The Arab Science and Technology Foundation “ASTF” announces its participation as an official regional partner in the “European Satellite Navigation Competition 2010” where it organised and support the first ever satellite navigation applications competition in the Arab world. ASTF in its role as regional partner represented the Arab Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The global competition’s main sponsors are the European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA), among others.   The “European Satellite Navigation Competition” is centrally run by Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen – Germany, which has appointed ASTF as its regional partner representing the Arab MENA region. 

The success of this competition relies on the collaboration and cooperation worldwide of the different regional partners, such as ASTF and others spread around the world as far away as Australia and Taiwan, which are able to support the competition and the regional winners in their respective localities. The competitor who presents the best ideas for new applications in the growing market for satellite navigation is chosen as the overall competition winner and gets awarded the title of “Galileo Master”. The competition is geared towards companies, entrepreneurs, research institutes, universities, and private individuals and focuses on identifying new applications with commercial potential in the field of satellite-supported navigation. It also seeks to support the inventors of these applications in their implementation. 

Geographical positioning systems which make use of advanced satellite based navigational systems, such as the proposed European Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), also known as “Galileo” can enable very accurate determination of the position at any point anywhere on earth, twenty-four hours a day, to accuracy, better than one meter. The “Galileo” GNSS not only represents an addition to but also an innovation on, in terms of accuracy and availability, to existing systems such as the existing US GPS system.  The space segment will consist of 30 satellites (27 active and 3 spare) orbiting in three circular medium earth orbits, at an inclination of 56º providing coverage to almost any points in the globe.

The competition opened to all, as individuals or as those representing their establishments whether they were commercial, governmental, institutional or educational organisations. The main criteria for acceptance into this competition were that the Satellite Navigation application has to be innovative and commercially viable and has a potential for marketability both regional and global. The competition is run locally within each geographical region which represents the regional challenge of the officially designated region, such as the Arab MENA region challenge, The Australian Challenge, The United Kingdom Challenge and so on for the other regions. The winner from each challenging region takes part in the overall competition where an overall winner on all the regions is selected and awarded the title of “Galileo Master”.