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Galileo User Forum – Agriculture Conclusions

Agriculture Workshop Galileo User Forum (GUF)
15th July 2009, Brussels

Conclusions and Recommendations

The Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic, in cooperation with the Capital City of Prague and at the Prague House in Brussels, has organized a workshop entitled “Agriculture Workshop GUF (Galileo User Forum)” on 15th July 2009. The workshop was focused on the use of satellite navigation in the agriculture sector, particularly in association with projected new Galileo services.

Galileo User Forum represents a Czech initiative which assembles end users of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) applications. Through the mediation of GUF Workshops the participants are involved in technical discussion with European institutions responsible for the development of satellite navigation – European Commission, European GNSS Supervisory Authority and European Space Agency. These workshops should produce joint statements and recommendations for users and such propositions should be considered in the development of satellite navigation systems and their putting into operation.

The Agriculture Workshop (GUF) was attended by more than 30 representatives from many EU Member States and coming, in particular, both from professional community in the satellite navigation field and from community of end-users. Also the representatives from the above mentioned authorities and institutions were among the speakers.

In spite of the fact that the majority of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) will find their application in the transport sector, it is the intention of the Ministry of Transport to continue in supporting other prospective sectors representing not negligible GNSS market potential. Accordingly, the major workshop objective was not only the presentation of current trends and technological potentials of satellite systems for the agriculture but the needs and requirements of GNSS users in the agriculture sector and defined by the workshop participants and particularly concerning the future European navigation system Galileo. What was especially involved were requirements regarding future guaranteed services to be provided by the Galileo system, contrary to the current satellite navigation systems?

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The Agriculture Workshop GUF (Galileo User Forum) has drawn a number of the following recommendations:

1) In the context of EC Regulation 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport, to adopt common guidelines on system technical parameters and associated operational processes in view to:

a) facilitate the process of monitoring the implementation of the above Regulation,

b) avoid the current fragmentation of incompatible system solutions as developed nowadays by individual transport operators, towards ensuring EU-wide interoperability of these systems, and

c) promote the creation of economies of scale towards enhancing the cost-effectiveness of application of such regulatory measures;

2) To focus further attention to the development of satellite technologies and related ground infrastructure, tailored for the specific requirements of precision farming in what concerns parameters like accuracy, availability and integrity of services and to their seamless integration with other relevant farming automation technologies. In this context, special emphasis should be allocated to the use of EGNOS as a step towards a future adoption of Galileo;

3) To assess, in active co-operation with end-user communities (e.g. individual farmers or farmers associations), the optimal scenarios for market penetration of the proposed technological solutions targeting the agriculture sector, notably in view of ensuring their affordability and accessibility by farmers (“democratization of the technology”)

4) To continue identifying potential space-related technological innovations that can lead to new products and services capable of enhancing the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and energy/environmental performance of farming operations.

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