This week (April 23-25), the European Navigation Conference (ENC) takes place in Vienna, Austria. The opening plenary focused on the recent accomplishments of the Galileo In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase that is about to conclude.
In view of the up-coming Galileo operational phase including the launch, deployment and operation of 22 satellites in less than 3 years, conference attendees stressed the challenge that Europe and the European Space Agency are facing. Speculations on the technological competition with GPS and the claim that GNSS is probably “the most complex invention ever of mankind” demonstrate the confidence and expectation that are laid upon the Galileo project. “A gold mine within arm’s reach of European industry” was how Gard Ueland, head of Galileo Services, described Galileo’s potential.