GPS there is one but GPS systems there are many
Galileo satellites. ESA image
There’s a good reason why the American GPS positioning system has become the standard, it arrived much earlier, no less than in 1978. In the midst of the Cold War, the USSR was forced to create its own positioning system, under the name of GLONASS and already in 1982.
Using the positioning system that is in the hands of others is problematic to say the least, so the European Space Agency began the development of its own positioning system, under the name of Galileo, in 1999 and not without its fair share of problems and delays. The objective: have a positioning system independent of the American or Russian systemswhich could disappear at any time in case of conflict or whose maintenance is in the hands of others.
Galileo began its testing phases in 2016 and currently has 30 satellites (24 active and 6 on the bench, to be replaced in case of failure) and is currently fully operational, offering greater accuracy than GPS and GLONASS, up to 1 meter for civil use (and up to 1 centimeter, private). In addition to Galileo, GPS and GLONASS, there are three other positioning systems in the stratosphere: BeiDou (China), QZSS (Japan) and naviC (India).
|Operator||United States Special Force||European Special Agency||Roscosmos||China National Space Administration||Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency||Indian Space Research Agency|
|Use||military, civilian||civil, commercial||military, civilian||military, commercial||Civil||military, commercial|
|First launch into orbit||1978||2011||1982||2000||2010||2013|
|Precision||30cm to 5 meters||1 meter (public)
|2.7 meters||2.6 meters
|number of satellites||77||30||32||35||5||8|
Does your mobile support European GPS?
Now, does your mobile support Galileo GPS? Most likely, yes. From March 17, 2022, all mobile phones sold in the European market They must support Galileo positioning (without prejudice to any other), but it is also a project that has been underway for years, so even phones from a few years ago have no problem seeing Galileo satellites.
You can check which positioning systems the mobile supports in its technical characteristics and you can also consult the extensive list of mobiles and models compatible with Galileo on the UseGalileo website. The list includes some 1179 mobiles compatible with Galileo, and it is possible to use the search engine to locate your mobile. However, there is a somewhat simpler, more visual and fun way to find out, with the GPS Test application.
- Developer: barbeaudev
- Download it at: google play
- Price: Free
- Category: maps
GPSTest is an application that, as its name suggests, helps you test your mobile’s GPS. To do this, it shows you the satellites that are in view, each one well differentiated with its flag. If you see satellites with the European flagyour mobile supports Galileo positioning.
There are several screens where you can see this information, perhaps the easiest to understand is the Status screen. If you are curious, in the Sky view you can locate the satellites of each system in the skyeach with a different icon.
Another curiosity of this application is that you can calculate the accuracy of your mobile GPSfrom the tab Precision. You will need, however, to be able to locate yourself accurately on the map (with the help of the satellite view). Then, the app calculates the margin of error for you.