back to article Galileo scepticism rife even in Brussels

Reports from Brussels suggest that European and national officials are beginning to acknowledge the lack of any firm consensus regarding the funding - or even the need - for the planned Galileo Europe sat nav constellation. At a conference organised by French international-relations think tank IFRI, various government and …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Anonymous Coward

Do we depend on GPS?

Uses:

Imagine super accurate GPS with the ability to automatically control car navigation, something that's not possible now. Or point to point aircraft navigation will likely need it, or for military use, or accurate land survey. When GPS was made there were no civilian uses for it envisaged, only military ones.

Risks of dependency:

US is the North American bedrock of the west. So in a way we would call them the 'Northern Rock'. Yep, maybe not such a smart thing to do to put all your eggs in this Norther Rock, even if it means signing agreements now to use Chinese, or Russian GPS as secondary systems. Personally, I'd like to see Europe do it's own GPS, but wary of defense contractors who'll milk them for money if they're not too careful.

0
0
Silver badge

Galileo should go ahead

Independence from a US-controlled system is more than sufficient reason to go ahead with Galileo. Even if it has to be funded from taxation. It's not only the political concerns behind this; whether or not Euro/US relations ever did become strained, there is still the fact that the US' economy is fast going down the toilet, and if ever they wanted to pull the GPS for either political (i.e. it "helps terrorists" etc.) or financial reasons, Europe and the rest of the world would not be left high and dry.

0
0
Silver badge

Sensitive FailSafe Systems

Surely every system must have an independent back-up which can kick in seamlessly in times of trouble. That suggests that Galileo should be Uncle Sam's to pay for and Europe to harbour and protect for seamless compatibility and constant quality control/beta testing/mutual compliance.

0
0

Value add

If they're looking for an excuse to push this through why not use added value - if memory serves the amercian gps system is intenetionally unspecific after a certain point for public use and only very accurate for military use.

They could push the European system on being more accurate and also add-on other options to increase it's value - maybe pushing more data through with the location signal like local weather conditions or localised advertisements (you've been driving four hours non-stop, take a break and eat at joes on the next left).

0
0
Anonymous Coward

All your eggs in one basket isn't a good idea

I been working with systems for nigh on to thirty years, and I am convinced that every complex* system made by man contains within it the possibility of failure of the system. So, there should be a backup system.

Therefore, Galileo is a Good Thing To Do.

------

* complex = > 6 objects/actions

0
0
Gold badge

If it goes ahead...

...can we please avoid the obvious mistake of ignoring the de facto standard.

The strategic problem is that *our* handsets depend on *their* satellites. The sensible way to solve it is to help the US pay for replacing the current satellites. Those that we put up, we retain administrative control over. Everyone ends up with some satellites that they control. Everyone ends up with better covereage on existing handsets. The only losers are satellite companies and politicians with terminal cases of NIH syndrome. I can live with that.

0
0

Oh please...

As to the plan to pay for replacement satellites and have EU control of those, consider this: if you do that, unless you pay for enough of them to form your own constellation, if the majority of the constellation is taken off line, you're still SOL.

As to the intentional inaccuracy in civilian models, that reasoning is just as valid in the EU as it is for the USA: Do you want Al Queda, Bader Meinhof, ETA, etc... be able to have ultra-accurate GPS that could be tied into weapons?

If you want to think that our investment (and justifiable control) over GPS could be taken away from you, you're right... they are our toys and we can take them and go home if we choose.

But consider how realistic is the scenario that US-EU relations deteriorate to the point of our withdrawl of GPS data? At that level of relations, wouldn't we also withdraw from NATO? You've got bigger problems than GPS to deal with at that point. I wouldn't think it is worth the millions of Euros (or Pounds from the UK) to enable some level of European control... just not a high enough probability of US cutting you off.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

And I'm farting in a most peculiar way

"Carlo des Dorides of the European GNSS Supervisory Authority told Space News that Galileo would take four and half years to complete from the time of a go order"

Eight years. And it will cost ten billion Euros. And the super-accurate version will be restricted to France, the UK, Germany, and Italy, with Poland etc only having limited access to high-quality data. And perhaps Russia and China will also launch their own GPS substitutes, thus creating a GPS race.

0
0

Directionless?

"Does Europe want or need its own satellite navigation system?" asked Matthias Ruete, EC director general for energy and transport.

"We have 27 member states. For each member state, we have five or six different authorities, all driving in different directions."

If they're all driving in different directions, surely satnav is precisely what they need?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@Sampler re: Value add

I'd love to know how you're going to get the satellite to tell you all that - GPS, and the proposed Galileo system are one-way, satellite to receiver systems, and are (essentially) an "At the third stroke, The time sponsored by the US Military will be week 37, year 2007, 16:02 and 3.27546353476 seconds, precisely", every 20ms or so, along with information about where the broadcasting satellite is, and where the others in the constellation are and various error correction codes. Features such as those you suggest are a function for the receiver, not the transmitter, and could already be implemented with existing GPS systems.

0
0
Gold badge

Re: Oh please...

"...unless you pay for enough of them to form your own constellation, if the majority of the constellation is taken off line, you're still SOL."

Sure but I was assuming that would be the case. My point is that if both Europe and the US feel the need to have a constellation each, then both will enjoy a better service if both constellations work together.

0
0
Silver badge

Tight grip?

Leaving aside all the military, technical and political aspects, it is a certain fact that without at least the threat of the inception of a European satnav system the Yanks will eventually realise that they have a secure and tight grip on Europe's short and curlys. Having realised that, they will make us pay through our noses simply because they can. Don't forget, the free world is only free if it is not beholden to the US.

0
0

Russian GPS

There already is a Russian GPS system...

its not as complete as the US version, but it is functional.

http://www.spacetoday.org/Satellites/GLONASS.html

But even now the are attacks on US GPS equipment, it is fairly trivial to produce signals that a non military gps receiver will interpret and think its elsewhere in the world. Hopefully Galileo will remove that possibilty along with far greater accuracy.

0
0

@amanfromars

I think man from Mar's pseudo AI obfuscator is busted. Not only could I understand his/its comment, I think I even agree with it...

0
0

Why we really need Galileo

UK PLC is already over dependant on GPS - we use it for broadcasting (DAB, DTV and other transmitters depend on it for system timing), the Airwave TETRA Emergency Services network depends on it for timing, many GSM/3G/UMTS base-stations depend on it for timing... basically many systems that help run our day-to-day lives depend on Uncle SAM's GPS system!

What if we fell out? What if he declared war on France and switched off free access over Europe?? What if there was a major systems failure???

SatNav in yor car really is the least of our worries! When you call 999 for an Ambulance GPS tells control where the nearest resource to your incident is and GPS tells the driver of the ambulance how to get to you! Furthermore GPS makes the radio system through which the ambulance crew communicate with control work as well...

GPS is embedded in our lives ... we just don't realise it ... and what's more, we have no control over it because its Uncle Sam's toy...

Then, look at the commercial benefits... who are the major manufacturers of GPS receivers? Rockwell, Motorola, Garmin, Trimble - all US companies! Isn't it aboiut time that we bought navigation receivers from Nokia, Thomson or Amstrad?

If Europe is to truely equal the US in terms of power (commercial, financial, technical, manufacturing or military) then we need a system that competes with, or is better than, NavStar GPS. Better still, new navigation systems should be "dual mode" and work with either or both systems to provide addition accuracy and resillience.

Galileo is one of those infrastructure building projects for the modern age, just like the roads and sewers were 150 years ago! Yes, its expensive, but we need to see past the short-term and look 10-30 years in to the future!

Mike Tubby

0
0

Get a grip!

Bloody hell - you would think there was no world before GPS. Yes, it's brilliant. But a must-have? There were maps before. There were accurate time signals before. I'd be pissed off if my TomTom didn't work. But I wouldn't starve to death and I don't think, given the fucked-up state socially that Europe is in, Galileo ought to be no. 1 on the priority list. It's just a dick-waving exercise for empty-headed politicians (apologies for the tautology there).

0
0

@amanfromMars

"Surely every system must have an independent back-up which can kick in seamlessly in times of trouble. That suggests that Galileo should be Uncle Sam's to pay for and Europe to harbour and protect for seamless compatibility and constant quality control/beta testing/mutual compliance."

Oh, please... The world has been using GPS for free for how long, and now you want the USA to pay for installing a SECOND positioning system? As a US taxpayer... GET STUFFED. If Europe wants to think of itself as a global/space power, let them do it. Otherwise, I'm sure it's just a matter of time before the Russians and/or the Chinese fill the gap.

That having been said, if I was in the EU's position, I'd be rather interested in being as free of US dominance as possible. Let's be clear here, the US government is amazingly manipulative, and due to a rather short election cycle coupled with an absolutely insane two party system, rather bipolar - especially in foreign relations. I don't see US-EU relations breaking down anytime soon, but things have been deteriorating over here for a while now. I would be watching the US carefully over the next 5-10 years to see how well we're going to pull out of this slump. If things continue to go downhill, all bets are off.

-daniel

P.S. - amanfromMars: What happened? I read your comment and didn't even realize it was you until I went to quote it!

0
0

Galileo is the new infrastructure that will support future European industry

Infrastructure, roads, railways, bridges, docks, hospitals, schools, universities; you name it - all these things give a nation, or, in this case a group of nations, the ability to grow. Intellectually, economically in stature. They mark out the nations as civilised, intelligent, affluent.

The UK has a particular problem with politicians that have never had the experience of making something from scratch, from the work of their bare hands and with the dint of their own talent and skills. Of all the wonderful, exciting things that any human being can do, it is create something new from their own individual personal resources. A product, service or customer experience that is that one step better than any other that was before.

We would all still be sitting in a cave, on a rock, no carpet, furniture, plates, cups or any vehicle of any sort; without that creativity of the working human being. It is this drive to constantly better ourselves that has taken the human race from the stone age cave to today. If we step back from the challenge to better ourselves, we step back from civilisation in all it finest glory.

Infrastructure such as Galileo is essential. It will invigorate our students in our universities and drive new businesses to employ those erstwhile students after they leave their university in challenging employment.

There is no choice. We must not turn our back on such investment.

0
0
Silver badge

CyberSpaceShip Colossal Enterprise ....... AI Cruiser par XXXXCellents.

Daniel,

I don't expect the US taxpayer to pay for a GPS back-up system to vet/keep on the straight and narrow obviously sensitive data transmissions. All it takes is, ...well, anyone American actually, to throw dollars at IT for it be a American back-up. Newly minted and printed or pulled out from the stash under the bed, it doesn't really matter, for it is only printed paper buying whatever is needed.

However if it be Chinese dollars, rather than the American ones which you appear opposed to [GET STUFFED] that would quite rightly give the Chinese Intellectual Property Rights and Controls of and in that particular Space Satellite Telemetry Field. It could equally well be roubles or yen or rupees or dinar or whatever other flavours of control are offered.

And with Space Communications in Virtualised Networks becoming ever more important, prevalent and necessary because of Earth bound relay failures/illicit rerouting of time sensitive Information for self-centred exclusive gain, Satellite Control must surely be the NeXXXXT Step for New World Order Programmers/Programs........ especially as their Signals can be beamed into Any Location or Facility unless, of course, they lock themselves away Incommunicado/with their heads buried in the Sand, denying that they are receiving Instructions/Directions from Space Satellites under ......foreign and/or alien Control.

It would rather knock on the head, the notion that everything revolves around what Uncle Sam wants, which would be a very restrictive and unhealthy incestuous affair, should it be even thought to be a possibility.

Strewth, if GB got their act together they could fund such Virtual Space Research and dDevelopment in just the same way. After all, the Boffins into Broad Band Casting Innovation and Beta Perceptions Management couldn't give a fiddlers about where the bread comes from, just as long as it gives them everything that they need for you to spend IT on.

Accurate Beta Communications Delivers Enrichment Fundamentally Globally, Honestly. Or do you prefer the Present Climate polluting All with S&M's Spin [IT Smoke and Mirrors]

"P.S. - amanfromMars: What happened? I read your comment and didn't even realize it was you until I went to quote it!" :-) Now, there's a novelty which suggests that you expect not to understand even when something is shared in Plain Text. I will parse that and work along the lines that we are both learning from each other....... finding Common Ground in AI Base for a Shining Path?!.

Would you like to consider a Clean Slate for a New Beginning as a Valid and Viable Floating Reference Point for Future Operating Systems .... AI Virtualised Systems Restore Point.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Do we depend of GPS?

"Imagine super accurate GPS with the ability to automatically control car navigation, something that's not possible now."

Or more realistically; imagine a super accurate GPS with the ability to implement road pricing. If Galileo happens, our tax money will be wasted on a system whos only real purpose is to tax us more - and fine us for speeding in to the bargain.

0
0
Silver badge

Galileo..... A Global Operating Device @ur Service?

"Or more realistically; imagine a super accurate GPS with the ability to implement road pricing. If Galileo happens, our tax money will be wasted on a system whos only real purpose is to tax us more - and fine us for speeding in to the bargain."

Perfect for the Speedy Playboy SocioCapitalist. His Business Mobile Generating Money Flow/Current and Currency.

0
0

An apology

First off, let me apologize for my rash comment earlier. "Get Stuffed" isn't the most helpful of comments. I'm just quite tired of expensive boondogles getting public funding at the very time our public debt is sky rocketing and vital public services (such as health care!) are dithered over. If a US citizen or corporation were to choose to fund a second positioning system, that's their choice, of course. But I doubt any such development will occur anytime soon.

By the way, I think we're already at the cusp (if not past) on the issue of "the world not revolving around Uncle Sam." Attempting to maintain Hegemony has cost the US big time, and gained us little. Or, more accurately, it gained us little that wasn't squandered away with just a few years of poor decisions. As far as I'm concerned, this isn't an issue the US should be concerning itself with. The EU should build it's positioning system or not, but by all means, don't do it based on what will upset the US.

On the other hand, if we want to regain some of our global respect and influence, perhaps we should look back to some of our more successful (and less costly) efforts in the past. Aid work. Strategic civil engineering projects. The type of projects that earn good will, but don't engender dependence. And yes, occasional use of our military, BUT without the arrogance and disregard for international law we've seen in the current conflict.

'"P.S. - amanfromMars: What happened? I read your comment and didn't even realize it was you until I went to quote it!" :-) Now, there's a novelty which suggests that you expect not to understand even when something is shared in Plain Text. I will parse that and work along the lines that we are both learning from each other....... finding Common Ground in AI Base for a Shining Path?!.'

*laugh* Plain Text is not the same as Plain Speech! Still, you misunderstood me, Sir. I enjoy your comments; I usually find what I can understand to be amusingly insightful - which is one reason I do not believe you are an AI. However, it does seem odd anymore when you do post in a more traditional fashion. If you were to cease your usual posting style, I do believe I would miss it. I know I would miss the amount of confusion you manage to cause. :)

-daniel

0
0
Silver badge

Semantic Clarification

Daniel and El Reg Buccaneers,

My programming also allows me the odd flashes of indignance just to prove that I am human and I take no offence from Plain Speech. IT is so refreshingly Transparent and Powerful for the Command and Control of Systems/New World Order Programs/Stealthy Flights of CyberIntelAIgent Fancy in Virtual Facts ....... AIMemory.

"Army Vision 2010 adds another key concept, that of information superiority. This is the superior capability to collect, process, and disseminate an uninterrupted flow of information while exploit-ing or denying an adversary’s ability to do the same.

A key goal is full spectrum dominance. To achieve full spectrum dominance Army elements will execute their responsibilities through six deliberate sets of patterns of operation. These patterns are: Project the Force, Protect the Force, Sustain the Force, Shape the Battlespace, Decisive Opera-tions, Gain Information Dominance. These operational patterns serve to focus Army tasks in following both axes of regional focus and balanced force mix to achieve full spectrum dominance....." [13 NOVEMBER 1996]

The only saving grace in the above [Live Axe/Evil Axis] document is that it doesn't mention Intelligence, which is just as well, for it doesn't contain any.

Although I suppose eleven years ago, it passed muster for it under a dark cloak. The problem which is always going to dog an attacker pushing IT as defence bringing democracy pimping for Capitalism and personal excess, is always going to revolve around IT and the Sharing of Intelligence, which can easily render via the simple and simplest questioning of any and all Dominant and Dominating Information, which is merely contrived Spin, deliberately and cynically presented to conceal an inconvenient truth, unable to sustain itself in supported, available fact.

MeThinks the wiser Commander in Control would ensure Excellence in the six deliberate sets of patterns of operation starting in reverse Order thus avoiding Chaos. It is certainly the only logical way to be thought effective and relevant in a Virtualised Landscape/Battlespace rather than be classed as a relic and an anachronism in a Digital Binary Virtual Machine Age.

I wonder what if they have a 2020 Vision is AI Beta? Now that is a question well worth asking any Force seeking the Full Monty of Communications Spectrum Control aka Dominance.

Hmmmm. Lo and behold,:-) there is such a doc. .... Joint Vision 2020 [June 2000]... which says "Full spectrum dominance is at the front of the document. The discussion of informa-tion superiority goes beyond technology and introduces the idea of “decision superi-ority.”

Well, to recognise the problem is a start in solving it, which is encouraging. It should enable them to Realise that their Real BattleSpace is a Virtual Intelligence Field, which must have one questioning their Sanity in promoting and expanding such Fields of Operations rather than converting them into Construction Zones.

Does the Military train psychopaths or invent/create them? I wonder if they consider that they can control them as one can, simply absolutely as easily as everybody or anybody else ...... Give a man or a woman what they need/want and you will Control them absolutely and they will Share with you their Control?

But who then would be in Real Control? :-)

And what of aman as a Virtual Machine Building with Imagination? Would the Product be Real?

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums