July 15, 2019

EU's GPS Satellites Have Been Out of Commission For Four Days

  • Analysis

By: Steven Koskulitz

In Brief:

Since July 11, the EU global navigation satellite system Galileo has been out of commission.

The Background:

The EU launched the Galileo satellite system in 2016. This service is used by the government for navigation and search and rescue operations. Private tech companies and academia also utilize this service.

On Tuesday, July 11,  The European GNSS Agency (GSA) posted on its website: “UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, USERS MAY EXPERIENCE SERVICE DEGRADATION ON ALL GALILEO SATELLITES. THIS MEANS THAT THE SIGNALS MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE NOR MEET THE MINIMUM PERFORMANCE LEVELS DEFINED IN THE SERVICE DEFINITION DOCUMENTS AND SHOULD BE EMPLOYED AT USERS’ OWN RISK. THE NOMINAL SERVICE WILL BE RESUMED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.”

Two days later, the GSA posted that Galileo was experiencing a full outage. Prior to the Galileo outage, GPS outages occurred in Israel, Syria, Iran, and Iraq at the end of June. Israel suspected Russia was responsible for the June GPS outages, as The Center for Advanced Defense (C4ADS) has found more than 9,000 cases of reported or reliable instances of Russia interfering with GPS devices.

The exact cause of the June outages has not been discovered yet. The GSA dismissed any hostility in the Galileo outage, saying that it was caused by “a technical incident related to its ground infrastructure." 

Steven Koskulitz is a conservative writer from Herndon, Virginia. Contact him at [email protected]

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