Cork Astronomy Club welcomed Cork-based electronics engineer Cillian O’Driscoll who drew on his work with ESA on the Galileo project, Europe’s own global navigation satellite system, to review how satellites have changed the way we navigate the globe. The lecture was held via Zoom.
Fantastic talk from someone who clearly is a master of his subject, was the verdict of one member in the audience.
Cillian explained the mechanics of GNSS systems (that’s any satellite navigation system with global coverage) and answered many detailed questions from members. He also delved into the political ramifications. The Galileo system is a project of the Europe Commission, he explained, although the technical work is contracted to ESA. In the early 2000’s the US government was keen to discourage Galileo and to persuade the EU to be satisfied with GPS, which is under US military control, and used to have a built-in 100m error margin.