The European satellite navigation network Galileo is struggling with a major outage, European Global Navigation Systems Agency (GSA) reports at its website. The system's status page now lists all 22 of its satellites as either "Not Usable" or "Testing", as part of an incident that started early Friday morning. Also, the GSA notes that Galileo's Search and Rescue (SAR) service, which is used for locating and helping people in distress situations at sea or in mountains, is not affected by the current issue and remains fully operational.
"Experts are working to restore the situation as soon as possible", the GSA said. Moreover, it has to maintain the clocks on board the satellites' constellation synchronized with Galileo's general system (Precise Timing Facility). The system has been down since Friday meaning that travelers (and others) in Europe have instead had to fall back on the American Global Positioning System (GPS) - or even Russian Federation or Chinese systems.
The agency didn't immediately respond to a request for further comment.
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Since July 11, the regular functions of the European satellite navigation system Galileo have no longer been available to users. It wouldn't be the first time that time has been a factor with sat-nav either - earlier in the year, there were worries about Global Positioning System having severe problems because the calendar was due to reset. As of now, there are 26 of the planned 30 satellites operating. The GST is the "heartbeat" of the Galileo system.
The initiative, orchestrated by the European Commission and the European Space Agency, already has 24 satellites in action and is expected to launch two more next year.
Many receivers are therefore created to evaluate signals from several satellite providers, such as Galileo, GPS and Russia's Glonass.