Inside GNSS Media & Research

JUL-AUG 2018

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30 Inside GNSS J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 8 sion that the EU space budget could possibly be impacted negatively, but neither that in itself nor anything else, he assures, is going to stop Galileo's inexorable rise. e real business of Brexit is being carried out at higher levels, all seem to understand and accept, and there is very little the "foot soldiers" can or should do about it. When he stood in front of the foot soldiers gath- ered at the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit ear- lier this year, Graham Turnock, head of the UK Space Agency, sought to calm any sense of confrontation. Talking on the subject of cooperation in satellite navigation, Turnock started by reminding, "From the UK perspective, ESA and the European Union have been fundamental driving forces of coopera- tion both in Europe and across the world, in space programs critical to our future as an economically sustainable planet, and the UK as a member of both of these bodies has played a central role." The United Kingdom places a high value on European space programs like Galileo, he said, and that's why the British prime minister has said the UK wants to continue to participate in these programs after it ceases to be a member of the European Union. "Some question whether the UK is a reliable partner in the future of the EU space programs," Turnock said, "but the UK's commitment to Euro- pean space should not be underestimated. And the pragmatic thinking that the UK is known for is one contribution that we could make to the future shape and services of Galileo." So true. "Whilst the UK has chosen to leave the EU as an institution, we wish to remain committed to build- ing international partnerships in space in Europe," he concluded. Among the European technical community, the real boots on the ground, political ins and outs are generally among the least of concerns (aside from what it might mean to their budgets). Yes, There is Possibly a Real Issue Here Another tidbit: eresa May, we are led to under- stand, will have urged repeatedly that the UK and EU should maintain a strong relationship in the area of security, which would entail, among many other things, UK access to the Galileo Public Regu- lated Service (PRS). e one-day-to-be-launched PRS is of course the popular and well-loved encrypted and secure Galileo service, reserved for government and mili- tary users only, preferably of the EU kind. When Britain leaves the Union, it will no longer be of that kind. But we know that a number of non-EU "third pa r ties" have a lready negotiated exceptiona l access to the PRS, so it would seem little more than pot stirring to suggest that the UK, obvi- ously a future EU ally, would for some reason be denied access. Some of our own unnamed sources within the Galileo community – don't forget the grain of salt – seem relatively unconcerned about the con- frontational language and other brouhaha flying about in the political ranks (and in the media and on university campuses). "Bored" might be a more accurate description. One voice very close to the Galileo program told us, "Personally, I think the big fuss about Brexit and PRS is just that – a big fuss; we hope and struggle to have Galileo PRS adopted by NATO and then we raise problems about UK and Brexit? Nonsense!" BRUSSELS VIEW Carlos des Dorides of the GSA ESA Director Jan Woerner AMONG THE EUROPEAN TECHNICAL COMMUNITY, THE REAL BOOTS ON THE GROUND, POLITICAL INS AND OUTS ARE GENERALLY AMONG THE LEAST OF CONCERNS...

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