UK To Develop “Lots Of Solutions” for GNSS After Galileo Exit

4th Aug 2022
UK To Develop “Lots Of Solutions” for GNSS After Galileo Exit

The UK’s departure from the EU’s Galileo program, it is charting its own course regarding a number of GNSS solutions. Priority access to space-borne global navigation is vital to the country’s needs. Dr. Leon Lobo, Head of the National Timing Centre, spoke with the Express on 31st July about the path the UK is taking.

Exiting Galileo

After Brexit, Britain left Galileo, which is the EU’s £8 billion GNSS satellite constellation providing position, navigation, and timing services. Galileo has been positioned as a rival to GPS, which has been implemented by the United States.

As the UK scrambled to locate alternatives, it invested in OneWeb, which currently provides broadband services.

OneWeb’s low-Earth orbit constellation can rival Galileo one day. Dr. Lobo has said the UK intends to develop many more solutions to account for leaving Galileo.

The UK to put more GNSS solutions forward

Speaking to the Express, Dr. Lobo said the following:

“There will be lots of solutions put forward.

“Whether it is low-Earth orbit constellations, medium-Earth orbit constellations, geostationary solutions and possibly other elements that could be considered.

“Many of these new capabilities have the ambition to deliver time. They are driving towards that position. So I think we will see a whole raft of things coming through.

“They will have different capabilities and different levels of resilience, levels of security.

“By virtue of being able to access all of these, including a new global navigation satellite system (GNSS) like Galileo should the UK choose to do that, is a huge step towards national resilience because we have alternatives and we are using alternatives, not just the one system that we all rely on, blindly in many cases.”

A lot of people do feel that OneWeb is a GNSS alternative later down the line. When the company went bankrupt in July 2020, the UK bought a £400 million share. However, there were questions regarding the vetting of the investment when it occurred. On 26th July, OneWeb and Eutelsat announced their merger.

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