Antonio Tajani & Ana Pastor inaugurated Loyola de Palacio Global Navigation Satellite System Service Centre in Spain

Brussels, 14-5-2013 — / —  Galileo and the space industry in general presents a huge opportunity for Europe, not just for companies delivering the space infrastructures but even more for downstream industry, the people who develop innovative applications or services. The programme is designed to make satellite navigation in Europe more reliable and thus more attractive for use by commercial applications, which will help companies develop more advanced products. To help companies access this data, today Antonio Tajani, European Commission Vice-President, responsible for enterprise and industry policy, and Ana Pastor, Spanish Minister of Transport, inaugurated the new Loyola de Palacio Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Service Centre. The centre will support the dissemination of information to companies seeking to use satellite sourced data for products and services based in a wide range of different sectors, such as agriculture, transport and mapping.

Access to satellite data has very practical applications

The service centre will provide information on the status of the Galileo constellation to end-users or application service providers, as part of a general support function to ensure they can maintain the provision of any products or services they have constructed on the basis of the data flow.

Data provided by Galileo satellites, once the system is fully operations, will be used in a wide number of areas, for example to avoid car crashes, help visually and motor impaired people navigate, transport dangerous goods, survey costal water depth and intelligent salt-spreading during the winter

For more detail and examples see MEMO/12/601

GNSS Service Centre will help companies use satellite date more effectively

The European GNSS Service Centre (GSC), operated by the European GNSS Agency (GSA), will primarily act as an interface between the Galileo navigation system and user communities of the open and commercial services:

  1. The open service is the basic signal provided free-of-charge.
  2. The commercial service (the only service likely to be operated privately) provides a combination of two encrypted signals for higher data throughput rate and higher accuracy of authenticated data.

Consultancy and expertise functions will also support the developers of satellite navigation services and applications. The centre will provide certification services and quality stamps for the final products developed.

The GSC’s objectives are to:

  1. Provide companies and users with general information: provide basic services to the user community via a web portal and a user helpdesk.
  2. Distribute timely service notices: information on the system, system status and user notifications.
  3. Support service provision: sharing of R&D and industry knowledge by market segment.
  4. Provide up-to-date information on programme status
  5. Provide support to application and product developers including access to market experts in key segments.

The GSC will evolve with the growth of Galileo

During the current Galileo In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase, the GSC Nucleus provides a general Helpdesk function. From October 2013 an upgrade will be developed to support the provision of early services with additional content and functionality by October 2014. By mid 2015 a new version of the GSC will be ready to support the dissemination of commercial data through a real-time interface.

The GSC will continue to evolve over time in order to become fully functional in support of the Galileo Full Operational Capability (FOC) services.

Hosting advantages for Spain

Hosting the GSC offers Spain a source of direct and indirect benefits, as, on the one hand, it is a channel for Spain to participate in the Galileo programme and, on the other hand, it will increase the influx of visitors to the centre’s catchment area.

The service centre involves an investment of around 34 million euro. Spain has financed around €4m for the preliminary study and construction of the building, while the EU is funding the additional €30m necessary to engineer and outfit the centre. In addition to the jobs generated during the construction of the centre, it will employ between 35 and 50 highly skilled workers.

Centre located at a Spanish technology hub

The GSC is located in a fully secured environment in Madrid, within the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) facilities at Torrejón de Ardoz.

GSC is named after respected Spanish Commissioner

The centre is named in memory of Loyola de Palacio, in recognition of her work as Commissioner and Vice President of the European Commission, during which she was a strong supporter of Galileo.

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