|Galileo Update|| |
Berry Smutny, CEO of OHB-System, has lost his job because of Wikileaks. He was reported in a Wikileaks’ cable to have told US diplomats that Europe’s Galileo satellite-navigation project was a “stupid idea”. Although Smutny has denied the cable’s contents, OHB’s board has decided to remove him from his post.
The cable, which was published by the Norwegian daily Aftenposten, quoted the OHB-System chief as saying, “I think Galileo is a stupid idea that primarily serves French interests”, and, in particular, French military interests. Smutny was further reported to say that Galileo was “doomed for failure” or would “have to undergo drastic scalebacks for survival”.
OHB-System and UK-based company Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) were awarded a contract valued at 566m euros (GBP 465m) in January 2010 to start the production of the Galileo constellation. OHB-System & BBC
The first prototype satellite of Galileo ‘s GIOVE-A-is still working well after five years in space. Soyuz rocket from Baikonur in Kazakhstan launched the first ‘Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element’, GIOVE-A, on 28th December 2005, carrying a prototype rubidium atomic clock designed for the Galileo constellation. It was joined on 27 April 2008 by GIOVE-B, equipped with an ultra-precise passive hydrogen maser design as well as a second rubidium clock.
Carlo des Dorides of Italy will head the Galileo Supervisory Authority (GSA) that will be based in Prague, the European Commission and the Czech Transport Ministry.
Last week, the European Commission presented its midterm review on the development of Galileo and EGNOS. Recent progress in the development of Galileo, including the signature of four major contracts and the testing of the first four operational satellites, means the satellite navigation system will deliver initial services in 2014. There has also been considerable progress with the EGNOS program which increases the accuracy of signals from satellite navigation systems.
Airborne has been awarded contracts to manufacture the solar array panels for the first 14 satellites of the GALILEO programme, and for two flight models of AstroTerra which is based on the AS250 platform, a recurring commercial satellite from Astrium. Combined with the running contracts for the earth observation satellites Sentinel 1 and Sentinel 2, this adds up to more than 100 solar array panels that Airborne will produce the coming years.
The first two flight sets for Sentinel are in the final steps of panel assembly at Airborne and the first satellites are planned to be launched by the Ariane 5 launcher at the end of 2012.