie comparing a vaporous system to a currently operating system... GPS accuracy is also being improved continuously (eg the introduction of the L5 transmissions) and an accuracy of ~.5cm is currently achievable for survey applications. The higher accuracy modes of Galileo will require a fee--GPS is free to all users (at all accuracies).

    Galileo currently only has 18 of a planned 30 satellites in orbit and is only offering Early Operational Capability (with intermittent coverage). Full operational capability is expected by 2020.

    2. This is mostly just duplication of existing systems. And the location can be supplied by any means, including GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, on-board navigation systems, etc. All three (satellite-based) systems will support MEOSAR, an upgrade to COSPAS-SARSAT. The only function unique to Galileo that I see is the ability to reply to the distress radiobeacon (which, of course, is only useful if your PLB/ELT/EPIRB can receive it). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intern...ogramme#MEOSAR I expect that the ability to reply would also be added to the other systems as the satellites are upgraded.

    ​Not only will your phone be capable of pinpointing your position, in the event of an emergency it can transmit your location to COSPAS-SARSAT to initiate a rescue.
    * Many phones can already pinpoint your position using GPS or tower based location as a backup.
    * At this point, COSPAS-SARSAT transmitters (eg PLBs, ELTs, and EPIRBs) have to be certified and registered. I have seen no indication that cellphones will also be certified. IMO, use of cellphones as PLBs is likely speculation. The high volume of calls could also overwhelm the system potentially making it useless to everybody.

    The EU has mandated its inclusion in all car-based satnav systems in 2018. The EU has indicated higher location accuracy will be available as part of a paid, premium service.
    In other words, the market for Galileo is being created by government edict rather than merit... And the higher accuracy modes cost more (to the user) than GPS to boot!


    Realistically, the incremental value of Galileo in the context of the already operational GPS and Russian GLONASS global-coverage systems is limited. Sure, more satellites will increase accuracy and availability slightly, but most users will not notice the difference. (A number of receivers can receive both GPS and GLONASS, soon (if not already) there will be receivers which can receive all three.)

    It has been a me-too system from the start with its chief distinguishing feature being that it is controlled and built by the EU rather than the USA. (It may also be worth noting that China is working on extending its regional system to global and India and Japan have regional systems. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global...#Other_systems)

    Doug

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    Senior Member Trail Boss's Avatar
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    Ho! Ho! Ho! Why so cynical, Doug? Expecting a lump of coal for Xmas?

    ...a history of comparing its projected future accuracy to the current accuracy of GPS ...
    I see it as simply "promoting a planned improvement". Pretty sure this has been done before and will happen again.

    It's been vaporware for 17 years but now it's taking shape just like the currently "vaporous" OCX and GPS IIIA will, one day, coalesce into something tangible.

    The ultra-high accuracy you mentioned, for NAVSTAR GPS, represents the upper end of what can be accomplished ... if you employ (not free) assisted means like using a spendy TopCon HiPer Pro+ with Real Time Kinematic (RTK) and a Virtual Reference System (VRS) furnished by a (fee based) service provider (like this one). Galileo's free service won't be offering sub-centimeter accuracy but, according to Deutsche Welle, 4 meters (others claim 1 meter). This improvement (allegedly in the vertical aspect as well) will be freely available to all Galileo-compatible devices (i.e. a few current and many future smartphones). What's not to like?

    Indeed, as mentioned, it's only in its initial operating phase (now serving maritime navigation) and full implementation and service is still ~3 years away (inshallah).

    You say "duplication" others may say "redundancy" yet others would say "insurance". If GLONASS were the first GNSS, you can bet the USA would be implementing its own system to avoid relying on something operated by a foreign power. The USA's NAVSTAR GPS was first and so, in response, we have GLONASS, BeiDou, NAVIC, and Galileo.

    Galileo is the EU's contribution to MEOSAR:
    http://www.navipedia.net/index.php/G...Rescue_Service
    It would be short-sighted to dismiss the possibility of a useful Galileo function, like the ability to signal an emergency, NOT finding it's way into our personal feature-magnets (phone).

    ... the market for Galileo is being created by government edict rather than merit ...
    Did you borrow that phrase from old newspaper clippings griping about seatbelts and air-bags?
    The EU sees GNSS as the foundation for a raft of future services including autonomous vehicles.
    https://www.gsa.europa.eu/newsroom/n...ed-car-systems
    Galileo is the first step to fulfilling this vision.

    A source for determining what supports Galileo:
    http://www.usegalileo.eu/EN/index.html

    No really, it's all good.
    Last edited by Trail Boss; 12-21-2016 at 09:26 AM.

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    All of the systems have the same vulnerability that they assume that there is not a significant increase in number of debris in orbit. Of course in that situation there are lot of other issues. I expect that the likelihood although slim is probably a lot higher then a possible magnetic pole reversal in the near term. I.E. I will keep my compass and my map collection

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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Boss View Post
    Ho! Ho! Ho! Why so cynical, Doug? Expecting a lump of coal for Xmas?
    I'm only cynical about deceptive advertising...

    Doug

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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    All of the systems have the same vulnerability that they assume that there is not a significant increase in number of debris in orbit. Of course in that situation there are lot of other issues. I expect that the likelihood although slim is probably a lot higher then a possible magnetic pole reversal in the near term. I.E. I will keep my compass and my map collection
    While the multiple redundant systems do offer protection against individual system failures, all of the satellite-based system provide weak signals on similar frequencies and are thus all subject to a number of common failure modes such as local jamming* and ionospheric disruption (natural or human-caused).
    * There have been many instances of jamming, intentional and unintentional.

    E-LORAN has been proposed as a backup because it uses very different frequencies and propagation modes which would reduce the probability that it and satellite-based systems would fail simultaneously.

    BTW, GPS signals are used for time distribution as well as location. A number of critical systems (such as the cellphone systems) depend upon GPS time and would fail if the GPS signals are disrupted. We have many eggs all in the same basket...

    Doug

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    Senior Member Trail Boss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul View Post
    I'm only cynical about deceptive advertising...
    Theranos! Now there's the benchmark for deception!
    http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/...ss-negligence/

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