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Galileo - Competion for GPS!

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Mr. Anderson, May 27, 2003.

  1. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson


    Oh, this is going to be good - can't wait to see what sort of handhelds become available and maybe even some better software (I know it will be a while, but its still cool).

    The accuracy is better than the GPS as well. That and the fact that its a civillian project so that the military won't shut down or make the readings more inaccurate if they want to.

  2. macrumors P6


    Sounds very interesting Mr. Anderson, thank you for the article. I wonder what the cost will be?
  3. macrumors 68000


    This will be interesting to see how it progresses. The US has been trying to block this for at least the last 10 years.

    My Brother-In-Law used to be in the Air Force in the GPS division, and now works at a Private company with the GPS stuff.

    He says that the fact that the Gov stopped deviating the civilian signal was to slow down competing systems. You guys have to realize how serious the military is about being the only kid on the block with the most accurate signal.

    I got a tour of the GPS facility from my Brother-in-law. Everywhere we went there was red lights flashing warning that a person without classified clearance was in the building. When I got to look at the control room, (through a window, I wasn't allowed inside) there were several monitors covered. When I asked about these my BIL said that they were to prevent someone who had extremely good eyesight from seeing the deviation to the signal, remembering the numeric deviations and then being able to deduce the formula that created the deviation. Talk about paranoid! (especially since I was about 20 feet away from the monitors!)

    Anyway, I agree that competition is good, and I am glad that we are advancing technology. I just wish the US had some serious competition for space research. Like maybe a chinese mission to the Moon or Mars. That would stoke the ole competitive spirit!
  4. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    That's all pretty paranoid and this will definitely cause a stir. Since they're saying that the systems will be compatible there might be a chance that you'd only be able to get the European GPS version outside the US. Who knows, the US Gov might even ban the use of the Galileo system.

    Also, when we start exploring space more, get a permanent base on the moon or Mars, those planets will need GPS systems as well.
  5. macrumors 68000


    I guess the paranoia from the Airforce is that they do not want missile launched against us that are as accurate as ours.

    I visited the base in '97. The most unnerving thing I saw there was signs on the door that basically said if you go beyond this door we can kill you... :D Makes you pay attention to where you are going. My wife absolutely hated visiting the base. (She had a lot of trouble getting through security to get into the base. She couldn't punch in the right code. The poor airman running security had to reset the system since she messed up so many times! :))

    I am sure the US will have a system that will disable competing versions around sensitive targets. They just like to keep their technical advantage..
  6. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Well, the Galileo system doesn't plan to go live until 2008 - so that's quite a long ways away yet.

    As for price of the portable units? Who knows? Most likely the same range as the GPS ones - although the European versions would probably come with roadmaps for Europe ;)

  7. macrumors 6502

    There is a lot of competition, but we don't hear about it a lot. For instance, ESA is doing a lot of satellite launches (more than nasa) for less money. This does drive the technology forward.
    But instead of competing more, I hope for more coorperation between the usa, europe and japan. This would be nice for developing a new space shuttle.
    I want to go to outer space in my lifetime please.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Using compatible systems might be a shrewd idea on Gallileo's part. In order to disable Gallileo recievers, wouldn't the US also be disabling their own GPS receivers? There would have to be a much more expensive, complicated, and target-specific interference. Go Gallileo!
  9. macrumors 6502a

    GPS is a powerful tool. been usin git since I was a kid on boats.

    Now we have this amazing Radar/GPS Plotting system. Full colour screen, shows exactly where you are on a chart with all the rocks around and also shows Radar pickups so you can basically navigate completey blind.

    And its definately worth having a european system. In these times how can we trust the US military to control such a pwerful tool. If they decide someones a threat they'll shut it off, then all the ships in the world will no longer no where the hell they are and not have clue. COmmercial shipping now relies entirely on GPS systems and satellite phones, there needs to be a civilian non-us system and there needs to be one fast.
  10. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    You can make localized GPS jammers - it was an issue lately with the war in Iraq. Its not hard and you can make them under $50.

    The thing the US Gov would do would be to basically make the measurements so inaccurate as to be unusable. And that would originate from the satellites.

  11. macrumors 6502a


    But wouldn't GPS jammers jam their own equipment as well? Same deal with mucking up the satellite measurements, yes? It would be all or nothing, wouldn't it?
  12. macrumors 604


    Well up until now the US has had a strangle hold on locating your position any where on the planet because of security reasons for everyone not just the world. It will be interesting to see if Nasa gives them the go ahead on launching these satellites. You do all know that Nasa for some reason holds the rights for all space launches. As far as I know all friendly nations receive permission from Nasa prior to any space launch. I assume that non-friendlies don't give **** and just launch when they want to.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Wow, now there's a pretext for a fight. Why would America be allowed to do this with gallileo, and Europe not be able to do this with GPS?

    No offense or anything, but the less America has to do with Gallileo, the better. I cant see any good intentions coming from it.
  14. macrumors 6502

    I didn't know that. Perhaps it's just to avoid collisions. If it's something else, screw nasa, nobody owns space.
  15. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Ha, that's actually crazy - how do they get away with that?

    And I sure the Russians are asking persmission....;) And what about the Chinese? They're not exactly non-friendly....

    You have any links on this - I'd love to learn more.

  16. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Ah - and there's another player in the game!


    Probably as secretive or more than the Pentagon. Its interesting that they're only using 3 satellites when the GPS and Galileo systems use 20 or more. I'm thinking that there will be more launches to help the Chinese GPS constellation grow.

  17. macrumors 68000


    I agree that Galileo should have nothing to do with America in design. And really that is the whole reason behind Galileo. (Cutting dependance on the US for GPS technology.)

    I am just playing devil's advocate here... The US military won't sit idly by and have its advantage diminished... Especially after recent events and renewed public support...

    I was thinking more along the lines that the US would jam Galileo in times of conflict, without permission.
  18. ntg
    macrumors regular

    I used to work for Navstar Systems in the UK, and we used to make kit that stripped off the deviation on the signal from those sats. We used to get 50cm accuracy, and using DGPS we could get better than 2cm with post-processing - perfectly good for large-area site surveys, etc. Galileo should be good for Europe, but hopefully will be complementary to the Rockwell Navstar GPS currently in use. As an aside, we spent a long while developing units which were GPS/GLONASS combo units, so adding Galileo should be quite straightforward!!
  19. macrumors 604


    It came up when I was reading about a private launch in the South Pacific about 6 months ago. I'll go looking for more information on it as soon as I get back from California. Were driving from Eugene to Chico California and back today. It's going to be a long long day.
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Im sure people (in NATO among others) that use the system might be slightly annoyed to say the least if this was possible. Lets say for instance, the British wanted to use the Gallileo in a conflict which did not necessarily involve the states (as ludacris as it sounds). Would the US jam the signal? As was said before, its all or nothing.....
  21. macrumors 68000


    Well I was meaning more of a localized Jamming. Kind of like the $50 jamming Mr. Anderson was referring to... I would be certain that the US wouldn't do anything to subvert the entire project. (Just as we can be certain that the British wouldn't proceed with military action that the US didn't support at least partially.)

    I would envision the US setting up a system that would disable competing GPS systems around major targets. (Like New York for example) The US has put forth so much effort to undermine these systems, politely so far as I know, that I just don't see them not coming up with a counter system. (Kinda like radar jamming.)

    This is just my opinion. I didn't mean to annoy anybody, so please don't take it that way...

    On a side note, Since you are from Ireland, do you find girls with american accents sexy, like I find girls with Irish accents sexy? :D It is just something about that accent. Maybe I was Irish in a former life. :)
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Its not a question of jamming durin gtimes of confilct and pissing off NATO, but the fact that hundreds of commercial shipping vessels would lose their way and probably crash and sink if the US were to interfere with it. Commercial shipping now relies solely on GPS for survival.
  23. macrumors P6


    I found that to be interesting that NASA holds the rights regarding all launches into space. That will be interesting to see what they do the the European launches. Since France fights us at every step, it wouldn't suprise me at all for them to do it without permission!
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Just because France is rebelious at times, it does not mean that it can control much of the EU/EC desisions. It tends to jsut go along with the directives that suit them and ignore the ones that don't.
  25. macrumors 65816

    I hope there are more features in this than GPS.

    And the whole military-accuracy-GPS-civillian thing was really annoying me.

    Sorry to all my fellow American MRerers but I don't like the way the US Government was handling it.

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