Galileo is Europe’s own Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control. The first two European Galileo satellites have been launched on October 21, 2011 and after completion the constellation will enable improved services ranging from more precise in-car navigation, effective road transport management, search and rescue services to several other new and innovative applications.

Galileo liftoff

Liftoff of Soyuz flight VS01 carrying the first two Galileo IOV satellites (Credit: ESA - S.Corvaja 2011)


The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) is the first pan-European satellite navigation system. It augments the US GPS satellite navigation system and makes it suitable for safety critical applications such as flying aircraft or navigating ships through narrow channels.

Consisting of three geostationary satellites and a network of ground stations, EGNOS achieves its aim by transmitting a signal containing information on the reliability and accuracy of the positioning signals sent out by GPS. It allows users in Europe and beyond to determine their position to within 1.5 metres.

The EGNOS Open Service has been available since 1 October 2009. EGNOS positioning data are freely available in Europe through satellite signals to anyone equipped with an EGNOS-enabled GPS receiver. 

The EGNOS Safety of Live service has been officially declared available for aviation on 02 March 2011. Space-based navigation signals have become usable for the safety-critical task of guiding aircraft - vertically as well as horizontally - during landing approaches. project is funded by the European Union within the Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no 287244.