oliderid sends along a BBC report on progress toward Europe's home-grown GPS system. The Galileo concept will get an initial test via four "pathfinder" satellites that will be the first in the Galileo constellation. Galileo is intended to be complementary with the US GPS system — when all 30 Galileo birds are flying, a receiver with both GS and Galileo capability should enjoy 1-meter positional accuracy, vs. the several meters available through GPS alone, according to the article. There's a video tour of the facility where the pathfinders are being built. "After all the wrangling, the delays, and the furor over cost, Europe's version of GPS is finally starting to take shape. Due for launch in pairs in late 2010 and early 2011, the 'pathfinders' will form a mini-constellation in the sky. They will transmit the navigation signals that demonstrate the European system can become a reality."
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