New Galileo sensor station operating in South Pacific
The newest addition to the network of Galileo sensor stations (GSS) is up and running in Wallis and Futuna, a French territory in the South Pacific consisting of three main islands and many tiny islets. It enables increased Galileo coverage in the southern hemisphere.
The European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) reported that the decision for the new station was made in June 2020; however, due to COVID-19, its deployment did not begin until summer 2022. In October 2022, the second mission to Wallis and Futana took place to complete the deployment and connect the station to the ground mission segment network for data collection.
The GSS is a network of antennas deployed at remote locations around the world. They have small, omnidirectional receiving antennas 50 cm high that check the accuracy and signal quality of individual satellites and pinpoint current satellite orbits. Establishing GSS is difficult and requires security accreditation by EUSPA’s Security Accreditation Board.
To make the best use of the Galileo services, users rely on more than just the satellites. Dedicated facilities such as the Galileo control centers, sensors, and uplink stations are important components that make up the Galileo ground segment — which supports the service provision of Europe’s GNSS. The GSS is an important element of Galileo’s ground segment.