Mature Applications of Galileo for Emergency Scenarios

Background & Objectives

GNSS offers a unique tool to support the operations that are needed for the management of various types of emergencies. Positioning and position reporting is vital during the operations of various entities involved in emergency management, such as the police, fire brigades, civil protection, ambulances, etc. Crisis and emergency situations require a joint effort of several different forces and teams, in a coordinated way and sometimes in particularly stressful environments. In the case of large-scale disasters, the infrastructure for transport and communication is likely to be unavailable.

Also roads, power lines, water distribution systems may be damaged or even destroyed. As a consequence, the operations for rescue or assistance could be very difficult, and it is vital that the basic infrastructure is quickly restored in order to give first aid to the victims. Galileo will be a valuable tool to support these types of situations. Its high reliability, even in emergency situations and difficult environments, is therefore a key characteristic of paramount importance to ease the management of natural or non-natural disasters. Prevention of catastrophic events with the survey and monitoring of assets, dams, bridges, including support to cartography for the management of emergencies, are also areas where Galileo and EGNOS can bring significant benefits.

The MAGES project addresses GNSS support to the management of various types of emergency relief including disaster relief, helicopter operations and fire rescue. It focuses on the unique differentiators emanating from the introduction of Galileo and EGNOS, and on their particular importance and relevance for the different actors in emergency management. Following a consolidation of user needs, detailed technical analysis will lead to the creation of three major demonstrations.


The MAGES project addresses all the key actors in the emergency management community and aims to represent the next stage in their adoption of Galileo. The starting point of the project will benefit from all the accumulated results and experience of the partners and users in precursor projects, e.g. HARMLESS, SCORE, HELICITY. The involvement of the partners in previous related activities ensures that MAGES will constitute an instrument of continuous effort of dissemination and promotion activities. The involvement of the users group in previous projects in this area ensures a solid and conscious users community.

A depth assessment of the EGNOS and Galileo differentiators, in technical and non-technical aspects, at system, service and user segment level, including the proposal of specific local elements, and the assessment of alert broadcast services to support emergency operations will be performed. The project will then define and carry out a set of three representative demonstrations of pilot systems to support the emergency management operations showing a clear benefit over the applications based on the currently existing technology (GPS) and with the objective of being a solid basis for the future deployment of the respective operational services.

The demonstrations chosen are:

  • Helicopter navigation
  • Disaster relief management
  • Fire brigade management.


The project has the following objectives:

  • contribute to the introduction of Galileo and EGNOS for emergency management applications;
  • investigate technical and non-technical benefits and advantages of Galileo in comparison to existing solutions;
  • derive business value for the actors involved in the service provision, from the Galileo operator to the final user;
  • investigate the role of GNSS for disaster alerting in coordination with relevant parallel objectives in GMES;
  • provide a platform to involve the user community in the optimisation of EGNOS and Galileo.
Nick Holubov
Astrium Ltd
Anchorage Rd
Portsmouth UK
United Kingdom
EUSPA Project Officer: 
Stefano Scarda
Project Call: 
FP6 3rd Call
Contract Number: 

Work performed & results

The expected results are: - Reports on the user survey, survey on current situation, planned evolution and exploitation of synergies, future mission requirements, requirements for emergency management. - Scenario definition report; - Design documents on local elements, user terminal, user interfaces; - Report on service provision aspects; - Design document: alert broadcast via GNSS; - Demonstration: Helicopter navigation – definition document, design and AIV document, results and analysis; - Demonstration: Disaster relief management – definition document, design and AIV document, results and analysis; - Demonstration: Fire brigade management – definition document, design and AIV document results and analysis; - Dissemination plan and final report.

Photo Gallery

  • Helicopter demonstration

  • Disaster relief demonstration

  • Fire brigade demonstration

Septentrio Satellite Navigation N.V. (SSN)
EADS Astrium GmbH
Euro Telematik
GMV Sistemas S.A.
EADS Space Services
The 425 Company Ltd.
United Kingdom
Helios Technology
Tele+ Italia S.A.S.
LogicaCMG Nederland B.V.
Skysoft Portugal S.A.

Updated: Oct 11, 2018