Satellite navigation

Satellite navigation

Airbus Defence and Space is a global space industry leader in satellite navigation and provides all necessary capabilities to support the successful implementation of satellite navigation systems, developed for different modes of transport, including aircraft, cars, trains and ships, as well as space and ground infrastructure, operations and services. Looking ahead, the company also contributes to research in mission and system design for future evolutions. 

Galileo system expert
for more than 15 years
Galileo IOV (in-orbit validation)
enabled by our satellites
Day-to-day control
of the full Galileo constellation
EGNOS prime contractor for the new system generation


Since the inception of the Galileo navigation programme providing global coverage, Airbus Defence and Space has offered major system expertise to the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) and the European Union. Until at least 2020, we will deliver system and services support to ESA and GSA for the Galileo Exploitation Phase. Looking beyond Galileo’s first generation, Airbus Defence and Space is also one of the leading companies to support ESA’s work on the next generation of the Galileo global positioning system.


Our two experimental spacecraft demonstrated critical Galileo technologies in orbit. They were succeeded by four fully representative satellites built by Airbus Defence and Space which allowed the successful in-orbit validation (IOV) of the Galileo system and helped to perform the first Galileo-only position fix in 2013. All navigation payloads of the Galileo satellites currently in orbit have been built by Airbus Defence and Space and our fully-owned subsidiary Surrey Satellites Technology (SSTL). But our expertise does not stop here: for several years, Airbus Defence and Space is at the forefront of research when it comes to the evolution of the Galileo satellite and critical technologies for its next generation.


From the beginning of Galileo until 2018, Airbus Defence and Space was the prime contractor for the Ground Control Segment which provides the day-to-day control for all the Galileo satellites in orbit. This heritage links to our strong background in large ground segments for space systems and demonstrates that we fully master the complete life-cycle from development, deployment, operations, maintenance and through-life evolution. 


In support of an even more accurate, resilient and capable Galileo global system, Airbus Defence and Space is now involved in the development teams for Galileo Second Generation (G2G), looking at major evolutions for the Ground Segment (Mission & Control).


A representative graphic for Europe’s Galileo satellite constellation, for which Airbus Defence and Space has offered major system expertise.


Airbus Defence and Space has been selected for developing the EGNOS V3 system. EGNOS V3 is the second generation of the European Satellite Based Augmentation System for GPS and Galileo, with improved performance and security features for civil aviation, and new services for maritime and land users. It features three operation centres and more than 50 stations in Europe and beyond and will also use geostationary satellites navigation payload. Airbus has been leading one of the two competitive design phases. Our proposal for the new Implementation Phase combines innovative concepts based on our expertise in GNSS and background in large ground systems. The core team of Airbus Defence and Space is directly responsible for the system and performance activities, the development of the Central Processing Facility (CPF) with improved navigation algorithms, as well as the System Performance Simulation Platform (SPV-P). Airbus leads an industrial consortium of 20 European companies. Our proposal as prime contractor for the EGNOS V3 Implementation Phase has been rewarded by ESA on behalf of the European Commission and the European GNSS Agency (GSA).

Our company is also the leading supplier of state-of-the-art navigation payloads supporting EGNOS and the U.S.-counterpart system WAAS.

More on EGNOS here

Navigation applications

A number of navigation applications require a positioning and timing solution that is trustworthy, robust and/or accurate even in very challenging user scenarios. Airbus Defence and Space offers highly sophisticated solution engineering and concepts which allow application developers and service providers to go beyond the limits of GNSS. As a few examples, we provide highly recognised expertise in interference detection, mitigation and localisation, signal processing techniques for rail and other land users and have developed a number of innovative PRS-authenticated and PRS-based receiver concepts which will enable a broader adoption of this Galileo Public-Regulated Service (PRS) for authorised users.


Galileo system, space and ground infrastructure

Airbus Defence and Space provides outstanding system engineering expertise for the Galileo programme and for the system’s evolution to the next generation. We also offer our prime capabilities in advanced spacecraft and reliable ground control for the Galileo constellation. ArianeGroup, a joint venture between Airbus Group and Safran, offers the highly trusted Ariane 5, able to launch four Galileo satellites simultaneously.


Airbus Defence and Space provides reputable system engineering know-how for the evolution of EGNOS and its development to the next generation. Airbus Defence and Space is furthermore leading provider of navigation payloads for the European Augmentation System and also delivers payloads for its American counterpart WAAS.

Navigation Applications

To GNSS application and service developers whose users require particularly robust, trusted and/or accurate positioning and timing, Airbus Defence and Space provides state-of-the-art engineering solutions and concepts tailored to the specific needs.


WST Ready Upright    
Artist View WST In Orbit    
MetopSG-B - Mating of Propulsion Module    
MetopSG-B - Mating of Propulsion Module    
MetopSG-B - Mating of Propulsion Module    
MetopSG-B - Mating of Propulsion Module    
Sacsayhuaman CUSCO    
Volcan Ubinas    
Sentinel 2C Into The Transport Container    
Sentinel 2C Ready For Packing    
ERS 1 In Orbit    
ERS 1 Under Testing    
EUTELSAT QUANTUM Loaded In Container    
EUTELSAT QUANTUM in Airbus Cleanroom    
Infographic MSR ERO From Europe To Mars And Back    
MetopSG-B-Structure arrives at Friedrichshafen    
MetopSG-B-Structure arrives at Friedrichshafen    
MetopSG-B-Struktur arrives at Friedrichshafen    
MetopSG-B-Structure arrives at Friedrichshafen    
Sentinel-2 Infographic    
AIRBUS Superbird 9 JSAT      
2 New OneSats      
XMM-Newton animation      
The New Journey into Space      
Eutelsat Quantum      
AERO SatCom      
Johannes Reijneveld talks about SpaceDataHighway      
Sergio Palumberi talks about SpaceDataHighway      
Marc Leadstone talks about SpaceDataHighway      
Copernicus - Sentinel 2B      
Space Tug      
Airbus Defence and Space to build Biomass – the European Space Agency’s forest mission      
Meet us at ILA 2016 in Berlin      
How to Get a Satellite Image in less than 1 hour ?      
Interview with Tom Enders and Greg Wyler on OneWeb      
Earth Observation      
Airbus Defence and Space: SPOT Family, 30 years of Space imagery      
Spot 6/7      
SpaceDataHighway - Interview Evert Dudok      

Earth observation

Telecom Satellites

Human spaceflight


Satellite navigation

Space exploration

Space Data Highway

Spacecraft Equipment

Back to top