Tuesday 16 March, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall took part in the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit, which is being held virtually on 16 and 17 March. Speakers from industry, research and industry at this annual international event presented the latest developments in satellite-based navigation and the outlook for the sector. CNES’s President spoke about the performance of existing services and applications and looked forward to noteworthy advances ahead through envisioned investments, backed by stronger governance from the European Union (EU) and the European Space Agency (ESA).
Jean-Yves Le Gall began by underlining the extra weight of responsibility on the shoulders of the space community in the current health crisis, not only to assure continuity of existing services but also nurture new applications for our fellow citizens. He pointed in particular to the Galileo Green Lane app facilitating traffic flow at EU road borders and the guidance of helicopters by EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) for emergency medical flights vital for transferring patients between hospitals.
It is with this goal in mind that the EU and its member states are investing to ready the Galileo second-generation constellation to sustain a sovereign and credible satellite navigation service. Two billion smartphones are already using Galileo and EGNOS services are in great demand from civil aviation, with satellite-based navigation set to be the predominant technology in all phases of flight by 2030. The Galileo-SAR search-and-rescue service, notably its precursor Return Link service, will be used by the new generation of locator beacons in all new aircraft from 2022, providing increased safety over ocean and remote regions. And tests underway on Galileo Open Service Navigation Message Authentication (OSNMA) will help to address the threat of cybercrime.
Major upgrades to the Galileo ground segment are crucial to guarantee these services, with support from the European Commission, member states and the Galileo Security Monitoring Centres (GSMC) in France and Spain. Closer cooperation between ESA and the European GNSS Agency GSA will also help to achieve greater overall technical maturity. The new Space regulation will confirm the EU’s status as a provider of critical Galileo and EGNOS services and strengthen ESA’s role as technical architect of these complex operational systems.