European GPS system Galileo still offline

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According to CloudPro, Galileo, the EU’s GPS system and the European Space Agency (ESA), has not been online with any satellite since Friday. It is not yet clear exactly what the cause of the failure is, except that it is said to be an incident related to the infrastructure on the ground, according to the official statement of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA).

All twenty-six active satellites of the European counterpart to the American GPS system are not operational at the moment. The system is used for such things as navigation on smartphones, rescue missions, or for specific purposes as sending data from fishing boats to the relevant authorities or navigating agricultural machinery.

Cause unknown

A committee has been called in to find out the direct cause of the problem as quickly as possible and then to take measures to rectify it. At the time of writing, there is no known cause of the malfunction.

The GSA had already issued two warnings to the effect that users could expect a much worse service or no service at all, but once again no explanation for the problems had been provided. According to Inside GNSS, the problem could be a ground station in Italy, the Precise Timing Facility. This station is used to generate the Galileo System Time, the time indication used to enable the localisation of users. What exactly is wrong at this location is not known.

The failure of Galileo is taking place after GPS services in the Middle East had already been interrupted in June. The official cause of the malfunction was not revealed either, although Israel claimed that a Russian attack on the system was the cause. In any case, it seems that the GPS malfunction in June has nothing to do with the current malfunction at Galileo.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.