Inside GNSS Media & Research

NOV-DEC 2017

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30 Inside GNSS N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7 tion will work are sorted out, Jean said, it should be possible to launch a pro- curement process for the end of 2018. "Right now, no one can say when the system will become available. Of course everybody prefers 2018, but we need to wait and see how this current discus- sion goes." Both Jean and des Dorides described a relatively straightforward process, assuming minimal delay, but we would not be surprised to see that process being drawn out due to various cir- cumstances. If it goes on for too long, the Commission could find itself being beaten to the punch by a Japanese or Chinese CS, and then its credibility will rightly be questioned. Galileo Perspective Back with des Dorides, we went over some recent and forthcoming milestones in the ongoing saga that is Galileo. Standout moments in the past few months have included the announce- ment last September by Apple that the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X will be Galileo-compatible. "With that, Apple became the last of the big smartphone manufacturers to integrate Galileo," des Dorides said. "We now have Huawei, Sony, Samsung and Apple, which was our goal from the beginning." e Apple announcement was fol- lowed quickly by Broadcom's unveiling of the first mass-market, dual-frequency chip. "And this means we could see a dual-frequency smartphone as soon as next spring," des Dorides said. "This also allows Galileo to be used at full potential, improving accuracy but also helping in complex environments, in cities, against multi-path effects." Here he mentioned the remarkable fact that Galileo is now operating more dual-frequency satellites than GPS. "I believe GPS has 11, if I'm not wrong. So we are truly on the technology edge," he said. Another fundamental milestone for Galileo was the successful transition last July from operations on a best-effort basis to the live exploitation phase, handing the GSA full responsibility for operational service provision. Looking forward, the program will see its next launch on December 12, with four satellites to be lied into orbit by the awe-inspiring Ariane 5 launcher. "Then, in a couple of months, we will be awarding a new contract for the ground control segment, another tangible sign that Galileo is moving forward on pace," des Dorides said. "And finally, in the last quarter of 2018, really the most important milestone for next year, we will announce the new enhanced service." is is essentially the next release of Galileo, he said, coming two years aer initial services. It will include the OS authentication, and a new release for the ground segment, for the Galileo Secu- rity Monitoring Center (GSMC), entail- ing the distribution of keys for the PRS. ere will also be a new SAR feature, the so-called "return link", which will inform people calling for emergency aid that their call has been received. A Rather Political Business Roundtable Among the diverse highlights of EU Space Week in Tallinn was the Satellite Masters Conference, which kicked off with a "business roundtable" featuring some business people and a number of EU institutional representatives. e word "integration" was repeated a number of times in the first minutes and throughout the session, as were other familiar words and phrases such as "diversity" and "freedom of move- ment" — words that have lately become more closely associated with political and social discourse in our part of the world. After several repetitions of these words and phrases by a sequence of speakers, one began to get the impres- sion that these popular buzzwords from the socio-political sphere were being systematically superimposed on the discussion, a discussion purportedly concerned with business. To be sure, the meaning of these words was slightly shifted to fit the context; here, for example, the words "diversity" and "integration" tended more to refer to bringing in new com- panies with diverse visions, and inte- grating different groups in support of innovation, etc. "Freedom of move- ment" referred more to goods, services and specialized personnel than to just regular people. And then one remembered that, after all, EU space policy in general, like the Galileo program in particular, are owned by a public body. Indeed we were reminded explicitly by GSA Head of Market Development Gian-Gherardo Calini, who, when asked to talk about the particular strengths of the Galileo program, replied virtually instanta- neously, as if without needing to think, "It's civil." Galileo, unlike the United States' GPS, is a civil program, owned and run by the European Commission, not a private one, and especially not a military one. e language of the EU's prevailing political and social agenda is written all over the EU space strategy, and it fills the mouths of its representatives. We only wish to point out that not serving a military master does not mean not serving a master. It only means serving a different master. More Impertinence Inspired by the Roundtable The program of the Satellite Masters Conference, put together we assume by conference organizers AZO, included a brief introduction, which read, in part, "Despite current tendencies that are threatening to pull Europe apart..." (fol- lowed by something about the benefits of staying together). is somewhat cryptic reference to forces working to destroy Europe was echoed by broadcast journalist and roundtable moderator Louise Hough- ton, who, in her ver y brief opening remarks, invited all to consider the significance of 2017 for the European Union, " a time when many of the fundamental principles are being chal- lenged". In neither case were the sources of imminent menace elaborated upon, and we won't speculate here as to what they might be. But it might be a good idea for someone to look into this. Less Political, Still Eyebrow-Raising Dinka Dinkova, European Commis- sion deputy head of unit for space data for societal challenges and growth, told BRUSSELS VIEW

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