Galileo satellite navigation problems

European’s own satellite navigation system has been down for days. It shouldn’t cause any serious issue but must be annoying for anybody that has something to do with this 10 billion Euro EU project.

I saw first notes on this on following article (Note that the Galileo system is still very new and not as commonplace as the article indicates).

EU’s GPS satellites have been down for several days in mysterious outage

EU’s Galileo global navigation satellite system nears 100 hours of downtime at the time that article was published. And it does not seem to be fixed yet.

Galileo, the EU’s global navigation satellite system, has been down since July 11, following a mysterious outage. All Galileo satellites were still non-operational, at the time of writing July 14 – and that situation seems to persist still, satellite status article says that the European GNSS Agency (GSA) have described as a “technical incident related to its ground infrastructure.”
’We can’t provide a running commentary,’ official says after EU forced to take satellite navigation system offline.
The Galileo constellation, a €10 billion investment, has now no timeline for bringing the navigation service back into operation.

More articles:

What to learn about this?

When you buy a satellite positioning device, it might be a good idea to make sure that it can do several from list GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and the upcoming BeiDou.

To be able to receive more that one satellite constellation gives you redundancy if one of those systems are unavailable for some reason.

GPS is run by the US, and is available anywhere in the world, including over the EU.

Galileo is an independent positioning system from GPS. Galileo was developed because the EU wanted their own positioning system as a fail safe for if the US run GPS failed, or couldn’t be trusted.

Glonass is Russia’s own positioning system, developed for the same reason as the EU run Galileo system.

Most modern devices can use any combination of these 3 positioning systems. Such devices will just fall back to GPS until Galileo comes back up. And older devices just use GPS.

I doubt most people even noticed Galileo is/was gone.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:


    Unfortunately since July 11 the Galileo system has been out of service. Not much information about the outage has been provided, but it appears to be related to problems with the Italian ground based Precise Timing Facility which consists of two ultra high precision atomic clocks that keep the Galileo systems’ reference time. (We note that recently within the last few hours of this post, most satellites seem to have come back into operational status, but the EGSA website still reports an outage.)

    Daniel’s post goes into further technical details about the information he’s collected, and it’s definitely an interesting read. One interesting bit of information that you can read from his post explains why the service has gone from initially just heavily degraded accuracy from July 11, to completely nonsense results from July 15 onwards

    Update: as of 2019-07-18 08:20 UTC, service has been restored, but all affected satellites have been marked with “SERVICE RESTORED (POTENTIAL INSTABILITY)”

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    JULY 16, 2019 BY DESTEVEZ
    Galileo constellation outage

    The European GNSS Agency has given very little information regarding the causes of the problem. The available information boils down to NAGU 2019026, posted on 2019-07-13 20:15, which states that starting from 2019-07-12 01:50 the Galileo signals should not be used.

    This has originated many rumours and confusion about the problem. It seems that the major cause was a failure in the Precise Timing Facility, which is in charge of the generation of a realization of the GST, the timescale used by Galileo. This has affected the OSPF, which is the service that generates the orbit and clock products (ephemeris) for the satellites. Thus, since Thursday, no new ephemeris are being computed and uploaded to the satellites.

    As far as I have been able to check, all the aspects of the modulation of the Galileo signals are working correctly. The navigation message also contains the correct week number and time of week, since these are generated on-board the satellite.

    However, a look at the gal_ephemeris.xml file shows the ephemeris are stuck in the past.

    when the ephemeris are more than 3.5 days old, they will be assigned to an incorrect day by the receivers

  3. hole io says:

    how much is Galileo, thank you for sharing

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    One mans mistake, missing backups and complete reboot: The tale of
    Europes Galileo satellites going dark
    The outage stemmed from a failure in the system that
    determines the satellite orbits and clock parameters. It took a while to determine what was going one
    before operations could be restarted, but by that time, the
    constellation had already drifted too far…
    Read also

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    FAA Fumbled Its Response To a Surge in GPS Jamming Confusion over stopping military tests had flight controllers fuming

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  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Galileo kasvaa 36 satelliittiin

    Euroopan Unionin avaruusohjelma EUSPA on sopinut Arianespacen kanssa kahdeksan uuden Galileo-satelliitin lähettämisestä radalleen seuraavan kolmen vuoden aikana. Näiden myötä satelliittiverkko kasvaa 36:een satelliittiin.

    Uusien satelliittien myötä Galileon ensimmäisen polven verkko on valmis. Uusimmat satelliitit ovat olleet kaksisuuntaisia eli esimerkiksi hätäsignaalin lähettäneeseen voidaan olla yhteydessä Galileo-signaalin kautta.


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