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Colloquium on scientific and fundamental aspects of the Galileo programme


A key meeting to enhance the scientific use of Galileo and contribute to the science-based development of Global Navigation Satellite Systems is being held at the ’Cité de l’Espace’ in Toulouse on 1 to 4 October. This is the first colloquium on scientific and fundamental aspects of the Galileo programme.

The colloquium has stimulated interest throughout the worldwide scientific community. Scientists are coming from China, India, Korea and the USA, as well as from Europe, to present their work and views about the scientific exploitation of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) in general and Galileo in particular.

By bringing together leading members of the European scientific community and their international partners, this colloquium will be an opportunity for Galileo partners to discover the numerous uses of satellite navigation and the very sophisticated aspects of this cutting edge area.

Organised by the Air and Space Academy, the Bureau des Longitudes, the Académie de Marine and ESA, this colloquium is also intended to contribute to the 50th anniversary celebrations of the launch of Sputnik.

Three major areas will be addressed:

* the fundamental aspects of navigation by satellites and Galileo: geodetic and temporal reference frames, relativistic frame, on-board and ground clocks, orbits, radiation environment in orbit, inter-satellite links, fundamental aspects of propagation, tropospheric and ionospheric corrections, calibration and validation, relations with international organisations (BIPM, IGS)
* scientific applications in meteorology, geodesy, geophysics, space physics, oceanography, land surface and ecosystem studies, using either direct or reflected signals, differential measurements, phase measurements, occultation measurements, using receivers placed on the ground, in airplanes or in scientific satellites
* scientific developments in physics and dealing with future systems, particularly in testing fundamental laws, in astronomy, in Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity, in quantum communication, new quantum clock synchronization protocols, and in advanced scientific utilization of future generation of atomic clocks on board GNSS

The purpose of the colloquium is to review the various possibilities for using navigation satellite systems such as Galileo for scientific purposes, to investigate how these scientific requirements can contribute to making the most of the present systems and to define their possible future evolution.

The conference will be conducted as a series of plenary talks and two parallel half-day sessions. Its scientific content has been organised by a European committee led by Dr. Jean-Francois Minster.

During the conference a round table discussion will take place with two main objectives:

* identification of the key scientific issues for GNSS in general and Galileo in particular
* expression of recommendations to ensure the best environment for the scientific exploitation of Galileo

The round table is planned to include 17 representatives drawn from industry, ESA, CNES, DLR, from the conference’s Scientific Committee, and from the initial promoters of the conference.


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