We tried Galileo: Huawei Mate 9 already sees the European satellites


After 17 years, huge investment and even a few bumps Galileo, the satellite positioning system sought by the European Union it is finally activated. The current constellation consists of 18 satellites, the minimum number sufficient to ensure full coverage 24 hours a 24, but steady operational satellites will be well 27 with three backup satellites ready to be placed on orbit right to make up for any faults.

To receive the three satellites orbiting at about 23,000 meters high serve basically two elements: a processor capable of handling the signals received by the antennas and software able to recognize these signals . The manufacturers of SoC for smartphones and tablets and satellite devices have already started some time to insert the media in the Global Navigation Satellite System Galileo, and even software developers have taken the first steps: Google has added support for Android 6.0 marshmallow and the same thing are also making the software manufacturers and GPS devices such as Tom Tom and Garmin. iOS does not currently support it, and we do not know if the hardware of the iPhone is able to receive these signals.

Galileo it operates in a fully transparent manner and integrated with other existing systems such as GLONASS and GPS known : smartphones and products that will support it will have a series of satellites in more to improve accuracy and hooking signal, without that developers should update the app.

With version 7.0 of Android Google has however made a big gift to smartphone makers: integrating fact a specific API called GnnsStatus you can access via Android RAW details of each positioning satellite hooked, something that until now was not possible . This will allow manufacturers to do much more in-depth improving even further the quality of the algorithms, test using data from all the visible constellations, must return a longitude, a latitude and height with the best precision possible. And thanks to this API they are able to also have the accurate information about each satellite, and there are apps like the excellent GPSTest Sean Barbeau who use this possibility to draw a more accurate map of the sky.

The three Galileo satellites visible with Mate 9: in the map are those triangular

The Huawei Mate 9 There appears to be the first smartphone which already uses all three constellations : GPS, Glonass and Galileo, and indeed thanks to GPS Test we can see the satellites above our heads. GPS and GLONASS are currently 31 operational satellites and 24 respectively and are transmitting at full capacity, Galileo is in the start up phase and is using a very low signal . From Milan you can still see already three satellites of the new “GPS” European, satellites in the case of Mate 9 already help to have a slightly more accurate positioning accuracy.

In 2017, when the constellation will pass the break-in period, with GLONASS, GPS and Galileo as one smarthome Mate 9 will have not only a more accurate positioning but will have even less problems in difficult situations today very narrow streets with little visibility of the sky and cities with large skyscrapers.