Galileo Update, News Archives


Jun 2008 | Comments Off on GALILEO UPDATE


Galileo and GPS systems to work together

The UK government has published the agreement between it and fellow European governments, and the USA, over the promotion, provision and use of the Galileo and GPS systems.

After many years of wrangling, the Galileo project was finally given the go-ahead by the European Union back in December 2007. Galileo is intended to be an independent alternative to America’s GPS. As recently as the year 2000, the US only provided limited access to GPS to the general public.

Both the United States and the EU signed an agreement way back in June 2004 that GPS and Galileo signals would be interoperable, but it has taken several years for the agreement to be approved by member states.

Galileo satellite sends first signals to Earth

Giove-B, the test satellite for Europe’s Galileo system, has sent its first navigation signals back to Earth, marking what the European Space Agency (ESA) called “a historic step,” showing that Galileo can work alongside the GPS system of the United States.

According to a BBC report, Giove-B, which follows the launch of Giove-A in 2005, carries the most accurate clock ever sent into orbit, key to its intended capacity of providing location information that’s accurate to a meter. The Galileo fleet will be fully operational by 2013. More sophisticated than its predecessor, the half-tonne, 2.4x1x1m box will test further the key Galileo technologies such as the atomic clocks that provide the precise timing underpinning all satnav applications.

SSC supports the GIOVE B mission

Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) is for the moment supporting the GIOVE B mission during the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP), via four ground stations included in PrioraNet*, the largest satellite ground station network in the world.

As soon as the LEOP is over, SSC will deliver routine Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C) for GIOVE B during its operational lifetime. GIOVE-B will extend the first Galileo demonstration. In addition to the LEOP and TT&C support for GIOVE B, SSC is also establishing the head TT&C ground station for the future Galileo satellites here at Esrange Space Center. We are planning to be a part of the Galileo mission for a very long time, says Mr. Johan Sjöström, project manager at Esrange Satellite Station, SSC.

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