Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Satellite navigation stumbles forward

Despite delays and questions about its military or civilian nature, the Galileo project keeps moving ahead. Thanks to the roles now being played by China, India, and others, it is difficult to think of Galileo as a pure “European” project.
India’s decision to go ahead with a regional satellite navigation system is obviously designed to give New Delhi a system that they alone can control. When and if it becomes operational, it will reach from the coast of East Africa to Australia. The primary purpose of this system is to improve India’s air traffic control performance and to improve the overall levels of civil aviation safety. Building it will also improve their skill and knowledge levels and help them get onto the cutting edge of electronic navigation and timing technology.
They are not going to allow themselves to depend on Galileo; in fact, India has been reluctant to sign on to the European system, according to one report, for security reasons.
23/10/06 Taylor Dinerman/The Space Review, US