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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2004 > January
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 8, 2004


U. S. Efforts to Establish a Mutually Beneficial Cooperative Relationship between the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) and Europe's Planned Galileo Satellite Navigation System

During the last year the United States and the European Commission (EC) have had productive policy and technical discussions that have moved both sides closer to agreement regarding GPS and Galileo cooperation. At talks in November 2003 in The Hague, Netherlands, the European Commission proposed a signal structure for Galileo’s Public Regulated Service that would resolve U.S. concerns relating to adverse impacts to allied military operations. The next round of discussions, scheduled for the end of January in Washington, will address similar factors concerning Galileo’s Open Service (OS) signal structure, as well as other related civil use issues.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) managed and operated by the United States Government is used for a wide array of economic, scientific, and military applications. GPS consists of a constellation of at least 24 satellites and associated ground support facilities. The satellites emit signals that can be converted into precise positioning and timing information anywhere in the world. Over the next decade Europe plans to build a satellite navigation system of its own, known as Galileo. The United States plans to modernize the GPS satellite constellation in roughly the same timeframe. The United States and Europe therefore have an historic opportunity to create independent, cooperative systems that will provide better, more reliable service to civil users around the world.

To that end the United States and the European Commission are engaged in negotiations on an agreement to establish a mutually beneficial cooperative relationship between the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) and Europe’s planned Galileo satellite navigation system. The United States hopes to ensure that GPS and Galileo are compatible and that their civil services are interoperable, thereby maximizing potential benefits for all civil users of satellite navigation services. An agreement on GPS/Galileo cooperation should also allow the Galileo program to meet its performance requirements while protecting U.S. and NATO national security requirements through signal separation between Galileo’s services and the GPS military service (M-Code).

See related Fact Sheet.

2004/10


Released on January 8, 2004

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