As an international partner to the iNavSat consortium, Kongsberg Maritime has played a key role in the maritime activities of Galileo Concession bid, which will be evaluated by the European Commission (EC) in February 2005. iNavSat is one of two consortiums bidding for the concession, with the winner effectively taking control of the full implementation of the Galileo programme and subsequent running for a period of 20 years.
Kongsberg Maritime is one of 40 partners from 15 countries in the iNavSat consortium, which is run by EADS Space, Inmarsat Ventures and Thales Group. The role of Kongsberg Maritime within the consortium is as premise provider for the integration of Galileo services for the maritime industry. The Galileo system, which will consist of a constellation of 30 satellites is the first ever civilian run commercial project of its kind.
"As a leading provider of products and services to high-end users we have the technology, experience and competency in place to utilise Galileo for the benefit of the entire maritime industry," says Bjørn A. Fossum, President of Kongsberg Seatex AS. "As part of iNavSat KONGSBERG will provide new infrastcuture, products and services around the Galileo platform that will improve everything from navigation and positioning to security and safety."
Following approval by the transport council on December 10th 2004, the Galileo programme has been moved to the deployment and operating phase. The iNavSat concession proposal for the Galileo Concession was submitted to the GJU on 25th January 2005. The preferred bidder selection will take place during February through the Galileo Joint Undertaking (GJU) and concession contract negotiation will proceed after this.
Galileo will provide the first highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning services under civilian control. The fully deployed Galileo system will consist of 30 satellites and associated ground infrastructure and is scheduled to be fully operational by 2008.
While providing autonomous navigation and positioning services utilising EGNOS, Galileo will also be inter-operable with GPS, which is run by the US government and GLONASS, which is controlled by the Russian government.