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If you have a great new idea for commercially using satellite navigation, it’s time to come forward. You may win funding and support to bring your idea to life, in this year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition.

Now in its eighth year, the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) is boosting ideas for innovative satnav application and services with business potential.

With the prize pool worth about €1 million in cash awards, business incubation, coaching, patent consulting, prototyping and marketing support, many ideas will be backed.

Image The European Commission has announced the launch date of the next pair of ESA-procured Galileo satellites. These will be launched together on a Soyuz from French Guiana on 28 September, joining the two satellites already in orbit.

Its two halves took shape in separate nations, but the first Galileo Full Operational Capability satellite has now been assembled at OHB in Bremen, Germany, to be made ready for testing.

Developed under ESA contract, this is the first of 22 Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites to be built, and it is scheduled to be ready for delivery to the Agency by the end of this year.

“We are very proud to have reached this important milestone after only 27 months from the programme’s start in January 2010,” stated Marco R. Fuchs, OHB CEO.

The next Galileo navigation payload has been completed and is on its way to meet the satellite platform that will host it in orbit.

The first of 14 Galileo ‘Full Operational Capability’ (FOC) navigation payloads has been shipped from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in the UK to prime contractor OHB System AG in Bremen Germany.

The payload – the part of the satellite that provides Galileo’s precision positioning measurements and services to users worldwide – will then be added to its waiting satellite platform.

Media representatives are invited to attend an event marking the completion of the in-orbit testing of the first two Galileo satellites on 29 March at ESA’s Redu Centre in Belgium. By attending the event, media will have the chance to learn more about the programme and its progress from ESA, the EC and the industrial partners.

A worldwide chain of Galileo ground stations on some of the remotest sites on Earth is nearing completion ahead of this year’s launch of two more satellites.

Engineers spent a hectic Christmas and New Year on the main island of the Kerguelen group in the Indian Ocean, working against the clock to install the latest Galileo sensor station – measuring regional signal accuracy so corrections can be made if needed.
There is no airport on this desolate, sub-Antarctic French territory, and a boat calls only four times per year.

The global reach of Europe’s Galileo navigation system is being harnessed to pinpoint distress calls for rapid search and rescue. A major expansion of the humanitarian system will be tested over the next two years to make it even more effective.

After rowing the Atlantic for 27 days, the six-man Atlantic Odyssey Sara G team suddenly capsized. The morning of 30 January saw them 800 km from land, clinging to their lifeboat in rough seas – but their distress call was detected from orbit. Rescue came within 14 hours.

Europe’s EGNOS satnav augmentation service, employed for an ever-increasing range of uses such as guiding aircraft landings, will be strengthened against the effects of solar storms and its design ‘future-proofed’. The new work order was signed on Friday

ImageThe ENCORE project is organizing the workshop “Galileo for Land Management Applications – Results and Perspectives of the ENCORE Project”, which shall be broadcasted over webinar on the 23rd of March 2012. Details on the program and how to connect to
the webinar shall be available on http://www.encoreproject.org. The workshop main language shall be

On 16 February, the European Parliament voted on the future of GMES in a resolution that strongly supports the programme being funded within the Multi-annual Financial Framework and for it to be operational from 2014. The motion, which was presented in Strasbourg, France, by MEP Norbert Glante on behalf of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, was adopted in plenary.In the resolution, the European Parliament urges the European Commissions (EC) to find a suitable solution to have the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme