Galileo Satellites Down Since Friday 12 July - 15/07/2019

The European navigation system Galileo is suffering a major outage. The satellite network has been largely down since Friday 12 July due to a technical incident related to its ground infrastructure, as the EU agency GSA reports. The incident has led to temporary interruption of the Galileo initial navigation and timing services, with the exception of the Galileo Search and Rescue (SAR) service. The SAR service - used for locating and helping people in distress situations (e.g. at sea or in the mountains) - is unaffected and remains operational.

Due to the problems, all receivers are not able to pick up usable signals to determine their position. Instead, they are currently dependent on the US GPS counterpart. Depending on the chip installed, this can also be the Russian (GLONASS) or Chinese (Beidou) networks.

"Experts are in the process of repairing the situation as quickly as possible," says GSA in an official statement. A research council has been set up to find out the exact cause and to solve the problem. The problem may be with a facility in Italy that is used to equalize all clocks in the system.

Galileo is the largest space project in European history. The European Commission aims to build an alternative to the widely used GPS. The Galileo system has a greater accuracy than the current version of the American GPS. Galileo's high-accuracy service with encrypted signal provides position detection down to an accuracy of 20cm. The network is still under construction.

Source: European GNSS Agency (GSA)

Last updated: 22/10/2019