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E.U. Agrees To Launch Galileo Satellite Location System

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the duopoly dept.

Science 1318

waimate writes "The European Union today decided to go ahead with Galileo, the constellation of 30 satellites which will compete with the U.S. GPS system. The U.S. abolished selective availability three years ago partly to make GPS more useful for all mankind, but also to dissuade other countries from developing their own navigational satellite system, and thus be dependant on the U.S. for both peaceful and military purposes. Since the demise of the Russian GLONASS system, GPS is the only game in town. Evidently recent events make Europe feel less comfortable about such things, and so they're building their own. Good thing for commercialization of space, or bad thing for world peace?"

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1318 comments

It serves us right (3, Insightful)

jkauzlar (596349) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043181)

I guess we Americans can't blame anyone for not trusting us after the whole Iraq thing. Somebody's got to police the police!

Re:It serves us right (2, Funny)

Ken@WearableTech (107340) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043237)

"Americans can't blame anyone for not trusting us after the whole Iraq thing"

Thank God!!! Maybe next time France is invaded they will call somebody else.

Re:It serves us right (4, Insightful)

cperciva (102828) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043247)

Thank God!!! Maybe next time France is invaded they will call somebody else.

At the rate things are going right now, the next time France is invaded it will probably be *by* the USA.

Re:It serves us right (-1, Flamebait)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043308)

At the rate things are going right now, the next time France is invaded it will probably be *by* the USA.

Right. As we're going after Germany. Again.
Seriously, the biggest problem will be France selling this technology to rogues states. Like the reactor they sold to Iraq. Or the chemical weapons they sold to Iraq. Or the warheads they sold to Iraq.
Well, you get the picture. Everyone pins all of Iraq's WMD on the U.S., while the U.S. accounted for less than 1% of all arms sales to Iraq. Biggest sellers? Russia, France and Germany.
Hmmm, who was going to veto the Iraq invasion?

Don't worry. We will invade France right after they're put under Shariya.

Re:It serves us right (1, Offtopic)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043418)

UBL was a lavishly funded friendly when he was 'freedom fighting' with the mujaheddin... too bad he turned out to be a terrorist like the other lot; but then it was the reds to play the role of the bad dudes.
You'll certainly recall that most of the civilian deaths and miseries in South America have some serious connections with US administration efforts in 'protecting national interests' by funding and training liberticide regimes.
BTW... when Saddam was fighting iranians he was US's best freind; do you beleive the asshole fought them with slingshots? I even have a nice jpg documenting Rumsfeld shaking hands with the bastard (this is strictly speaking a private enterprise initiative but undoubtedly some state support & evaluation was provided).
Next time you want to comment on something try to avoid bitchy fox-addict texan redneck comments unless you don't want to sound ridiculous and pointless

Re:It serves us right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043342)

At the rate things are going right now, the next time France is invaded it will probably be *by* the USA.

Yes, as soon as they start MURDERING THEIR OWN PEOPLE BY THE MILLIONS.

Idiot.

Re:It serves us right (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043404)

Does imprisoning by the millions count too? Oh, wait...

Re:It serves us right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043403)

More like we're going to have to save themselves from their own muslim population.

Re:It serves us right (5, Funny)

Rumagent (86695) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043421)

At the rate things are going right now, the next time France is invaded it will probably be *by* the USA.


You mean liberated of course.

Re:It serves us right (2, Interesting)

plalonde2 (527372) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043397)

I seem to recall the US wasn't too interested in helping France for quite a while during that conflict.

Jingoism continues to cloud people's thinking.

Re:It serves us right (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043401)

As I recall, you lot didn't lift a finger in WW2 until the Japanese buttfucked you at Pearl Harbor.

It's not just about challenging the US military (4, Informative)

grungie (240475) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043275)

Galileo is --in theory-- much more accurate than GPS. You probably don't want your airliner to risk missing the runway by a couple of meters in thick fog. Galileo will give QoS guarantees and greater precision, which will make it a viable solution for critical systems such as air-traffic control. But I have no clue what the current plans are to enforce the policy that it should be a civilian-only system.

Re:It's not just about challenging the US military (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043370)

Your example is stupid in the extreme. Runways are much bigger than airplanes. A difference of ten feet one way or the other isn't going to matter to anybody.

There are practical limits to how accurate GPS (in the generic sense) needs to be. If you're talking about weapons systems, then it needs to be accurate to about a meter. If you're talking about navigation, if it's accurate to within a vehicle-length then you're doing fine.

Re:It's not just about challenging the US military (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043387)

Uh, would you want to be in a car, guided by gps, which could only pin point itself within a car length of the next car on the highway?

Plans started long before "recent events" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043182)

This has been in the works for many years. It has to do with American power in general, and not any specific recent actions.

Re:Plans started long before "recent events" (1)

xteddy (245318) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043290)

This was said also said in the article. The important point is that Galileo was kind of stalled
because some EU member countries couldn't agree on who should build all the required stuff and who should pay for it. I think "recent events" helped to persuade them that the project should be started very soon.

Re:Plans started long before "recent events" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043379)

sorry this is really bugging me, i have to say this. one of the quotes on the bottom of the /. pages reads:

One reason why George Washington Is held in such veneration: He never blamed his problems On the former Administration. -- George O. Ludcke

i spent a good deal of time laughing at that. the former administration? oh you mean Great Britain? geez, he never blamed any problems on them? i need a new history teacher...

Great (1, Insightful)

Michael's a Jerk! (668185) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043187)

It's great the worlds only sat navigation system is no longer in the hands of the US Army I guess...

Re:Great (3, Informative)

krisp (59093) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043259)

Actually, the GPS system is owned by the Air Force. Here [flatoday.com] is a fact sheet.

The NAVSTAR Global Positioning System is managed by the NAVSTAR GPS Joint Program Office at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.


Not the army.

euro (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043195)

europe is for wine drinking ass faggots who like french cox

Remember the Russian GPS Blockers? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043197)

The ones Iraq tried to use against the United States succesfully? Well, I'd bet the United States military has GPS blockers that actually work, and wouldn't hesitate to use them if necessary.

successfuly = unsuccesfully (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043206)

Should preview my posts.

Re:Remember the Russian GPS Blockers? (1)

eet23 (563082) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043233)

They wouldn't need blockers. All they have to do is turn the thing back on that limits accuracy for people without US military hardware. It's partly this that makes Europe want their own system, I think.

I also seem to remember reading somewhere that they want Galileo to operate on the same frequency as GPS, so the US can't jam Galileo without also jamming GPS.

Re:Remember the Russian GPS Blockers? (1)

wtmcgee (113309) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043244)

you mean the GPS blockers we bombed WITH GPS bombs? ;)

i got a huge kick out of that when i heard that on the news.

Peace? (4, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043198)

or bad thing for world peace?

Er, I you mean good thing for world peace.

Unless you want to imply that the USmilitary is going to attack europe to stop them from lauching its satelittes...

Re:Peace? (1, Insightful)

BabyDave (575083) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043349)

I think the "bad thing" is that it's being seen by many as a big "Fuck you" to the US - essentially "We don't trust you cowboy arseholes, so we're building our own system, so :-P" or something ...

Re:Peace? (1)

panxerox (575545) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043365)

>Unless you want to imply that the USmilitary is >going to attack europe to stop them from lauching >its satelittes... Not Europe just france...

Welcome back to Superpower Politics (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043201)

Europe is, slowly and quietly, moving towards the status of Superpower, and it is unsurprising that it is seeking independence of technical material.

Not to be cynical, but the U.S. is hardly viewed as an unbiased and trustworthy party, a fact that has got worse since the turkey shoot in Iraq.

Re:Welcome back to Superpower Politics (2, Interesting)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043253)

Europe is, slowly and quietly, moving towards the status of Superpower

Superpower? They have a lot of internal divisions and disagreements to deal with before they get to that level.

and it is unsurprising that it is seeking independence of technical material.

I think the European GPS is a waste of money. Unless they anticipate a U.S. vs Europe war then I don't see this is the best use of limited resources.

On the up side I think it'll be cool if we see GPS receivers that receive BOTH signals and can use the combined data of both systems to produce an even more accurate fix.

Whirrled peas? (0, Flamebait)

JohnWiney (656829) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043207)

How could it possibly be bad for world peace that not only one (violent) country can direct their bombs accurately??

Re:Whirrled peas? (0)

billatq (544019) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043256)

How could it possibly be bad for world peace that not only one (violent) country can direct their bombs accurately??

Most guided missile systems don't use GPS for navigation--gps is mainly a way for people to figure out where they're at. Not only that, but it also might take a little while (less than a minute or so, usually) for a GPS unit to acquire a satellite, which isn't the best in a combat situation. It might be cool if the European system is more accurate though, especially for wardriving.

Re:Whirrled peas? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043391)

Most guided missile systems don't use GPS for navigation

That used to be true. It's not any more. Between JDAM and the block 3 version of the BGM-109, GPS is the most widely used form of navigation in precision munitions systems. It's taken the lead over terrain-mapping and inertial reference.

It might be cool if the European system is more accurate though, especially for wardriving.

GPS is accurate to within a meter. That's less than the length of a car. So it's more accurate than it needs to be for any sort of car-based navigation, "wardriving" or otherwise.

Combined receivers (4, Informative)

yet another coward (510) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043210)

A receiver compatible with both systems could provide increased accuracy over either alone. Even though current GPS is accurate enough for my practical demands, I want more for nerd reasons. I remember speculation on using both GLONASS and GPS signals several years ago with the idea of improving both reliability and accuracy.

Re:Combined receivers (1)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043240)

There were at last a couple of GPS receivers used for precision timing systems that could receive GPS and GLONASS.

5280 ft != Mi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043211)

Remember, theres 1 000 000 000 cubic metres in a cubic kilometre.
But theres 147 197 952 000 cubic feet in a cubic mile.

So remember, those windows boxen are not going to take 28000 cubic miles.

One day, the SUA will learn not to crash into mars!

Waste of Resources (1, Interesting)

smack.addict (116174) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043214)

I'd have a hard time thinking of a bigger waste of resources. Unnecessarily duplicating a very expensive piece of infrastructure that the world needs only one instance of.

Re:Waste of Resources (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043248)

so the easy, efficient solution is for the US to give the GPS network to the UN, right?

Re:Waste of Resources (your mom) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043346)

why would this happen? the US is circumventing the UN (see IRAQ II - pulling away from the SC, the abandonment of the ICC after the Iran affair). This points to Domination of a proprietary system (GPS) and the potential for using it exclusively. This is a potential danger for those not on the side of the US.

Re:Waste of Resources (your mom) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043419)

The US isn't circumventing the UN. The UN is a failure. In nearly half a century, it successfully averted ZERO wars. That was its sole purpose, and it failed at it.

As for the ICC, sorry, but we Americans have a different idea of due process than those whacky Euros. We believe that courts should be limited in their power to prosecute civilians, for example. We tried and tried to convince the Euros that our way was the better way, but they just wouldn't cooperate. So unfortunately, as a result, the ICC is a disaster.

Oh, and as to your last remark about there being a "potential danger?" Guess what, Sparky. Potential danger is all around you. You are in potential danger right now because if you get caught saying this kind of shit around people who know better, they're potentially gonna knock you on your ass.

Re:Waste of Resources (1)

Ken@WearableTech (107340) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043266)

Your right. And last time I checked Europe is not rolling in money.

I'm guessing they will have a $$$ licensing fee on the devices to recoup the cost.

Re:Waste of Resources (your mom) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043282)

would it really be a waste of resources? if the gatekeepers were able to use the ONLY instance of this infastructure to exclude others from using it, for better or worse, then it looks like creating a duplicate or redundant infastructure isn't that bad of an idea. Look at Iraq. If the US decides to be the only player on the block with the technology they can and private citizens would be farked. A second system can act as competition and as many have pointed out, can increase reliability and accuracy.

Re:Waste of Resources (1)

theaem (397751) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043288)

Obviously a naive american who can't see why a monopoly is a bad thing...

Monopolies are a good thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043359)

When you are the one controlling the monopoly.

Sucks for everyone else.

Re:Waste of Resources (1)

n3k5 (606163) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043372)

I'd have a hard time thinking of a bigger waste of resources. Unnecessarily duplicating a very expensive piece of infrastructure that the world needs only one instance of.
Not long ago, I read something (here on /., I think) about defective GPS sattelites and (financial) trouble with repairing them and replenishing the stock of spare sattelites. Then there was the war and speculations wheter someone would be able to take those sattelites down with missiles. So, you should be really happy that someone's going to install a backup system!

And many people, I think, will be happy about a positioning system which is not in the hands of '_the_ superpower', which decides who is good and who is bad and who should be allowed to receive positioning data.

Trust Us! (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043407)

So everybody should just trust the US not to selective availability [lightningpaddles.com] back on? That means high-precision civilian GPS only works as long as the U.S. government says it works.

A lot of companies are going to be developing applications that require high-precision GPS. Suppose, say, 10 years from now, the U.S. threatens to turn SA back on unless everybody toes the line on the some issue. All these people with high-precision GPS apps will then pressure their governments to back down. A European political or economic leader is not going to happy about such a scenario, and can hardly be blamed for spending a few bucks to prevent it.

And if the situation were reversed, an American president who said, "Oh, we can just use the European GPS network" -- well, how would you feel if were dependent on the goodwill of a foreign country for a basic resource?

Oh, wait a sec. [public-i.org] Strike that last question!

I think it's a good thing (5, Insightful)

LoztInSpace (593234) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043215)

I'm sure I'll get blasted for this, but the US really showed it's true colours in this last war. They rode roughshod over every international organisation when the consensus didn't go their way and ultimately staged an invasion rather than liberation. I think under these circumstances the world needs another option.

Re:I think it's a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043318)

Just like Germany really showed their true colours before the last war, France showed theirs after the war before that, and that Stalin exemplified the average Russian.

A handful of western European countries and Russia having strong feeling against it (perhaps even economically or politically motivated) does not count as a consensus.

And the United States running roughshod over the UN only the problems with that international organization.

I guess you did get blasted for that, but i'll give you credit for not including a "blood for oil" comment in there.

Re:I think it's a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043388)

"A handful of western European countries and Russia having strong feeling against it (perhaps even economically or politically motivated) does not count as a consensus"

How can you say that European sentiments are not a consensus while imply that unilateral US action (with its lackey GB, Spanish, and Aussie friends holding pom-poms) is ANY indication of consensus or moral correctness? Come on.

Re:I think it's a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043341)

I agree entirely. A strong Europe will go a long way to keeping the US honest.

Re:I think it's a good thing (0, Funny)

AlgUSF (238240) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043343)

(I can feel the Karma melting away)

I believe the Iraqi people are free, and a brutal dictator is gone? The US and Britain were right, and Europe was wrong. Now the French and Russians are kissing our ass in order to get us to do some business with them. Great time to be an American, and GWB will be re-elected. Jeb in 2008? :-)

Re:I think it's a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043369)

how are the Iraqi people free? maybe a bit more free than under Sadaam but they are not FREE. The US and GB were far from right on theis one AlgUSF.

Re:I think it's a good thing (1)

AlgUSF (238240) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043389)

Let's see? Free and open elections have started. They need some help, so who better to point the new nation in the proper direction, than the two most industrialized nations in the world?

Re:I think it's a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043427)

define free and open elections...
1. lets look at the candidates: none of the candidates has any experience in public policy or the protection of civil liberties, a must have for FREE people. Without experience these candidates are not going to create freedom. simple as that.

2. lets look at the the current political situation: fractionalizd state, military occupation, lack of national identity and rampant poverty. Looks like freedom is RAD!

Re:I think it's a good thing (0, Insightful)

plalonde2 (527372) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043428)

Free to be forced to sell their natural resources

Free to be forced to stage US-style elections (convince me that system isn't flawed)

Free to turn in their previously legal firearms

Free to be shot for not obeying their "liberators"

Fuck. Give us a break.

Re:I think it's a good thing (1)

bellings (137948) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043378)

I believe the Iraqi people are free

You're kidding, right?

The US and Britain were right

Right about what? That with the net loss of less than a hundred thousand human beings from the face of the earth, the Iraqi oil wells could be liberated?

Re:I think it's a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043390)

I believe the Iraqi people are free, and a brutal dictator is gone?

Well done. You can stop patting yourselves on the back now.

The US and Britain were right, and Europe was wrong.

"Right" only insofar as they haven't found any of those WoMD that were supposedly the reason for the invasion of Iraq. I think that's actually called being "wrong".

Now the French and Russians are kissing our ass in order to get us to do some business with them.

So, you're happy because the French and Russians are sucking up to you? Ah, I see, this war was intended to bring those pesky Europeans into line.

Jeb in 2008?

Unless you have significant mental handicaps, I fail to see how you could possibly find that funny.

Re:I think it's a good thing (1)

AlgUSF (238240) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043409)

Jeb in 2008?

Unless you have significant mental handicaps, I fail to see how you could possibly find that funny.


I'm not being funny! JEB is a very popular governor of a very large state (kinda like his brother!).

Re:I think it's a good thing (3, Interesting)

RandomCoil (88441) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043414)

I'm sure I'll get blasted for this, but the US really showed it's true colours in this last war. They rode roughshod over every international organisation when the consensus didn't go their way and ultimately staged an invasion rather than liberation. I think under these circumstances the world needs another option.

Clearly a system of satellites that provide location data will be an excellent counter to US military supremacy. After this coup, no doubt the EU will look into building the 'Euronet' (aka the 'Information Autobahn') to futher counter US hegemony. Rumsfeld is likely shaking in his boots.

Note that I'm no fan of the current US administration, but to suggest that creating a European version of GPS is some great step towards making the EU a 'relevant' force in world politics (by which I mean a force capable of doing ~anything~) seems a tad laughable.

Competition is good for consumers! (2, Insightful)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043218)

I just hope they do a really good technical job of it, that results in an even better system than GPS.

Re:Not likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043411)

The GPS satellites are pretty much limited by the accuracy of the atomic clocks in them. So unless the European system uses much more accurate clocks, they will probably have roughly the same accuracy.

Well done, EU (2, Insightful)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043220)

So they have their own system now, excellent. Autonomy is always a good thing. Don't get me wrong, I like the fact that the U.S. is healthy as hell, but no country should be dependent on it for satellite navigation (GPS) or software (Microsoft). I just wish Japan would get its act together to avoid a U.S. economic bailout...

Perhaps at some point in the future, both satellite systems will be merged into an internationally-run outfit. Good standardized functionality as well as a symbol of building what President Clinton referred to as an "integrated global community."

what a phenominal waste of money (0)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043225)

Hey Europe - knock yourselves out. Glonass was nearly a total clone of the GPS system - except that like almost all of the Soviet harware built from stolen US blueprints it never worked quite as well - You can bet that the EU system will also be a clone of the existing GPS system. Unless they are going to come up with some major accuracy improvements (unlikely due to cost) I don't see that it does anything other than keep Europes high tech industry working and sucking Europes taxpayers dry...

Galileo - Hope for new protocols (1)

hamlet1590 (676158) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043286)

I hope they are using new protocols in this thing, instead of just copying the GPS system. Anish Kadavil

Accuracy (3, Informative)

JerryKnight (465510) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043384)

The main problem with accuracy is the timing circuitry in the receiver. Most receivers now are accurate to a few nanoseconds, which happens to be the time it takes light (or GPS signals) about 1 foot, so 10-20 ft accuracy is typical (at least in my experience). Other than timing issues, atmospheric heating would cause inaccuracy.

The protocol of the satellites is hardly improvable, except maybe increasing the frequency of transmissions to more than 1 per second.

Re:what a phenominal waste of money (4, Insightful)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043413)

I don't see that it does anything other than keep Europes high tech industry working and sucking Europes taxpayers dry.

Of course, when the US goes and dumps huge amounts into the military-industrial complex, doing the same bloody thing, that's "encouraging growth" and "creating jobs", both of which are generally considered good.

competition to gps? (1)

root68 (634540) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043230)

well everyone knows this will take them some time.. and i likly to lose funding by europe. Also, if we ever did get into a conflict with them everyone knows we would have a way to jam it before they could ever jam ours.

Given what we just heard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043234)

About the US attempting to bully everyone else out of space - and what gives them the right??? since when do they own space??? - I say good on the EU!

Re:Given what we just heard (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043263)

since when do they own space???

Since we became the only country still in existence that has successfully launched people into space, and the only country that landed people on the moon. We won it by default.

The Moon belongs to America, and anxiously awaits the return of our astro men. Will YOU be among them???

Re:Given what we just heard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043368)

Well, Russia is still launching men into space, Britain did it. Canada was the second country to send men into space. Japan has sent men into space......

Not a new project (4, Informative)

Bunji X (444592) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043245)

Galileo has been in the planning for quite a while, and will as far as I can tell be compatible and possibly linked with the US GPS system.

The Galileo homepage [eu.int], in english.

$$ for position information (2, Insightful)

radarvectors (103651) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043364)

The Europeans are hoping to fund the system by licensing fees on the receivers, and fees for access to high-reliability positioning information for critical applications such as aviation.

The basic service will be free and comparable to GPS in accuracy and reliability.

I have my doubts about their business model. They are essentially trying to compete with a totally free service that already offers high reliablility and is increasing in accuracy with WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) and LAAS (Local Area Augmentation System) enhancemnts to the GPS system.

Will you buy a GPS receiver with no licensing fee or a Galileo receiver that does the same thing for more money?

In fact, if Galileo allows basic receivers to be produced license free, GPS manufacturers can tap into the Galileo signal (frequencies & signals are supposed to be compatible) to further increase GPS accuracy, at no cost.

I guess I don't mind watching the French et al blow lots of cash enroute to having their asses kicked in the marketplace. Let 'em have at it...

Re:Not a new project (1)

c0dedude (587568) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043399)

Hmm, it says it's a reference in time AND space, a sattelite time reference would be nifty, I don't think one exists at present.

This is inevitable (-1, Troll)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043246)

Since the US acts just like nazi germany in the late 1930's, Europe will have to declare war on the US within the next 10 years, and they will need their own GPS-like system.

Re:This is inevitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043309)

"they will need their own GPS-like system."

So that they can accurately mark the locations where there capitols used to be....

Excellent beginning (0, Flamebait)

corebreech (469871) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043265)

They need to follow it up with extensive space-based surveillance and ABM/ASAT capabilities.

To say nothing of all the work they have to do in conventional forces.

America the beautful has given way to America the barbaric. If there is to be a future that sees a world at peace, the EU may very be our last, best hope.

Hepefully, More choice would be better (1)

GrimReality (634168) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043278)

Hopefully, more choice would benefit all.

As another poster pointed out this move is not due to 'recent events'. I remember reading about this some time before.

In any case, one of their major concerns of the Europeans was that that we could potentially deny or disable the GPS network when some events such as wars start.

The 'recent events' might however have underscored their concern, for instance:

  • The GPS network's accuracy was changed during the war and only the US military could access the system for normal accuracy.
  • Randomly inserting inaccurate information in the GPS network was antoher tactic used.

Maybe, these things just made the Europeans want their own network even more.

It shouldn't however be a problem to anyone. Aren't we going to get more choice. Hopefully.

Thank you.
GrimReality
2003-05-27 00:49:03 UTC (2003-05-26 20:49:03 EDT)

Both? (1)

Shishio (540577) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043280)

Good thing for commercialization of space, or bad thing for world peace?

Well, why can't it be both?
An expansion of Europe's independence from American technology could lead to a more stable and powerful EU. For better or worse, this could give the US the rival superpower it's been looking for the last 10 or more years.

Then again, it might just bolster technological advancement and general global interdependence. In that case, more power to them. I believe we'll just have to see how the project progresses and how the powers that are react to it.

Sounds like a boon for innovation (1)

Xeth (614132) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043283)

At least for the development of a US Anti-Satellite Weapon.

Love the US or hate it, it's pretty clear that our goernment doesn't want anyone to rise to our level of power, and God only know what will be done if someone tries.

Good Thing for Europe (1, Troll)

moehoward (668736) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043291)

When the U.S. gets a "monopoly" on something, we seem to have a way of imposing our moral correctness on others. (Lots of foreign aid money, kick-ass military, GPS satellites, etc.)

This, of course, rubs everyone the wrong way and is probably why we are so, um, disliked in many parts of the world.

We have this weird political morality that makes people very uncomfortable. On one hand, we impose Hollywood/TV on the world (OK, "Impose" is the wrong word) and then we also have the high-falutin right-wing christianity twist to what we expect of others. It's more than just that, but that's the gist of it.

Look for more of this. I think it's great for Europe to stretch its legs a bit. Perhaps a streak of independence will help nurse them from the socialism that's dragging their economy down (big unemployment and large upcoming social payouts).

Re:Good Thing for Europe (1)

Ken@WearableTech (107340) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043338)

This weird lack of political morality makes people very uncomfortable.

Let Europe spend the money, with an economy that makes the American look great.

Now everyone can have GPS guided bombs Hooooray!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043294)

That's just great! In a few years the Iranians, North Koreans, the you name them's will have precision guided bombs to kill Americans with...

All bought through France of course...
(they seem to have a history of selling anybody anything)

Free VS Fee (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043303)

And exactly who's going to use this so called system? Currently the US Gov picks up the tab for GPS but the EU satalite system is going to be pay to use. So while you can find yourself anywhere on the globe with greater accuracy i'm betting that no one will pay for the extra few meters of accuracy other then businesses who get along fine without it currently.

Great Name (4, Interesting)

yet another coward (510) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043304)

During Galileo's day, longitude was hard to determine. Ships at sea had no sufficiently good clocks to determine position. Galileo proposed a system [uwaterloo.ca] using the moons of Jupiter, but it never worked well enough. John Harrison ultimately solved the problem, but I guess "Harrison" does not sound as good as "Galileo." Nova had a good program [pbs.org] on the longitude problem. There was also a bestselling book [amazon.com] about Harrison and his feat, but I have not read it.

Re:Great Name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043373)

Why not call it "John"?

Re:Great Name (1)

LoztInSpace (593234) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043377)

The book is fascinating and well written. I'd recommend it to anyone even vaguely interested in this stuff. The TV program was a great and faithful adaptation. My g/f enjoyed it and she's not really into science.

World peace? (3, Insightful)

incom (570967) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043306)

Good thing for commercialization of space, or bad thing for world peace? And how is the EU having thier own GPS system a threat to world peace? Maybe if your a paranoid mountain hermit, and if the world to you is the USA. I for one trust the EU as peacekeepers more than just about any powerful organization out there.

Power to the people (1)

panxerox (575545) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043327)

Unfortunaly some of those people will use the power of these Geo location systems to kill (i.e. poor man's cruise missiles). Whatever system is in place it should have an international governing body to control it like we should have had with nuclear weapons from the beginning.

Anyone remember the fee structure? (1)

lenski (96498) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043329)

I wonder how the "free of charge" service level will compare with GPS. I wonder further how expensive the higher service levels will be?

http://www.galileo-pgm.org/ [galileo-pgm.org]

Re:Anyone remember the fee structure? (1)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043375)

considering there are commercial systems getting 1 cm accuracy out of regular CA code GPS (non military) I just don't see the point... Whatever man, its not my tax dollars..

Too expensive (-1, Troll)

f97tosc (578893) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043331)

Even if I try really hard I can't imagine a scenario where Europe really needed satellite navigation but the US would block GPS from them. Europe has the habit of sitting on their butts and complaining on whatever the US does. It is not like they are the ones taking action left and right and the US stopping them by blocking GPS. Even if Europe had had this Gallileo that would not have enabled them to stop US action in Iraq or Afghanistan.

If Europe would have taken a more of a leadership role in world politics (as opposed to just complaining on whatever the US does) then I am sure the US would be delighted and more the willing to let them use GPS.

This sounds like a very expensive French idea. Accuracy is supposed to be higher than GPS so it is not completely useless, but too expensive. I could think of so many big research and defense projects that would be more useful for European tax payers than this.

Tor

Bad for world peace? Sure. (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043336)

It threatens the new policy the US of A would like to have - from the cold war and MAD to UAI - Unilaterally Assured Invunerability, as seen by their insistance on a rocket shield, when any poor fool who'd try launching a nuke would be erased from existance, including the country in question. If anyone that desperate actually had a nuke, they'd probably just drive or ship it in instead. Same effect, helluva lot less payback (until they were found out at least).

Kjella

trully a shame (from a disgusted European) (2, Insightful)

DataShark (25965) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043340)

as an European taxpayer i find disgusting this continuing tendency of certain European Governments (always the same Gang : French, Germany and Belgium) of copycatting the US instead of cooperating for the global good...

This is not even competition, it is simply a continued waste of money ...

Some European Politicians didn't understood yet what Alexis of Tocqueville (himself a French) found two hundred years ago and still think that Europe must, whatever it takes, be the Center of the Universe ...

Imagine if they had learned to cooperate : we could already be on Mars or close ...

but no, those Americans are the menace, and yet those Americans saved Democracy in Europe twice in the 20th Century !

Cheers from Portugal, Europe ...

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6043398)

What part of the war against Iraq did you miss?

The part where we lied about the al Qaeda links to Saddam Hussein?

The part where we got caught manufacturing phony evidence that Iraq was building nukes?

The part where we violated international law and waged war on an essentially defenseless nation, killing thousands of people in the process?

Or the part where it turns out that there were never and WMD's at all?

What an Orignal Name! (2, Funny)

Ken@WearableTech (107340) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043357)

Doesn't the US have some trademark or some other crap on the name "Galileo" relating to a spacecraft?

Can't Europe do something orginal. Sure copy GPS, but do you need to copy our mission/ship names too?

Re:What an Orignal Name! (3, Insightful)

n3k5 (606163) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043423)

Doesn't the US have some trademark or some other crap on the name "Galileo" relating to a spacecraft?
Lot's of space related things, in Europe as well as the US, have been named after Galileo, Copernicus, or Kepler for ages. All of which were European, by the way. If something in the US is called 'Galileo', that choice probably wasn't all that original in the first place; it's definitely not 'your' name.

bad for everybody (0, Flamebait)

briancnorton (586947) | more than 10 years ago | (#6043394)

While this seems like a good idea for europeans, it really isnt. Two reasons.
1) existing market for GPS products.
2) potential for military abuse.

There exists billions of dollars in infrastructure to use the Navstar GPS system including software, hardware, weapons, and base stations. A new system may not gain commercial traction, and if it does, it just splinters the existing market, limiting potential improvements.

As for military applications, what happens diplomatically when the frenchies or the belgians or some other group of fruity bastards mandate that their system be left on while the US is fighting the next war for them? What does it mean if they turn it off? Even so, the french are notorious for buying and selling state secrets, so when equipment that can read the encrypted systm starts ending up in north korea, everybody has a big problem on their hands.

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