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Galileo satellite system (merged thread)

Actually insurance loss rates have been horrific in satellites.

EGTK Oxford

Indeed. It’s not unheard of to lose a satellite and then also lose the replacement. There are two I know of recently. Worryingly each of the four failures were different with no commin root cause. But if you measure launches there isnt really enough data for reliable stats

Risks from debris collision is rising and also from dead satellites… the affectionately named “Zombiesat” being one example.

i am surprised that no comments are made about eliminating access to Galileo GPS system to the UK system
that means that you will be forced to use the American or Russian gps systems in the future. Maybe I am wrong
can anyone comment on this?

KHQZ, United States

The whole point of Galileo is that it works globally as a compliment to GPS/GLONASS. The EU, I suppose, could try to turn the transmitters off when they fly over the UK, but that seems extraordinarily stupid, especially given how close France/Belgium, etc are to the southern UK.

I think the bigger question is what the EU hopes to get from Galileo. I suppose having an independent non US time/position source is good, and there are some accuracy advantages (though with SBAS/GBAS I don’t know how useful the extra improvement is in theory), but as an amateur it seems like the cases where that matters are either very edge case or very very bad.

ETA: More satellites means better canyon reception, especially in urban canyons, but that doesn’t seem like a huge issue, especially with A-GPS and the other networks. Also, hopefully not a problem for aviation.

Last Edited by redRover at 29 Mar 23:08
United States

This is the current latest “negotiating” tactic from Brussels e.g. here.

The threat is not the UK being unable to use Galileo’s civilian signal (I think that is technologically impossible to achieve while delivering it to surrounding countries) but it may not get the decryption keys to use the military signal, and UK firms (which developed a lot of the technology) will not get future contracts.

I doubt it will actually affect anybody on land, in aviation, or the military, since nobody uses Galileo anyway and has no need for it. And the US is continually upgrading its GPS constellation. A big part of the case for Galileo was the assumption that the US system will never be upgraded. It may cause the loss of some UK jobs, on contracts that are legally barred to non EU countries. OTOH any contracts awarded are to a large degree the return of taxpayer money contributed by each respective country, and if the UK was to remain an eligible contractor it would have to pay some money into the Galileo fund.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Seeing as how one of the main drivers behind Galileo is to facilitate accurate road positioning which in turn will allow the governments to charge for usage, irrespective of whether it’s in a city, on a motorway or just on a back lane, I think the Brits should be thankful if access is banned. If it’s a negotiating tactic, and bearing as how the reason for this is ‘security’, I would fling the whole question back in the face of the EU.

’Don’t trust us? Fine. UK intelligence sources will, on the grounds of our own security being compromised, be ordered to stop sharing intel.’

I just seriously wish someone in the UK government would grow a set and stop allowing the UK to be humiliated in this manner…..

Peter wrote:

it may not get the decryption keys to use the military signal

Given how close the US/UK military alliance traditionally has been, from Polaris to Trident, etc, it seems like they could probably glom off the US enhanced signals, even if they can’t get Galileo.

I think the bigger question, to both the EU and the UK, is what the strategic rationale is for Galileo that isn’t met by GPS. Strategic independence from the US is nice, but it seems like the only cases where the US would turn off GPS, the bigger problem wouldn’t be turning on Galileo, but rather tending to the mineshaft gap and keeping the zombies at bay.

United States

The UK military has always had access to the US military signal.

It’s very hard to imagine a scenario where Galileo would remain up when US GPS has been shut down. The motivation for it is purely political, although you could make some argument that it creates some expertise in Europe in the relevant technologies (among a very small number of contractors).

I also don’t think Galileo has any special relevance to road pricing. The current US GPS system is easily accurate enough to work out which road you are on, and as I said before the claims of “higher accuracy” of Galileo were based on the assumption that the US system is never upgraded – basically an assumption that the US is stupid

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

UK to be excluded from Galileo

Now that Galileo is almost operational the UK is about to lose access to it and the conservative government is planning their own space port in Scotland. Now if that doesn’t make you either cry or laugh what else does?

Defense news


Doesn’t the UK provide a lot of the security side of Galileo anyway?

Perhaps there will be a refund for the money we’ve put in if they wish to block access.

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