October 23, 2008

Joint Statement on GPS and Galileo Cooperation

by representatives of the United States of America, the European Community and its Member States

U.S. and European delegations at the U.S. Naval Observatory

Representatives of the Government of the United States, the European Community (EC) and its Member States met in their first plenary session to review and discuss matters of mutual importance regarding cooperation in the use of global navigation satellite systems. Such consultations are held pursuant to the 2004 Agreement on the Promotion, Provision and Use of Galileo and GPS Satellite-Based Navigation Systems and Related Applications between the United States of America and the EC and its Member States. During the meeting, representatives of the Parties reviewed the ongoing work of the U.S./EC working groups on GPS and Galileo technical and trade issues and discussed various issues related to the emergence of global and regional satellite navigation systems in addition to GPS and Galileo.

Michael Bosco and Kenneth Hodgkins shake hands at the conclusion of the meeting

The Parties reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the Agreement and presented the current status of their respective systems. The U.S. intends to continue to operate GPS, a dual use system that provides precision timing, navigation and position location for civil and military purposes, and to provide the Standard Positioning Service for peaceful civil, commercial and scientific use on a continuous, worldwide basis, free of direct user fees. The European Community has launched the procurement of the Galileo system and revised the governance of the European GNSS Systems (Galileo and EGNOS) which will provide services including open, safety-of-life, commercial, and public regulated services. The Parties believe that compatibility and civil interoperability not only between GPS and Galileo, but also with other global navigation satellite systems, will promote global economic growth and strengthen transatlantic cooperation.

The Working Groups established under the Agreement provided updates on their ongoing activities and ideas for future work.

The Working Group on Compatibility and Interoperability (WG-A) continued its close coordination, building upon the 2007 decision to jointly adopt and provide an improved version of the common civil signal. The improved common civil signal, referred to as L1C on GPS and E1 Open Service on Galileo, has been optimized using a Multiplexed Binary Offset Carrier (MBOC) waveform. Future receivers using this signal should be able to track the GPS and/or Galileo signals with higher accuracy in challenging environments. In line with the 2004 Agreement, Galileo test satellite GIOVE A began emitting the signals described in the Annex of the 2004 Agreement in 2006 and GIOVE B now transmits, in addition, the new MBOC signal and a GPS-Galileo Time Offset since April 2008. Working Group A plans to ensure future GPS and Galileo modernization remains compatible.

The Working Group on Trade and Civil Applications (WG-B) discussed its success in opening channels of communication to raise and respond to questions related to market access and fair trade, addressing barriers to the development of the global market for satellite navigation services, equipment, and applications. The Working Group intends to continue working on topics including access to simulators, non-discriminatory approaches, procurement mechanisms and joint outreach.

A working group designed to enhance cooperation for the next generation of GPS and Galileo (WG-C) discussed possible short and long term priorities in order to prepare its first work plan. In the first stage, this group plans to address safety of life services including GPS space-based augmentation systems like the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) and the GPS Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) as well as Galileo and GPS III constellations. The group will also discuss interoperability of new civil signals

The co-chairs of the Working Group on Security (WG-D) presented plans for future work.

The Plenary meeting took place at the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) in Washington D.C., which maintains the atomic time standard for the United States and the Global Positioning System. USNO headquarters hosts joint U.S. and EC monitoring stations for both GPS and Galileo.

The participants expressed strong support for continued close cooperation, which has the potential to significantly improve services related to space-based positioning, navigation and timing.

Kenneth D. Hodgkins
Head of U.S. Delegation

Fotis Karamitsos
Head of European delegation