Galileo, the ‘European GPS’, restarts after a six-day outage
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    Galileo, the ‘European GPS’, restarts after a six-day outage

    Galileo aims to reduce Europe's dependence on American GPS. But since Friday, the system has been silent. Credit: Belga

    Galileo, the European satellite navigation system, which has been silent since Friday, is back in service, the EU agency responsible for its implementation announced on Thursday, citing a “potential instability”.

    “Galileo’s initial services have been restored. Commercial users can already see signs of resumption of Galileo’s positioning and synchronization services,” a member of the Galileo team told AFP. “The technical incident is caused by a malfunction of control centre equipment,” he adds.

    Galileo aims to reduce Europe’s dependence on American GPS. But since Friday, the system has been silent.

    The European GPS, which will eventually include around 30 satellites, will be fully operational in 2020. Its first services, known as “initial”, have been available since December 2016, but they must be used in addition to other systems such as the American GPS.

    Thanks to 22 satellites in orbit, these signals should make it possible to provide positioning and time measurement information for mobile phones of individuals, connected vehicles or even for rail and air transport.

    The search and rescue service, used to rescue people in distress, for example at sea or in the mountains, has always remained operational.

    “The Commission will set up an independent commission of inquiry to identify the root causes of the incident,” explains a member of the Galileo team.

    The Brussels Times