US says to reach GPS-Galileo agreement soon

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The United States and the European Union are close to signing an agreement that would allow their satellite navigation systems to work together to provide more accurate images and information.

Under the agreement between the US and the EU, satellites from both the regions would send information on the same radio frequency, enabling receivers to get signals from both systems and combine the data. The EU's Galileo system is yet to be launched, and the benefits of the agreement will depend on makers of receivers wanting to accept both systems. The United States has 30 satellites orbiting the earth, sending signals that allow holders of receivers to pinpoint their own and others' locations — as used in car satellite navigation systems. The United States is in the process of updating its GPS system — procuring new satellites that would launched into space by 2013. The EU aims also to have 30 satellites up in space by around 2010 with a fully operational Galileo system by 2012. It is expected that the market probably will drive dual-use receivers.

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