EU's Galileo satellite navigation system under service outage

BY APD NEWSJul 15,2019 at 13:02

The crucial European satellite navigation system Galileo is facing a serious technical snag for the last four days, causing a major outage in the region.

The signal disruption as a result of "a technical incident related to its ground infrastructure" has caused "a temporary interruption of the Galileo initial navigation and timing services,"

Users in the region are facing trouble accessing accurate signals used mainly for navigation systems. In order to feed the systems in the region, data from the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) are being accessed, until the problem is resolved.

"Experts are working to restore the situation as soon as possible," GSA said in the notice.

The Galileo system faced unexplained signal outage beginning on Thursday, at 1:00 p.m. Central European Time, after which GSA released a notice advisory on the website warning users a "service degradation on all Galileo satellites" that "minimum performance levels defined in the service definition documents" could not be met.

GSA Screenshot

But the Search and Rescue service, used for locating and helping people in distress situations, remains functional.

Unable to restore the services even after 48 hours of outage, GSA issued a second Notice Advice to Galileo Users on Saturday, saying "Until further notice, users experience a service outage. The signals are not to be used. "

Concerned over the massive outage, GSA has constituted an Anomaly Review Board to analyze the exact root cause and to implement recovery actions.

Part of Galileo satellites' status. /GSA Screenshot

The Galileo's Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) went live in 2016, providing accurate positioning and timing information to European users.

With 22 operational satellites in orbit and two under testing, the constellation has become one of the world's four major navigation systems. The other three include the U.S.-developed GPS, Russia's Global Navigation Satellite System and China's BeiDou Navigation Satellite System.

Aimed to be Europe's alternative to GPS, the Galileo constellation plans to launch 30 satellites by 2020.


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