The European Commission is likely to alter the frequencies of the Galileo satellite positioning system to accommodate the needs of the US military.

The EC held talks in Washington DC with US Department of Defense officials, officially to "take stock of all issues related to Galileo". The negotiations are understood to have focused on the frequency assigned to the system's police and security services signal, the public regulated service (PRS).

The current PRS frequency overlaps with one the USA plans to use for its M-code military frequency on the US global positioning system. Sources within the EC say they expect a compromise to be found by the end of the year, most likely to involve both sides shifting frequencies slightly.

Pentagon officials claim that, despite the signals using different multiplexers, if PRS overlays M-code, terrorists could jam both frequencies simultaneously.

Galileo needs to receive approval for any new frequency for PRS from the International Telecommunication Union before the end of the year to include its satellite in launch specifications for equipment manufacturers. "We have to reach an agreement by the end of the year to be in time to include any result in the final design. If any adaptations are necessary, it will still be possible to include them," says the EC.

Source: Flight International