Galileo Update

Galileo update

Oct 2013 | No Comment

Europe’s Galileo Navigation Satellites unlikely to reach orbit this year

The first four full-operational-capability Galileo positioning, navigation and timing satellites are unlikely to be launched this year because of delays in their preparation, European government and industry officials said.

Jean-Yves Le Gall, president of the French space agency, CNES, and until recently chief executive of Europe’s Arianespace launch consortium, said Aug. 28 that only two more launches of the Europeanized Russian Soyuz rocket are planned this year. The Galileo satellites launch on Soyuz rockets two at a time.

The next Europeanized Soyuz will carry four O3b Networks Ka-band broadband communications satellites, to be launched in late September from Europe’s Guiana Space Center spaceport on the northeast coast of South America.

The second and final Soyuz launch from the European site will be the late- November liftoff of the European Space Agency’s Gaia star-mapping satellite, Le Gall said. Le Gall made his statement at the Moscow air show and a CNES official confirmed it.

Member States begin testing Galileo’s Secure Service

EU Member States have begun their independent testing of the most accurate and secure signal broadcast by the four Galileo navigation satellites in orbit. Transmitted on two frequency bands with enhanced protection, the Public Regulated Service (PRS) offers a highly accurate positioning and timing service, with access strictly restricted to authorized users. PRS access was initially considered for Galileo’s Full Operational Capability phase, but it has been enabled in 2013 in response to the strong interest of Member States in this service. To allow early access to PRS during the current phase, the European Commission and ESA began the joint project ‘PRS Participants To IOV’ (PPTI) in July 2012.

Harmful Algal Bloom Forecast Wins Copernicus Masters Best Service Challenge

The online audience of the Copernicus Masters website has voted HAB Forecast – Harmful Algal Bloom Forecast this year’s most beneficial Earth-monitoring service for European citizens. The service provides a weekly alert primarily dedicated to fish farmers and regulators via web bulletin at It is the first forecast system of this kind and designed to combine all available information from Earth (in-situ monitoring stations), space (satellite data) and in-silico (biological and physical oceanic models) sources. The service, which is part of the FP7 project ASIMUTH, was submitted by Julie Maguire for the Irish Daithi O’Murchu Marine Research Station. ASIMUTH is using products from the pre-operational marine service of Copernicus that is currently provided through the EU-funded project MyOcean2. The Best Service Challenge is one of nine categories in the European Earth monitoring competition Copernicus Masters.

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