International Committee on GNSS

  • Sergio Camacho-Lara
  • Joe Pelton
Living reference work entry


Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), with their extremely high accuracy, global coverage, all-weather operation, and usefulness at high velocities, are a dual-use technology that are becoming a new global utility that increasingly improve people’s daily lives. GNSS applications are growing, and their quality is improving in such areas as aviation, maritime and land transportation, mapping and surveying, agriculture, power and telecommunication networks, disaster warning and emergency response, and a host of commercial and social applications.

At the turn of the millennium, it became apparent that the two Global Navigation Satellite Systems that had existed, the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) of the United States and the Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) of the Russian Federation, would soon be joined by the Galileo system of Europe and the Compass/BeiDou of China, as well as by the regional Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZZS) of Japan and the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) of India. The emergence of new GNSS and regional augmentations focused attention on the need for the coordination of program plans among current and future operators in order to enhance the utility of GNSS services. It also made clear that the providers of GNSS services should pursue greater compatibility and interoperability among all current and future systems in terms of spectrum, signal structures, time, and geodetic reference standards to the maximum extent possible.

Although coordination between the providers of the GNSS was already taking place on a bilateral basis, the desirability of having a forum in which all GNSS providers participated became an attractive idea. Such a forum would allow discussion and coordination on issues of common interest such as protection of the radio navigation spectrum from disruption and interference, global compatibility, and interoperability of space-based position, navigation, and timing services (PNT) that could be used separately or together without interfering with each other. After 1999, and following several years of discussing terms of reference, objectives, and work plan, the International Committee on GNSS (ICG) became such a forum.


Argos Chinese navigation satellite system (Compass/BeiDou) Compatibility and interoperability of GNSS European Geostationary Navigational Overlay System (EGNOS) European satellite navigation system (Galileo) Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Global Positioning System (GPS) Satellite Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) GPS-Aided GEO-Augmented Navigation System (GAGAN) Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) International committee on GNSS (ICG) Japanese Multi-functional Satellite Augmentation System (MSAS) Japanese regional navigation satellite system; Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) Position, navigation, and timing services (PNT) UNISPACE III United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) 


  1. A GNSS web portal with information on ICG matters has been established by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs at Last accessed 14 Jan 2016
  2. International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG): Providers’ Forum, (2015), Last accessed 14 Jan 2016
  3. Report of the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Vienna, 19–30 July 1999 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.00.I.3), chap. I, resolution 1Google Scholar
  4. Report of the 9th meeting of Action Team 10 to COPUOS on the Establishment of the an International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite System (ICG): 27 February 2004, Vienna, AustriaGoogle Scholar
  5. Report of Working Group A, Recommendation 2.1 for Committee Action (2011), Last accessed 14 Jan 2016
  6. Report of Working Group B, Enhancement of Global Navigation Satellite Systems Services Performance (2011), Last accessed 14 Jan 2016
  7. Report of Working Group C, (2011), Last accessed 14 Jan 2016
  8. Report of Working Group D, (2011), Last accessed 14 Jan 2016
  9. Tenth Meeting of the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG), Boulder, 1–6 Nov 2015, Last accessed 2 Jan 2016

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro Regional de Enseñanza de Ciencia y Tecnología del Espacio para América Latina y el Caribe (CRECTEALC)PueblaMexico
  2. 2.Executive BoardInternational Association for the Advancement of Space SafetyArlingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations