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European GNSS and Earth observation: A promising convergence for sustainable development

31 January 2018

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The European GNSS Agency (GSA) discusses how using European GNSS (i.e., Galileo and EGNOS) with Copernicus, Europe's Earth Observation programme, can help the world meet its Sustainable Development Goals as set out by the United Nations.

On paper, Europe's flagship space programmes – Galileo and Copernicus – serve very different functions. Whereas Galileo provides users with high accuracy positioning and navigation, Copernicus, an Earth Observation system, analyses and provides the characteristics of a given area. Both programmes create an array of opportunities for new applications and business ideas individually, but perhaps their true potential is found within their synergies.

Although the joint use of Galileo and Copernicus creates opportunities in nearly every market segment, it is set to play a particularly important role in sustainable development. "While Galileo and EGNOS determine a precise position anytime, anywhere on the globe, Copernicus provides information on the Earth's surface, its atmosphere and marine systems," says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. "The joint use of both programmes unleashes an array of synergies that will undoubtedly have a substantial impact on sustainable development."

Source: European GNSS Agency (GSA)

Image credit: United Nations - The UN recognises the important role that Earth Observation and GNSS play in supporting the achievement of its development goals.

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