European Union Space Programmes

Between 2014 and 2020, the European Union (EU) is investing over 12 Billion EUR in the following four pillars:

European Global Navigation Satellite Systems (Galileo/EGNOS)

Galileo is the European Union's Global Navigation Satellite System (EGNSS). Together with the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), Galileo provides accurate positioning and timing information. Galileo is a programme under civilian control and its data can be used for a broad range of applications. It is autonomous but also interoperable with existing satellite navigation systems. By 2020, the Galileo constellation, consisting of 30 satellites, will reach full operational capability.

 

What is Galileo?

Copernicus

Copernicus is the world's most comprehensive Earth observation system. Based on satellite and in situ (non-space) observations, it delivers near real-time information on the state of the Earth. The data can be used for local and regional needs, to help understand our planet and to sustainably manage the environment we live in. The Copernicus services address six thematic areas:

The access to Copernicus data is open and free. By 2021, the Copernicus constellation will consist of six different Sentinel satellite families.

 

What is the Copernicus Programme?

Space Surveillance and Tracking

Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) is the ability to detect and predict the movement of space objects in orbit. At present, five EU member states are working together to develop an European SST capability: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom. The consortium will soon be joined by Poland, Portugal and Romania.

The project aims to establish a SST capability at European level comprised of three functions:

  • Sensor Function - establishing a network of ground-based and / or space-based sensors to track and survey space objects;
  • Processing Function - processing and analysing SST data;
  • Service Function - providing SST services to the EU user community.

Austria participates in the establishment of a SST capability through the Satellite Laser Ranging Station at the Lustbühel Observatory in Graz / Styria, which is one of the world leading stations in this area.

Space Surveillance and Tracking

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever with nearly 80 Billion EUR of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020).

Space research supported by Horizon 2020 focuses on increasing competitiveness of the European space sector by accompanying research on European programmes in the areas of satellite navigation, Earth observation, and protection of the European space assets.

The programme enables the European space research community to develop innovative space technologies and operational concepts "from idea to demonstration in space", and to use space data for scientific, public, or commercial purposes.