Author Archives: Galileo GNSS

Galileo clock anomalies under investigation

Galileo_rubidium_clock

Galileo Rubidium Clock (RAFS)

As first reported last November, anomalies have been noted in the atomic clocks serving Europe’s Galileo satellites.

Anomalies have occurred on five out of 18 Galileo satellites in orbit, although all satellites continue to operate well and the provision of Galileo Initial Services has not been affected.

Highly accurate timing is core to satellite navigation. Each Galileo carries four atomic clocks to ensure strong, quadruple redundancy of the timing subsystem: two Rubidium Atomic Frequency Standard (RAFS) clocks and two Passive Hydrogen Maser (PHM) clocks. Read more…

Father of GPS meets Europe’s Galileo team

Brad ParkinsonBrad Parkinson, hailed as the father of GPS, has visited ESA’s technical heart to meet the team behind Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system.

Brad Parkinson was awarded the 2016 Marconi Prize for his part in developing satellite navigation. In 1972, then a US Air Force Colonel, he was put in charge of “Program 621B”, which became the Global Positioning System. Over one long September weekend in 1973 he and his team decided all key GPS elements. The first satellite was launched in February 1978.

Paul Verhoef, ESA’s Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related Activities, invited Prof. Parkinson to ESA’s facility in the Netherlands to address the Directorate’s annual gathering on 11 January. Also present were members of the European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency – set to oversee newly operational Galileo services – and the European Commission. Read more…

Atomic clocks failures onboard Galileo satellites

SSTL_PHMAcross the 18 satellites now in orbit, nine clocks out of 72 have stopped operating. Three are traditional rubidium devices; six are the more precise hydrogen maser instruments that were designed to give Galileo superior performance to the American GPS network.

Galileo was declared up and running in December. However, it is still short of the number of satellites considered to represent a fully functioning constellation, and a decision must now be made about whether to suspend the launch of further spacecraft while the issue is investigated. Read more…

Europe’s New Satellite System Will Improve Your Phone

By Lucas Laursen*:
Galileo, a global navigation satellite system that will reach more places and work more precisely than today’s GPS services, is now available for free public use. When it is complete, expected by 2020, Galileo will have taken two decades and an estimated $10 billion to build. But the system, created by the European Union, will make your phone run better and offer new possibilities for both corporate and government users. Read more…

Galileo Science Office

Galileo_EUGNSSGalileo’s initial services declaration is a boon not just for people worldwide but also the scientific community. A precise yardstick is now freely available to study Earth and everything on it, along with the laws of physics.

The Galileo satnav system began operating on 15 December 2016, offering positioning, navigation and timing services to everyone with a receiver. Service availability is based on a minimum of four satellites being visible in the local sky, set to improve as the number of satellites increases from the current 18 to a planned 24 plus orbital spares. Read more…

The path towards the autonomous vehicles passes through the European satellites

The future of the autonomous driving is “made-in-Europe”. The European Agency for the global navigation satellite systems (GSA) has kicked-off ESCAPE, a three-year and 5.4 M€ project to exploit the services offered by Galileo in the field of the automated driving. ESCAPE will coordinate some of the most relevant industrial and research institutions in Europe to create a positioning engine for safety-critical applications on the road, namely- the applications involving highly automated driving. Read more…

[vid] Galileo initial services declaration

galileo-goes-liveAt a Thursday morning, Dec. 15, ceremony in Brussels titled “Galileo Goes Live,” two high officials of the European Commission issued the Galileo Initial Services Declaration.

The Declaration of Initial Services means that the Galileo satellites and ground infrastructure are now operationally ready. These signals will be highly accurate but not available all the time, since the constellation is not yet complete and users cannot always count on four satellites being visible at one time at all points on the Earth.

A series of notice advisory to Galileo users or NAGUs describe the flag status of each satellite. USABINIT NAGUs were issued for 11 satellites: 0101, 0102, 0103, 0203, 0204, 0205, 0206, 0208, 0209, 0210, and 0211. USABINIT, or Initially Usable, notifies users that a satellite is set healthy for the first time. 0104 had a power problem and is operating on E1 only. 0201 and 0202 were launched into lower orbits. 0207 and 0212-0214 are still undergoing commissioning and drifting to their designated orbital slots. Read more…

[vid] Galileo is ready to be used

With 18 Galileo satellites in orbit, supporting ground infrastructure, and after an extensive testing period, Galileo Initial Services are now available for public authorities, businesses and citizens. From now on, users around the world can be guided using the positioning, navigation and timing information provided by Galileo’s global satellite constellation. Read more…

[vid] The history of Galileo

The Galileo name first appeared in the Communication of the Commission from February 1999. Since then, the programme has been on its way towards full operational capacity. Eighteen satellites are already in orbit and a further 12 will be launched by 2020. The Financing Decisions for the programme were taken by the European Council in the early 2000s.

The definition phase, development, and In-Orbit Validation phase of the Galileo Programme were carried out by the European Space Agency (ESA) and co-funded by the ESA and the EU.

The Full Operational Capability phase of the Galileo Programme is fully funded by the EU and managed by the European Commission. The Commission and the ESA have signed a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as the design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission.

 

Galileo Service Operator Contract (GSOp) signed

Galileo Control Centre - Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

Galileo Control Centre – Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

Following a lengthy and complex tendering process that started in January 2015, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) awarded the Galileo Service Operator (GSOp) contract, with a value of up to EUR 1.5 billion, to Spaceopal at a special event in Brussels. Spaceopal is a joint venture between the German Aerospace Agency (DLR) and Italy’s Telespazio.

“With its emphasis on service performance, this contract will shape the future of Galileo,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “We look forward to building a strong partnership with Spaceopal as Galileo moves towards full operational capability under the responsibility of the GSA from January 2017.” Read more…