The European Space Agency’s Galileo satellites have achieved their first aerial fix of longitude, latitude and altitude, enabling the inflight tracking of a test aircraft. ESA’s four Galileo satellites in orbit have supported months of positioning tests on the ground across Europe since the first fix in March.
Now the first aerial tracking using Galileo has taken place, marking the first time that Europe has been able to determine the position of an aircraft using only its own independent navigation system. The milestone took place on a Fairchild Metro-II above Gilze-Rijen Air Force Base in the Netherlands at 12:38 GMT on November 12. It was part of an aerial campaign overseen jointly by ESA and the National Aerospace Laboratory of the Netherlands, NLR, with the support of Eurocontrol, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, and LVNL, the Dutch Air Navigation Service Provider.
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