European GNSS Agency announces establishment of Galileo Reference Centre

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The Galileo Reference Centre (GRC), to be located in the Netherlands, will play a crucial role in monitoring Galileo’s performance.
The European GNSS Agency (GSA) announces the establishment of the Galileo Reference Centre (GRC). The announcement was made today during the 4th European Space Solutions conference held in The Hague, when Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment joined GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides officially signed a hosting agreement to establish the GRC in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. The Centre’s core mission is to perform independent monitoring of Galileo’s performance and report on its findings.


“The use of space data is becoming more urgent and relevant in many areas, for example in maritime safety and smart mobility,” says Minister Schultz van Haegen. “The Galileo Reference Centre will help ensure the provision of high quality satellite data so that users can better rely on and benefit from Galileo.”

With Galileo Initial Services set to be declared this year, the GRC will play a pivotal role in the programme’s operations. “When operational, the GRC will provide the GSA with an independent system to evaluate the performance of the Galileo Service Operator and the quality of the signals in space,” says des Dorides.

GRC’s core facility in Noordwijk will also actively integrate contributions from the EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland. The core facility is charged with generating performance evaluation products, reporting and performing dedicated campaign-based analyses. It will also rely on a range of facilities and expertise available in the Member States.

The GRC will be implemented using a versioning approach. The first step is expected to be in place at the time of declaration of Galileo Initial Services. The core facility is set to become operational in 2017.

Galileo Reference Centre (GRC) Factsheet
• Galileo is Europe’s global navigation satellite system (GNSS), operated and maintained by the Galileo Service Operator, under contract with the European GNSS Agency (GSA).
• The Galileo Service Operator is responsible for ensuring that the programme complies with the Galileo Services performance requirements.
• The Galileo Reference Centre (GRC) is one of the Galileo Service Facilities: a facility to support the provision of services to the Galileo Core System and the Galileo users.
• The GRC is operated by the GSA: it provides the GSA with an independent means of evaluating the performance of the Galileo Service Operator and the quality of the signals in space.
• The GRC is fully independent of the system and the Galileo Service Operator with respect to both the technical solution and operations
• The GRC is comprised of both a core facility and contributions available at EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland.
• The core facility, located in Noordwijk (The Netherlands), is charged with:
o generating performance evaluation products and reports using data collected by itself and through cooperation with Member States;
o performing dedicated campaign-based analyses to support investigations of service performance and service degradations;
o making use of the GRC’s own data, products and expertise.
• Data and products from cooperating entities from the Member States support both daily operations and specific campaigns.
• The GRC should benefit from but also contribute to maintaining the long term competences and expertise at the level of Member States.
• All of the components of the GRC will be implemented using a versioning approach. The first performance monitoring solution, which primarily relies on contributions from Member States, is expected to be in place at the time of declaration of Initial Services. The core facility is expected to become operational in 2017.