Galileo Update


Sep 2014 | No Comment

Galileo Satellites lose way in space after launch

On 22 August 2014, a Soyuz rocket launched Europe’s fifth and sixth Galileo satellites from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. These new satellites were intended to join four Galileo satellites already in orbit, launched in October 2011 and October 2012 respectively. This first quartet were ‘In-Orbit Validation’ satellites, serving to demonstrate the Galileo system would function as planned. However, it soon appeared there was a discrepancy between targeted and reached orbit after the launch.

The lift-off and first part of the mission proceeded normally, leading to the release of the satellites according to the planned timetable, and the reception of signals from them. It was only after the separation of the satellites that the ongoing analysis of the data provided by the telemetry stations operated by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the French space agency CNES showed that the satellites were not in the expected orbit.

Studies and data analyses are continuing in Kourou, French Guiana, and at Arianespace headquarters in Evry, near Paris, under the direction of Stéphane Israël, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, to determine the scope of the anomaly and its impact on this mission. European Space Agency (ESA)

Telespazio, DLR take responsibility for Galileo satellite operations

Telespazio and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) will cooperatively run the operations for Galileo, through a joint venture. Established by the two entities in 2009, Spaceopal GmbH, is the main contractor for operations services and will handle controlling the satellites, navigation data processing and monitoring worldwide receiving systems.

The DLR operates through one of two identical control centers. The agency’s is located in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, while Telespazio’s is located in Fucino, Italy.

First encrypted signal demo from Galileo

The Early Proof of Concept (EPOC) team has successfully tracked the encrypted Galileo E60B and E6-C signals broadcast by Galileo satellites. As a result, the Commercial Service loop has been closed using both encrypted and non-encrypted signals.

During the 10-day testing period, receivers located in Tres Cantos, Spain and Poing, Germany, showed the successful tracking and data demodulation of the encrypted signals from available Galileo satellites, with periods where all satellites transmitting E6 encrypted signals were tracked simultaneously.

The tests verified the functionality of the Galileo Commercial Service (CS) signal’s encryption functionalities, with the data received containing authentication and high accuracy information previously generated outside the Galileo system. This is an essential feature to ensuring Galileo’s high accuracy and authentication services – some of which may be commercial in nature. GSA

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