Galileo Update, News Archives


Oct 2007 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS –GALILEO UPDATES


EC issues Galileo restructuring plan

The European Commission has proposed changes in running and funding the Galileo and Egnos satellite navigation systems, but deferred proposals on procurement competition and private sector involvement. The proposed revamp was recently submitted to the European Parliament and the European Council, which in June agreed to abandon the public-private partnership arrangement that had been set up to manage and fund deployment of the 30-satellite system.

Lack of clear governance was pegged as a major shortcoming of the original managing structure. Under the new setup, the Parliament and Council are to be fully responsible for political and program oversight, the latter through a new European Global Navigation Satellite System Program Committee. The European Commission will act as owner or sponsor of the project, under the supervision of the GNSS Committee.

The European Space Agency will act as prime contractor, under contract to the EC, with responsibility for the In Orbit Validation (IOV) spacecraft, the 26 Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites and the related ground segment. The agency will report regularly to the Parliament and Council on program progress. The GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA), which had been created to manage negotiations with the private sector under the original public-private partnership scheme, was given a new job. The GSA will be beefed up and made responsible for preparing market services, handle accrediation/certification, and serve as advisor to the Commission.

The EC determined that the cost of building and deploying the system would not exceed 3.4 billion euros ($4.7 billion) – in line with earlier estimates – provided that there are no further delays or major changes in procurement policy.

Galileo’s GIOVE-B completes initial testing

Thales Alenia Space is shipping GIOVE-B, the second test satellite in the Galileo navigation constellation, from its plant in Rome this week to the ESA-ESTEC facility in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. The production team, led by prime contractor Thales Alenia Space and including Telespazio, EADS Astrium and the European Space Agency, has now completed all preliminary tests, including the thermal-vacuum test that duplicates the satellite’s in-orbit environment.

EU to sort out Galileo funding issue before talks with India

Two years after India signed up for partnering in the European Union’s Galileo satellite navigation system, the project is yet to take off due to internal bickering within the bloc. Serious differences have cropped up within the EU over the funding of the project and it is not in a position to hold discussions with India until they resolve the issue among themselves. “We cannot hold talks with India until we sort out the issues among ourselves,” European Space Agency Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain told reporters in Hyderabad.

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