Monthly Archives: March 2016

Galileo 9 and 10 broadcasting navigation messages

Galileo signalsEurope’s ninth and tenth Galileo satellites started broadcasting working navigation messages 29 January. These two satellites were launched together on 11 September last year.

Once safely in orbit and their systems activated, their navigation payloads and search and rescue transponders were subjected to a rigorous process of in-orbit testing, to ensure their performance reached the necessary specifications to become part of the Galileo system.

Radio-frequency measurements of the Galileo signals were made from ESA’s Redu centre in Belgium. The site boasts a 20 m-diameter dish to analyse their signal shape in high resolution. Read more…

Two more Galileo satellites ready for launch in May

Soyuz Fregat upper stage, Galileo payload and fairing

Another pair of Galileo navigation satellites is scheduled for launch by Soyuz rocket in May, ahead of a quartet on an Ariane 5 in the autumn, bringing the Galileo system a step closer to operational use.

The European Commission asked ESA to look into the feasibility of a Soyuz launch in the first half of the year to speed up the deployment of the constellation and to increase its robustness for delivering initial services.

One satellite is in storage at ESA’s technical centre in the Netherlands, having completed all its testing to clear it for flight, with another due to join it very soon. Read more…