|Galileo Update|| |
On 16 January, the second of the two Galileo In-Orbit Validation (IOV) satellites, FM2 (Flight Model 2) also known as GSAT0102, started transmitting navigation signals on the L1/E1 frequency using the E12 ranging code, according to tracking reports from the COoperative Network for GIOVE Observation (CONGO). FM2 was launched together with PFM, the ProtoFlight Model (GSAT0101), on October 21, 2011. PFM started transmitting E1 signals on December 10, 2011, and E5 signals on December 14, according to CONGO network tracking reports. Subsequently, ESA confirmed that the E6 transmitter was powered up the weekend before Christmas. CONGO is a global network of 19 tracking stations established by the German Space Operations Center (DLR/GSOC) and the German Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG) in cooperation with several agencies including Technische Universitaet Muenchen.
An important test of some of the first launched Galileo satellites has seen the successful reception of triple-frequency signals from the craft, marking an important step in the establishing of the European equivalent to GPS. The European Space Agency (ESA) staged a test of the Galileo in-orbit validation (IOV) spacecraft on December 17, ith all signals that are to be used for Galileo activated simultaneously across the burgeoning GNSS system. When the network is established it will provide marked enhancements to the precision and measurements that current GNSS devices – including those used in machine control and surveying equipment – are capable of providing.
The signals were received by three of the network’s current Test User Receivers – the two identical receivers in the ESA’s Navigation Laboratory in Noordwijk, the Netherlands and the one located in Belgium’s Ardennes Forest. The test receivers operate in the same way as the commercial user equipment will when the network is made fully operational in 2014. The testing is being carried out on the Galileo-ProtoFlight Model (PFM) satellite, which was launched on October 21 last year. The testing will be moved on to the second satellite that was launched at the same time – Flight Model-2 – early in 2012.
The Czech government has signed a deal for Prague to host the headquarters of Galileo. The deal was signed in Prague by Czech Transport Minister Pavel Dobes and Carlo des Dorides, executive director of the European GNSS Agency. The European Union wants to achieve independence in satellite navigation with a system known as Galileo that it says is more precise and more reliable than the current GPS, while fully controlled by civil authorities.
The Associated Press
A team of Italian researchers have presented the initial results of their analysis of the Galileo signals. On December 12, 2011, one of the two Galileo in-orbit validation (IOV) satellites launched on October 21 — the Galileo- ProtoFlight Model (PFM) spacecraft — started transmitting its payload signal on the E1 band over Europe. That same day NavSAS researchers were able to acquire and track the E1 signal (Galileo Code Number 11) beginning at 14:46:15 CET. Two days later, on December 14, the E5 signal became available as well.
The E1 signal was received on December 12 at the Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB) premises (located in Torino, Italy) with a non-directive antenna, a commercial narrowband RF front-end, and a proprietary software receiver, developed by our research group. The team first received the PFM E5 signal on December 14, using a similar experimental setup.
The researchers have shown the first results from working with the IOV Galileo signals. They verified the transmission of the Galileo Code Number 11 from the Galileo-PFM satellite in the afternoon of December 12, 2011. They also demonstrated successful acquisition, tracking, and data demodulation of the E1 signal on both data and pilot channels, using a GPS+Galileo software receiver, whereas the navigation message, although compatible with the ICD structure, were in dummy mode.
British satellite manufacturer Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has announced that Galileo In Orbit Validation Element GIOVE-A has completed the sixth year of transmission of signals, which signalled the start of Europe’s ambitious Galileo satellite navigation programme when it secured vital frequency filings on the 12th January 2006. The 660kg GIOVE-A satellite was designed, built and tested in only 30 months for just 28 million Euro – demonstrating that innovative low cost small satellites could fulfill prominent institutional space missions. Launched on 28th December 2005, GIOVE-A was one of two in-orbit testbeds for Galileo. Built with a design life of twenty-seven months, its mission was to secure the radio frequency filing for the Galileo satellite system with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), test the critical Galileo payload equipment, and perform tests to characterize the radiation environment of Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) – the region of Earth’s orbital space used by navigation satellites.
Despite being the first European satellite launched into the demanding MEO environment, GIOVE-A remains fully operational having been declared a full mission success by ESA in 2008. Today it has surpassed its design life by almost four years, and continues to provide the European Space Agency (ESA) with data about the payload performance.
European Space Agency (ESA) revealed its plans for 2012. It includes Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system, which would see the launch of the second two In-Orbit Validation satellites in August/September 2012. With the first four satellites of the constellation and their ground network, the agency will be able to validate the overall Galileo concept.