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Europe and Navigation Systems

Although the ESA Navsat concept datesback to the 1980's, the proposed project has received relatively little attention and even less financial support. The preliminary Navsat system called for 18 satellites: 12 in highly elliptical orbits and 6 in geostationary orbits (Reference 423). By mid-1993 ESA was examining plans for a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) for the express purpose of avoiding European dependency on the US GPS and the Russian GLONASS networks. However, behind the scenes activities were aimed at finding an acceptable sponsor and operator other than ESA, perhaps the European Commissionor INMARSAJ. Formal Phase A/B studies were postponed until 1995 or later.


423. J.M. Lenorovitz, "ESA Offers Updated Navsat Concept As New Civilian Navigation System", Aviation Week and Space Technology, 25 January 1988, pp. 54-55.

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