GSA launches investigation into Galileo outage

By on 24 July, 2019
Galileo satellite

Artist’s impression of a Galileo satellite. Image: ESA.

The European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) has established an independent inquiry into the causes of the ‘technical incident’ that led to a six-day outage of Galileo’s initial services.

The EU’s GNSS network was down for six days  last week after a failure initially attributed to the constellation’s Precise Timing Facility in Italy. Updated information suggests that other components of the network’s ground infrastructure may also have been to blame.

‘The technical incident originated by an equipment malfunction in the Galileo ground infrastructure, affecting the calculation of time and orbit predictions, and which are used to compute the navigation message. The malfunction affected different elements on the ground facilities,’ the GSA wrote in a statement on the incident following the resumption of service.

The GSA will establish an independent inquiry board to investigate the causes of the failure. ‘This will allow the Commission, as the programme manager, together with the EU Agency GSA to draw lessons for the management of an operational system with several millions of users worldwide,’ the statement read.

Galileo has been in ‘initial services’ phase since 2016, a pilot phase ahead of its independent ‘fully operational services phase’, during which it can be used as a standalone GNSS network.

GPS World has published an analysis by NavSAS on last week’s outage.

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