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Friday, 21 November 2014

161) The “25 Euro Silver-Niobium Coin Series: (iv) 2003 onwards minted by the Austrian Mint: The Fourth Coin in the Series: “European Satellite Navigation System” (2006):

161) The “25 Euro Silver-Niobium Coin Series: (iv) 2003 onwards minted by the Austrian Mint by using Niobium and Niobium metal insertion technology for the first time anywhere in the World of Numismatics:
The Fourth Coin in the Series: “European Satellite Navigation System” (2006):

Galileo is a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) being put in place by the European Union (EU) and the European Space Agency (ESA). The Project is named after the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei and is being positioned to provide an alternative high-precision positioning system for the European nations, independent of the Russian GLONASS and US GPS systems .

The Galileo Programme is Europe’s initiative for a state of the art global satellite navigation system, providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control. The fully deployed system will consist of 30 satellites and the associated ground infrastructure. Galileo will be inter-operable with GPS and GLONASS, the other two global satellite navigation systems.

Galileo is intended to provide horizontal and vertical position measurements within one metre precision and better positioning services at high latitudes than other positioning systems.

The complete Galileo Constellation will comprise satellites spread evenly around three orbital planes inclined at an angle of 56 degrees to the equator, (having 9 operational satellites and 1 spare in each orbit). Each satellite will take about fourteen hours to orbit the Earth. One satellite in each plane will be a spare i.e. on stand-by, in case anyone of the operational satellite fails.

The first Galileo Services are targeted to commence for civilian users by end-2014 and 2015. The fully deployed 30 Satellite Galileo System (27 operational and 3 active spares) is expected to be fully operational by 2020. Each satellite will have a mass of 675 kgs and a lifetime of more than 12 years.

From most locations, six to eight satellites will always be visible, allowing positions and timing to be determined very accurately to within a few centimetres.

Since 2012, the Headquarters of the Galileo Project is located in Prague’s district of Holesovice. Galileo operations are controlled by two Ground Operations Centres – one near Munich in Germany and the other in Fucino in Italy.

This Project is estimated to cost over Euro 5 billion. In all, 4 InterOrbit Validation (IOV) satellites and 23 Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites and 3 FOC spares will be placed in the Galileo constellation on full deployment of the project as envisaged of now.

The use of basic (low-precision) Galileo Services will be free and open to everyone. The high-precision capabilities will be available for the paying commercial users.  

The pre-Galileo GIOVE (Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element) Satellites:

GIOVE A was launched on 20th December 2005, its primary goal being to access the frequencies allotted to Galileo by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).  This was the first European Satellite to be launched into Medium Earth Orbit (MEO). This satellite carries two environmental monitors that gather vital data about the Galileo Intermediate Circular Orbit Environment (GICOE) and helping in the design of the full constellation.

GIOVE B was launched in 27th April 2008 and was the first satellite to transmit Galileo signals. Key facilities in the testing of GIOVE B signals are GIOVE B Control Centre at Telespazio’s facilities in Fucino, Italy, the Galileo Processing Centre at ESA’s European Space Research and technology centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands, the ESA ground station at Redu, Belgium and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) Chilbolton Observatory in the UK.

GIOVE A2 was launched to extend the mission of GIOVE A for securing the Galileo Programme by maintaining the critical ITU frequency and facilitating the ongoing development of ground equipment.

The GIOVE missions are currently providing experimental results based on real data to be used to test the functioning of the system at further stages of its deployment.

 Signal analysis of the data has confirmed successful operation of all Galileo signals with the tracking performance as expected. This is essential for risk mitigation for the IOV satellites that will follow on from the testbeds.

Galileo Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) – Project Implementation:

On 21.10.2011, the launch of the first two operational satellites of the EU’s global Navigation Satellite system from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, Guiana was made.

On 30.11.2011, the EU set aside a Euro 7.0 billion fund for completion of the EU satellite Navigation infrastructure and to ensure the exploitation of the systems until 2020, such as the operations of the space and terrestrial infrastructures, the necessary replenishment/replacement activities, certification procedures and the provision of services.

On 12.10.2012, the launch of Galileo’s third and fourth satellites from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, Guiana was made.

On 12.02.2013, positioning fix on all the first four operational satellites was received, indicating that, these 4 satellites out of the total constellation of 30 satellites were already deployed making it possible to “test Galileo end-to-end”. Once this In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase has been completed, additional satellites are planned to be launched to reach initial Operational Capability (IOC).

On 22.04.2014, the first launch of Galileo’s Fully Operational Capability (FOC) satellites, (which was meant to join the current 4 of the In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase satellites which are in orbit already and were used to conduct tests and validate technical solutions) met with reverses and did not reach their intended orbital position leading to a setback in the Galileo project implementation schedule. An action plan is being put in place to remedy the situation.

After the in-Orbit validation (IOV) phase is completed, the remaining satellites will be placed in orbit at regular intervals to reach Full Operational Capacity (FOC).

Coordination with non-European partners and combining the power of systems, such as, GPS in the USA, GLONASS in Russia and Galileo, has resulted in greatly improved performances and users can access any of these worldwide systems seamlessly, wherever they are located, without the need for different receivers.

The ultimate aim is to ensure that satellite navigation systems remain fully integrated and interoperable. China too is joining up with International GNSS partners for the same purpose with its Satellite Navigation System Compass.

The European Union is also supporting a number of satellite navigation-related activities in Latin America and Africa so as to have a wider deployment of Satellite Navigation Systems cooperating on a world-wide basis.

The EURO-MED Satellite Navigation project is also encouraging training and demonstration activities for the benefit of Europe’s Mediterranean partners.

Until the Galileo project got underway, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) users around the world depended on US GPS or Russian Glonass signals. Galileo has given users a new and reliable alternative.


Satellite positioning is now an essential tool for all forms of transportation. If the GNSS signals are switched off, several vehicles, ships and aircraft crew and average citizens around the world would be literally lost.

Unlike GPS and GLONASS, the Galileo project was conceived and developed and will always remain under civilian control and not military control.

Initial services to be provided from 2014 onwards:

The potential applications of Satellite Navigation are virtually limitless.

Galileo will provide four basic satellite related services to world-wide users:

-      Galileo Open Service (OS) – Free of charge for all users, featuring excellent positioning and timing performance.

-      Galileo Commercial Service (CS) – Access to two additional encrypted and guaranteed signals, delivering a higher data throughout rate and increased accuracy.

-      Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS) – a special Galileo Navigation Service using encrypted signals set up for better management of critical transport and emergency services, better law enforcement, improved border control and safer peace missions. This Service will provide position and timing to specific users requiring a high continuity of service, with controlled access.

-      In addition, Galileo will form an important element of MEOSAR (Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue Service) and thus a key contributor to COSPAS – SARSAT, the international satellite – based search and rescue distress alert detection and information distribution system. As a matter of interest, 77% of simulated distress locations can already be pinpointed within 2 kms and 95% within 5 kms and the Galileo Project aims to reduce these distances further.

Some Future Applications:

Galileo is creating a range of new business opportunities for equipment manufacturers, application developers and providers of “reliability-critical” services.

Guiding visually challenged persons in an unknown city, locate persons lost at sea with a 3 metre accuracy, guiding tractors by satellite for higher crop yields with much less fertilizer, reducing fuel and time consumption on the road through better traffic management, making flights and landings safer are some of the applications which will be commonplace in the near future.

Location based Services: This application integrates accurate positioning signal receivers within mobile telephones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), MP3 players, portable computers, cameras and video devices will bring Galileo services directly to individuals.

“Mobile Yellow Pages” or “Proximity services” providing users with information about nearby businesses and services.

Dedicated positioning devices will be available to tourists or hikers, for amusement park and museum visitors and people within large shopping centres.

Emergency, security and humanitarian services:

Galileo ready devices will enable new security-related applications, permitting the location of stolen property like pets etc.

Galileo signals facilitate civil protection operations in harsh environments, speed up rescue operations for persons in distress and provide tools for coast-guards and border control authorities.

Science, environment and weather services:

Galileo services will be used to carry out scientific research in meteorology and geology, in the field of geodesy, to track pollutants, dangerous goods and icebergs, to map the oceans, study tides, currents and sea levels.

Galileo will allow improved monitoring of the atmosphere, water vapour for weather forecasting and climate studies, and the ionosphere for radio communications, space science and earthquake prediction. It will also help to better understand the movements of populations of wild animals.

The Scientific community will benefit from high accuracy Galileo timing signals, allowing precise adherence to international time standards and calibration of atomic clocks.


Satellite navigation can increase traffic safety and efficiency by improving the use of vehicles. Highly accurate and reliable Galileo signals will serve fleet management, enabling delivery of detailed maps or voice notifications to locate specific shipments and containers in road transport, aviation, maritime, rail transport and even pedestrian traffic.


By integrating Galileo signals with other technologies, the Agriculturists will benefit from improved monitoring of the distribution and dilution of chemicals, improved parcel yield as a result of customised treatment and more efficient property management.


The fishing industry will have more efficient information exchange between vessels and stations as well as improved navigational aids for fishermen.

Civil Engineering:

Accuracy and reliability will be supplemented by digital mapping which will reduce costs and increase productivity, while maintaining high construction standards from the planning of new structures to the maintenance and surveillance of existing infrastructure.

Finance, Banking and Insurance:

Galileo’s extremely accurate clock will provide certified time stamps to the financial transactions while maintaining security, data integrity, authenticity and confidentiality in electronic banking, e-commerce, stock market transactions, quality assurance systems etc.


The high quality of time synchronisation represented by Galileo will mean better services for energy transport and distribution.

In the oil and gas sector, marine seismic exploration will benefit from Galileo services to seismic acquisition vessels and seismic streamer arrays and gun arrays. High resolution surveys of new sites and identification of any geomorphologic or geophysical risks will also bring more safety to drilling operations.

GPS based services already exist in many of these fields. The full deployment of the Galileo constellation will increase the accuracy and reliability of information in these and a new range of more beneficial and commercially profitable products and services.

European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) 2014:

The European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) looks for services, products and business innovations that use satellite navigation in everyday life.

The partners in the competition are the GNSS stakeholders – the European GNSS Agency (GSA), the European Space agency (ESA), the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), the European Patent office (EPO) and the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in association with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. In addition, 26 partner regions from all over the world hold regional challenges.

Over the past decade (the competition is now in its 11th year), the ESNC has brought forth numerous applications in the field of satellite navigation. The ESNC rewards innovative services, products and business innovations that use the European Satellite Navigation Technology in everyday life. 

The pool prize of the ESNC 2014 has a value of about EUR 1 million. Prizes included cash awards, business incubation, business coaching, patent consulting, technical support, access to testing facilities, prototype development, publicity, marketing support etc.

The winners of the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) 2014 for designing the best innovations in the commercial use of Satellite Navigation Technology were felicitated in a function held in Berlin on 23.10.2014.

This year, the winning entry was from Dr. Wolfgang Kogler and Dr. Jan Wendel of Airbus Defence & Space whose entry was a path breaking and cost effective receiver for the Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS).

 This low cost receiver will enable police departments, fire brigades, emergency medical services and other public entities to make use of the Galileo PRS system. Its core innovation involves the development of a special network architecture that combines the receiver with an assistance server. The concept accounts for all the necessary security aspects required for accessing the encrypted PRS service and significantly reduces the costs and complexity of user receivers.  

Six special prizes and 25 Regional prizes were also given for other useful and innovative entries which could be used in Galileo Satellite operations.

Since 2011, the European Earth Monitoring Competition, the Copernicus Masters has also awarded ideas and innovative solutions at the prize distribution ceremony.
 On the Obverse of the coin is depicted a compass  with the geographical coordinates showing the Austrian mint’s exact location in Vienna etched over the eight cardinal points. The inscription “Position der Munze Osterreich NORDLICHE BREITE 48 12’ 12”, 3 OSTLICH VON GREENWICH 16 22’ 58”, 7” is mentioned on the compass, along with the year of issue “2006”. The outer silver ring contains both the name of the country “Republik Osterreich” (meaning the “Republic of Austria”) and the denomination of the coin “25 Euro”. 
The colour of the Niobium insert (pill) is golden brown.

On the Reverse of the coin are depicted the means of transport that make use of satellite navigation – an aeroplane, train, ship and motor vehicles  for which the satellite navigation was developed, in the outer silver ring. The inscription “EUROPAISCHE SATELLITE NAVIGATION” (“European Satellite Navigation” appears in German). The Niobium core shows numerous satellites orbiting the globe around four orbital planes, their tracks spilling over into the silver ring.

The specifications of the coin are:

Face value: 25 Euros; Metallic composition: Outer ring: Silver (Ag) 900 – 9 gms, Niobium 998 – 6.50 gms; Diameter: 34 mm; Weight: 16.50 gms; Edge: smooth.

The mintage of this coin was limited to a maximum of 65000 pieces.

                                          The Galileo constellation logo

The following coins have been issued in this Series:

2003 – 700 years old Hall City in Tyrol or Tirol.
2004 – 150 years of Semmering Alpine Railway
2005 – 50 years of Television
2006 – The European Satellite Navigation
2007 – Austrian Aviators
2008 – Fascinating light
2009 – Year of Astronomy
2010 – Renewable Energy Sources.
2011 – Robotics
2012 – Bionics
2013 – Drilling tunnels
2014 - Evolution
2015 - Cosmology


1) The 25 Euro Silver-Niobium Coin Series issued by the Austrian Mint: (i) First Coin: "700 Years of Hall Town in Tirol"

2) The 25 Euro Silver-Niobium Coin Series issued by the Austrian Mint: (ii) Second coin: "150 Years of the Semmering Railway"

3) The 25 Euro Silver-Niobium Coin Series issued by the Austrian Mint: (iii) Third coin: "50 Years of Television" (in Austria)

4) The 25 Euro Silver-Niobium Coin series issued by the Austrian Mint: (v): Fifth coin: "Austrian Aviators"

5) The 25 Euro Silver-Niobium Coin Series issued by the Austrian Mint: (vi): Sixth Coin: "Fascinating Light"

6) The 25 Euro Silver-Niobium Coin Series issued by the Austrian Mint: (vii) Seventh Coin: ' International Year of Astronomy"

7) The 25 Euro Silver-Niobium Coin Series issued by the Austrian Mint: (viii) Eighth Coin: "Renewable Energy"

8) The 25 Euro Silver-Niobium Coin Series issued by the Austrian Mint: (ix) Ninth Coin : "Robotics"

9) The 25 Euro Silver-Niobium Coin Series issued by the Austrian Mint: (x) Tenth Coin: "Bionics"

10) The 25 Euro Silver-Niobium Coin Series issued by the Austrian Mint: (xi) Eleventh Coin : "Tunnel Construction"

11) The 25 Euro Silver-Niobium Coin Series issued by the Austrian Mint: (xii) Twelfth Coin: "Evolution"

12) The 50 Euro Gold Coin Series issued by the Austrian Mint: "Klimt & his Women: 2012-2016" (includes Coin of the Year 2015 (COTY)