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BBC NEWS- Mission to prove Europe's sat-nav

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Mission to prove Europe's sat-nav

Europe's quest to build its own version of GPS is about to take an important step forward with the launch of a test spacecraft, Giove-B. The demonstrator must prove the key technologies in the Galileo satellite navigation system before the full network begins its roll-out in 2010. Europe has already spent 1.6bn euros ($2.5bn; £1.3bn) on the project and ministers have warned that the additional 3.4bn euros ($5.3bn; £2.7bn) recently approved for sat-nav investments will be the limit on expenditure. Currently GPS operates with one open signal in a particular frequency band. With Galileo, we are going to broadcast up to 10 signals and the combination of these signals will allow us to provide a number of services which we cannot achieve today with the current system."If all of these technologies work as predicted, the project will be clear to launch the first four operational satellites in 2010. Full capability has been set for the end of 2013

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