The European geolocation system Galileo is about to become much more precise.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is already working on version 2.0 of the European GPS, although it has only been active since 2016 and has not yet reached its full operational capacity.

ESA plans to replace the satellites that currently make up Galileo with much more efficient models.

What to improve the precision of the system of the order of the decimeter.

ESA has just signed a € 1.47 billion contract with two European companies, Thales Alenia Space (Italy) and Airbus Defender & Space (Germany), to design two satellite models.

The two companies will therefore be in charge of "the design and construction of the first batch of the second generation" of Galileo satellites.

“The Galileo Second Generation will represent a further step forward with the use of many innovative technologies to ensure unprecedented precision, robustness and flexibility of the system for the benefit of users around the world,” ESA said in a statement.

The point is that by developing its own geolocation system, Europe has gained independence from the United States and its GPS.

Much more recent, Galileo is much more precise than its American counterpart.

At present, it offers an accuracy of the order of a meter, where the GPS is within 10 meters.

More precise and less expensive in energy

Like the American GPS, Galileo is both useful to the general public, the army (locate troops, direct missile fire), public services (rescue services, air traffic management) and the sector. professional (agriculture, industry).

Making the European geolocation system more precise will obviously be a good thing for all of its users.

But putting new generation satellites into orbit will not only improve Galileo's accuracy.

This will also make it possible to geolocate more quickly with less energy consumption.

The launch of the new satellites should take place no later than 2025, says ESA.

"The new G2 satellites will be built in a very short time and their first launch is expected in less than four years," the statement said.

After a first salvo of twelve new satellites, others will come to replace the thirty or so aircraft that make up Galileo.


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