Galileo Update, News Archives


May 2008 | Comments Off on GALILEO UPDATE


Second Galileo test satellite launched successfully

Giove-B, the second test satellite for Galileo, was launched aboard a Russian rocket departing from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The European Space Agency confirmed that the two solar panels powering the satellite had deployed without incident and were fully. Giove-B will start In-Orbit Validation of the signal configuration and carry out tests of high precision signal ranging. On board the satellite is an extremely accurate atomic clock based on a MASER (microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) and two rubidium atomic clocks.

Galileo project finally gets going again

The 27 EU transport ministers unanimously agreed to adopt a basic document defining new rules for the configuration of the Galileo satellite navigation system and the extension of the EGNOS programme. The industrial committee of the European Parliament has accepted this regulation, so it’s now up to the MEPs in Strasbourg, after months of quarrelling and blockades, to get the Galileo project moving again. The orders for the Galileo system will be offered for tender in six major areas. No industrial consortium will be allowed to tender for more than two of these areas, and bidders must furthermore pass on 40 per cent of the total value of the business to small and medium-sized firms that are not members of their consortia. The project is being subdivided into six main work packages: systems engineering support, completion of the terrestrial mission infrastructure, completion of the terrestrial control infrastructure, satellites, starting equipment, and operation. The deployment phase is being financed by the EU with €3.405 billion – but this takes no account of “unforeseen financial obligations”. The income generated by Galileo’s commercial service is to go to the European Community. During the operational phase after 2013, the basic document says a decision can be made later on whether public-private partnerships or other ways of placing orders with the private sector will be used for the operation and extension of the system. The income would then be shared out.

Galileo takes shape

Galileo is finally taking shape after representatives of member states and Parliament struck a deal on the project’s institutional architecture. This new agreement, if confirmed by ministers, would open the door for quick progress on Galileo. The three institutions namely agreed to retain the Galileo Surveillance Authority (GSA), which Parliament had asked to be dissolved as no private partners are taking part in the project any more. Alongside the GSA, a new institutional structure would be created called Galileo Inter-Institutional Panel (GIP) consisting of three representatives from both Council and the Parliament and one representative from the Commission. The Commission could eventually be represented by the Transport Commissioner.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)