The in-orbit validation of Galileo has been achieved, it was reported by ESA on 10th February such that Europe now has the operational nucleus of its own satellite navigation constellation in place – the world’s first civil-owned and operated satnav system.
In 2011 and 2012 the first four satellites were launched into orbit. Four is the minimum number needed to perform navigation fixes. In the following year, these satellites were combined with a growing global ground infrastructure to allow the project to undergo its crucial In-Orbit Validation phase: IOV.
Galileo’s observed dual-frequency positioning accuracy is an average 8m horizontally and 9m vertically, 95% of the time. Its average timing accuracy is 10 billionths of a second – and its performance is set to sharpen as more satellites are launched and ground stations come on line.