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NEWSBRIEFS – Galileo update

Sep 2005 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – Galileo update

Galileo – the European Programme for Global Navigation Services for civil purposes is an initiative led by European Union. We provide regular updates to our readers on the Galileo programme.

EU and India seal EU and India seal their agreement

After intensive exchanges held since January 2004, negotiations on India’s participation in Europe’s satellite radio navigation programme fi nally reached approval. The agreement, initialled today in New Delhi at the occasion of the EU-India Summit in the presence of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair as EU Presidency, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will ensure the availability of highest quality Galileo services in India as well as cooperation to establish regional augmentation systems based on EGNOS and GALILEO. Welcoming the outcome of the negotiations, Vice-President of the European Commission Jacques Barrot said: “This is another important step for the development of GALILEO as an international programme, but also a major milestone in the EU/India partnership”. The agreement was initialled by Mr Francisco Da Camara Gomes, Head of the EC Delegation in India, representing the European Union, and Mr G. Madhavan Nair, Secretary, Department of Space, representing India. Considering that India has well proven capabilities in space, satellite and navigation related activities, the agreement will provide a positive impulse for India and European industrial cooperation in many high tech areas.

India is the fourth country joining the GALILEO programme, after the signature of agreements with China, Israel and Ukraine. Discussions are also under way with Argentina, Brazil, Morocco, Mexico, Norway, Chile, South Korea, Malaysia, Canada and Australia.

Galileo satellite payload testing

Testing of the first Galileo satellites, which form part of what is called the Galileo System Test Bed (GSTB), is under way. One of the two satellites arrived at the ESA-ESTEC test facilities in late July, while the payload of the other spacecraft is now being tested in Italy.

The payload of the GTSB-V2/B satellite, being developed by Galileo Industries, is just completing a first series of tests at the Alenia Spazio facilities in Rome. In particular, the specially developed navigation payload has been subjected to a range of extreme temperatures in vacuum. This simulation of the space environment realistically validates the payload’s performance in orbit. The campaign will continue with mechanical testing. The payload’s functionality will have to be proven while exposed to strong vibration, high acoustic noise levels and shock, as encountered during launch. Whereas the mechanical investigations can be considered standard satellite testing, the first validation in the thermal vacuum environment had been awaited with special interest, as it has given early feedback on the in-orbit performance of the newly developed payload.

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