The Galileo Programme, a joint European Commission and European Space Agency initiative, represents the first global satellite positioning and navigation system designed specifically for civilian use world-wide. Based on a constellation of 30 satellites orbiting at an altitude of 24,400 kilometers, Galileo will feature full interoperability with the US GPS and Russian Glonass systems, both of which are originally designed for military use. While GPS is available to civil users since the 1990s Galileo is intended to be operational by 2008.
- To provide satellite navigation users and equipment providers with a broader range of services;
- To promote open markets and to facilitate growth in trade of global navigation goods and services;
- To provide a system which is fully compatible with the existing US GPS system;
- To reinforce the global satellite navigation infrastructure by providing an additional state-of-the-art system ensuring a more robust, precise and continuous service to civilian users worldwide;
- To prevent misuse of satellite navigation systems;
- To provide a viable alternative to existing satellite navigation systems