The European contribution to a global civil navigation satellite system
Space technology revolutionizes navigation. It will become the method for any task of position, velocity, range determination and time distribution. The existing navigation satellite systems of the USA (GPS) and of Russia (GLONASS) are military systems. They only partly meet the requirements of civil safety critical applications. A global civil navigation satellite system (GNSS) is required. The European Union (EU) has recognized the importance of satellite based navigation and its role for transportation in general and for the development of the Trans-European Network (TEN) in particular. It has therefore decided to become a major partner in the development of the GNSS. In this article a concept is proposed which starts with a European regional segment (ENSS) as an element for the integrated global system. This concept requires the establishment of international standards to enable seamless global service. It has the advantage of meeting both the particular demands of regions and civil user groups.