Four more galileo satellites brought online
According to the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA), Galileo Satellites GSAT0215, GSAT0216, GSAT0217, and GSAT0218, launched in December 2017, have been commissioned for operational use.
Since October 12, all Galileo satellites that were launched last year (in December) are usable for service provision, according to the GSA. GUs 2018023, 2018019, 2018020 and 2018018 announced the commissioning of Galileo satellites GSAT0215 (E21), GSAT0216 (E25), GSAT02017 (E27) and GSAT0218 (E31), increasing the number of satellites that are available for service provision to 18.
Galileo satellites Nicole (GSAT0215), Zofia (GSAT0216), Alexandre (GSAT0217) and Irina (GSAT0218), were launched on December 12, 2017 at 18:36 UTC, from the Guiana Space Centre (CSG) – Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana — with a nominal duration of 3 hours, 55 minutes and 45 seconds from liftoff to separation of the satellites.
Contract signing to boost performance and security of Galileo services
ESA has awarded a new framework contract and two new work orders to Thales Alenia Space in France, to upgrade the Galileo Mission Segment – that element of the worldwide Galileo ground segment dedicated to delivering navigation services – and the Galileo Security Monitoring Centre (GSMC) near Paris, as well as to implement a second GSMC in Spain, near Madrid. The constellation in orbit is only one element of the overall satellite navigation system – the tip of the Galileo iceberg. At the same time as the satellites were being built, tested and launched, a global ground segment was put in place.
Establishing Galileo’s ground segment was among the most complex developments ever undertaken by ESA, having to fulfil strict levels of performance, security and safety.
The first work order contracts Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor to undertake all necessary activities to upgrade the Galileo Mission Segment and the GSMC as part of Galileo’s exploitation phase.
This work includes upgrading Galileo’s system architecture to provide more accurate navigation products for broadcast by Galileo satellites, updating obsolescent elements in the current system and improving operability linked to the provision of services and enhanced robustness.
It also includes the construction of additional uplink stations – tasked with uplinking the latest navigation messages to the Galileo constellation – at the existing Galileo ground station sites of Papeete in French Polynesia and Svalbard in Norway. A new sensor station – providing a groundbased measurement of Galileo signal quality and precise satellite position – will also be installed at Wallis Island in the Pacific. The work order will also augment the capabilities for implementation of the Public Regulated Service (PRS), the single most accurate and secure class of Galileo signals. www.esa.int