Europe launches first two Galileo navigation satellites
October 21, 2011
Unlike the Global Positioning System, developed by the U.S. military, Galileo is designed for civilian purposes and aims to end Europe’s reliance on GPS. The system is expected to start operating in 2015.
It also aims for better positional accuracy. While a position fixed by the publicly available GPS signal might have an error of about 10 meters, Galileo’s designers promise one-meter accuracy.
Galileo will also have a commercial, fee-based service for high-precision, guaranteed signals for use in mining, surveying, mapping and other uses. It’s not known how widely Galileo’s signals will be made available to the general public or whether future smartphones will support it.