Galileo Reference Centre

Europe’s GNSS Performance Monitoring Hub

Located in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, the Galileo Reference Centre (GRC) is a cornerstone of the Galileo service provision. It provides EUSPA, and other EU stakeholders, with an independent system to evaluate the quality of the GNSS services. In doing so, it helps EUSPA to ensure the delivery of high-quality navigation services so users can better rely on and benefit from Galileo.

EUSPA is responsible for the management of the GRC, including its design, development and operations.

The mission of the GRC is to: 

  • perform independent service performance monitoring and assessments of Galileo and also other GNSS; 
  • investigate service performance in the event of degradations, but also during system evolutions; 
  • perform dedicated campaign-based analyses;
  • archive all relevant service performance data;
  • report on all findings to its stakeholders;
  • integrate contributions from EU member states, Norway, Switzerland and Iceland (cooperating entities).

A core facility + member states

The GRC is comprised of both a core facility and contributions from Cooperating Entities. From its core facility in Noordwijk, the GRC is responsible for:

  • generating performance evaluation products and reports using data collected by itself and through cooperation with member states;
  • conducting dedicated campaign-based analyses to support investigations of service performance, service degradations and experimentation;
  • making use of the GRC’s own data, products, and expertise.

In addition, the centre benefits from and contributes to maintaining the long-term competencies and expertise at the cooperating entities’ level. In accomplishing this, the GRC actively integrates contributions from the cooperative entities’ support both its daily operations and specific campaigns. This leverages the broad satellite navigation expertise available in European institutions for the benefit of Galileo users. The contributions include GNSS data from national, regional and worldwide networks of stations, reference products for ODTS and timing, laser ranging campaigns, iono- and tropospheric monitoring and assessment, field campaigns using automotive, vessels, airplanes, drones, etc. 

EU GNSS monitoring concept 

The GRC plays a core role in the EU GNSS monitoring Concept of Operations as agreed by the different European entities (European Commission, EUSPA, EASA and EUROCONTROL) to monitor GNSS constellations as required to comply with the corresponding EU regulations. Based on EUSPA GRC monitoring reports, EASA will carry out the performance assessment of the GNSS elements and will warn airspace users and ATM/ANS providers if a core constellation is no longer compliant in a manner relevant to the safety of GNSS-based aviation operations. EUROCONTROL will assess the operational impact of GNSS events using GRC reports and provide timely notifications to the impacted stakeholders. 

The GRC and the world

The GRC as the European Monitoring and Analysis Centre for Galileo, is part of a joint project of the United Nations that includes contributions from the United States (GPS), Russia (GLONASS) and China (BeiDou). The GRC utilises its functionalities to assess compatibility and interoperability between Galileo and other GNSS (GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou) and regional systems (EGNOS, WAAS, Japanese QZSS, Indian NavIC).