European component of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).
Joint ESA and EU programme: ESA responsible of development and operations; the European Commission of financing and utilization.
Constellation of eventually 30 satellites.
The satellites have 3-axis stabilisation.
The design lifetime is 12 years
The satellites are placed in a Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), split into three equally-spaced orbital planes.
The programme is implemented according to several phases: the IOV (In-Orbit Validation, four satellites) and the FOC (Full Operational Capability, up to 30 satellites including 6 spares, with an initial FOC of 18 satellites).
2011 - 2031
Associated satellites and instruments
Note: red tag => no longer operational , green tag => operational
, blue tag => planned