The Galileo satellite constellation has begun providing positioning, navigation and timing information for shipping, offshore and search and rescue operations. The European Space Agency (ESA) has officially begun open services over the first 18 satellites in the Galileo constellation. The official opening ceremony was held at the European Commission’s buildings in Brussels, Belgium. http://www.marinemec.com
Fugro said that users of its G4 satellite correction service will be among the first in the world to benefit from Galileo’s much anticipated “initial services” launch.
The company said it began taking “full advantage” of Galileo’s operational milestone last week. The launch of Europe’s satellite navigation system’s new “initial services” capability should allow the satellite correction service users to benefit from greater accuracy and reliability.
Fugro’s G4 service, launched in February 2015, claims to be the first to use all available global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) – GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou. From its launch date, the service was prepared for Galileo, and Fugro’s G4 users now have access to almost 80 satellites from the four GNSS systems – an advantage when line-of-sight to certain satellites is obstructed by offshore structures.
Two more galileo satellites transmitting navigation signals
After months of testing, the European Space Agency (ESA) has announced that Galileo satellites 13 and 14 are transmitting healthy navigation signals and ready to relay distress calls to emergency services.
The satellites, launched from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on May 24, went through lengthy testing that included receiving and uplinking signals through specialized antennas, ESA said. Some of the tests included navigation and search and rescue payloads methodically switched on, the agency said.
The test phase was conducted at both the Galileo Control Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, and from ESA’s Redu Center in Belgium. The Oberpfaffenhofen and Redu centers were linked for the entire test campaign, allowing ESA to compare Galileo signals with satellite telemetry in nearreal time, the agency said.
The test campaign measured the accuracy and stability of the satellites’ atomic clocks, which is essential for the timing precision to within a billionth of a second as the basis of satellite navigation, ESA said.
Both satellites were visible above the Redu facility for three to nine hours each day, allowing personnel to schedule tests accordingly, ESA said.
The next four satellites, launched on November 17 from French Guiana, are beginning the same in-orbit testing activity, ESA said. The agency hopes to have the four satellites operational in the spring