Galileo project takes shape
In its first communication on the progress of the Galileo project, the Commission said on Tuesday that negotiations with the US regarding interoperability with its GPS system had entered a 'decisive phase'. The report discussed relations with the US, as well as the service levels offered by the programme, security questions, and cooperation with other third countries. Loyola de Palacio, Commission Vice-President and Commissioner for Transport and Energy, said that the communication represented the 'first report on progress towards bringing Galileo into service in 2008.' The key to discussions with the United States centres on the ability of Galileo to interact with the existing American GPS network, which would allow users to pick up signals from both systems using the same receiver. Security questions regarding the procedures for using or interrupting signals during a crisis were also discussed at a recent meeting with US authorities. Proposed services are defined in the document, from free, open access for the public to varying levels of restricted access for government authorities. Various means of scientific and technical cooperation with other third countries are also outlined.