Testing has begun on Europe's Galileo navigation satellites intended to
offer highly accurate services to authorized users, officials said.
Transmitted on two frequency bands with enhanced protection, the Public
Regulated Service (PRS) offers a highly accurate positioning and timing
service to mostly governmental users, a release from the Paris
headquarters of the European Space Agency reported Tuesday.
PRS access was initially planned for Galileo's Full Operational
Capability phase by the end of the decade but was brought forward
response to the strong interest of EU member states in the service, the
The ESA has overseen the provision of several tools, including test
receivers and other qualification equipment, for governments wishing to
test the PRS system.
The ESA's technical center in the Netherlands provided training, demonstrations and sample data, the agency said.
"As a result, Belgium, France, Italy and the United Kingdom have now
performed independent PRS acquisition and positioning tests," Miguel
Manteiga Bautista, head of ESA's Galileo Security Office, said. "In
parallel, ESA, through collaboration with Dutch and Italian authorities,
is also conducting PRS fixed and mobile validation in several locations
in the Netherlands and Italy."
The PRS tests have demonstrated a current autonomous positioning
accuracy below 30 feet, an impressive result considering the small
number of Galileo satellites in orbit -- just four so far -- and the
limited ground infrastructure so far deployed, the ESA said.
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