The Munich Satellite Navigation Summit organized by the Institute of Space Technology and Space Applications (ISTA) at the Bundeswehr University Munich brings together representatives of governments and space agencies, the scientific community and industry from all over the world to address the impact of satellite navigation on global development and our daily lives. This year’s event is focusing on the latest developments in satellite navigation and its prospects for the years ahead.
The main item on the summit’s agenda is Galileo and deployment of its satellites, with 12 of the constellation now in orbit and six more set to launch this year from the Guiana Space Centre. As France’s interministerial coordinator for European satellite navigation programmes, Jean-Yves Le Gall spoke alongside Ilse Aigner, the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology, Dorothee Bär, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Bernd Eissfeller, President of ISTA, and Merith Niehuss, President of the Bundeswehr University Munich. He noted that 2016 is a crucial year for Galileo and for EGNOS, the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service that refines positioning signals. EGNOS must continue to evolve to maintain the level of services delivered to users, notably for civil aviation, and be ready by 2020 to augment the performance of Galileo and GPS so that Europe can gain maximum benefit from their combined operation. Jean-Yves Le Gall underlined that this year will see the roll-out of the first Galileo Early Services, while enhanced services will be introduced in 2018 and full services available by 2020. He then touched on the issue of the governance of European satellite navigation programmes, stressing that now is the time to optimize and simplify relations between the European Commission, ESA and GSA. The latter will be playing a pivotal role in Galileo’s success, by being more closely involved in developing infrastructures, deploying operations and proposing improvements and new services, and above all as the main driver promoting the applications that are spearheading Galileo.
In conclusion, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “I would like to thank ISTA and the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs for inviting me here today. The interest that Galileo, which is centre stage at this year’s summit, is generating and the many constructive discussions it has spurred confirm my belief that 2016 is undeniably going to be a pivotal year for the programme. I am convinced that through our shared commitment Galileo will be fully operational in 2020, with a further-enhanced EGNOS system ready to offer an even greater range of services and applications.”