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Satellites, Galileo, emergency location

Soon (next year?) every smartphone sold in Europe will have to be able to use Galileo. The reason being an emergency call shall include the GPS position. For some reason, this is only possible with Galileo.

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

LeSving wrote:

For some reason, this is only possible with Galileo.

Are you sure? iPhones seem to have an SOS function that sends the location as well as calling the emergency services.

Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

As I understood it, the phone don’t use the network, but send directly to the Galileo satellite. Sounds odd I know, if even possible.

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

Massively unlikely.

It is possible to pick up mobile calls (whose power can be as low as a few mW if in a strong signal area) with a satellite – the NSA does it all day long – but you need one of these and I don’t think Brussels can quite stretch to a constellation of those, especially post brexit

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

One of those is to intercept signals intended for other satellites. It’s stretching credibility a bit to think you can eavesdrop on a mobile phone call from a satellite, Shannon-Hartley theorem would suggest a high data rate signal transmitted at a few mW of power not being directed upwards isn’t going to be decodeable from orbit.

Andreas IOM

Big antenna

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Yes, but there’s quite a low limit to the size of antenna you can get onto a satellite. It’s not like you can send something the size of the Arecibo dish up there.

Andreas IOM

They were doing 50m diameter 20 years ago. Now a lot more.

Anyway, back on topic, I cannot see any possible way to mandate the use of Galileo only. Especially in aviation where all equipment of relevance is made in the US.

I can see the EU mandating Galileo compatibility for GPS products sold in the EU, in the same way as Russia does with Glonass, but that’s a different discussion as all of them will still be US (Navstar) compatible.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

LeSving wrote:

As I understood it, the phone don’t use the network, but send directly to the Galileo satellite. Sounds odd I know, if even possible.

Any source / evidence / quotes, perhaps?

I think this is complete BS, all that is required is that the phones can use at least Galileo to fix their position. Which, BTW, most of new phones do already, apple since the iPhone 8 and X, which was back in 2017.

Biggin Hill

Peter wrote:

They were doing 50m diameter 20 years ago. Now a lot more.

Actually, the biggest is 18m (edit: actually, it’s 100m but the point still stands). The trouble is it still won’t have “laser like” directionality, and will add just as much gain to all the unwanted, interfering signals. So while the spy agencies do undoubtedly have capabilities that we might not know about, they certainly won’t be breaking the Shannon-Hartley theorem (which is well established) and be able to eavesdrop on arbitrary LTE phones from space. Maybe someone’s satphone in Africa, but not an arbitrary LTE phone in Russia.

Last Edited by alioth at 24 Jan 11:25
Andreas IOM
20 Posts
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