Category Archives: Galileo Space Segment

Galileo Space Segment

[vid] Galileo Launch 9 liftoff replay

Europe has four more Galileo navigation satellites (satellites 19–22) in the sky following their launch from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 18:36 GMT (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time), on an Ariane 5 rocket, operated by Arianespace.

 

Galileo launch brings navigation network close to completion

Liftoff of Ariane 5 Flight VA240 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou

Liftoff of Ariane 5 Flight VA240 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou

Europe has four more Galileo navigation satellites in the sky following their launch on an Ariane 5 rocket. After today’s success, only one more launch remains before the Galileo constellation is complete and delivering global coverage.

Ariane 5, operated by Arianespace under contract to ESA, lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 18:36 GMT (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time), carrying Galileo satellites 19–22. The first pair of 715 kg satellites was released almost 3 hours 36 minutes after liftoff, while the second pair separated 20 minutes later. Read more…

Flight VA240: Arianespace’s second Ariane 5 launch for the Galileo constellation

Ariane 5’s fairing is lowering over the payload of four Galileo navigation satellites. Flight VA240.

Ariane 5’s fairing is lowering over the payload of four Galileo navigation satellites.

For its 11th launch of the year, and the sixth Ariane 5 liftoff from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in French Guiana during 2017, Arianespace will orbit four more satellites for the Galileo constellation.

This mission is being performed on behalf of the European Commission under a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA).

For the second time, an Ariane 5 ES version will be used to orbit satellites in Europe’s own satellite navigation system. At the completion of this flight, designated Flight VA240 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, 22 Galileo spacecraft will have been launched by Arianespace with Soyuz and Ariane 5 launchers. Read more…

Galileo quartet fuelled and ready to fly

VA240 - Four Galileos on Ariane 5

VA240 – Four Galileos on Ariane 5

Europe’s next four Galileo navigation satellites and the Ariane 5 rocket due to lift them into orbit are being readied for their 12 December launch from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Tuesday saw Galileo satellites 19–22 declared ready for flight, along with their Ariane. Combined activities are now under way, culminating in the satellites meeting their rocket in the Final Assembly Building.

The satellites were flown in pairs to French Guiana last month. Once safely unboxed in the Spaceport’s cleanroom environment, they were tested to ensure they had suffered no damage during their transatlantic flights. Read more…

Ariane 5 and its Galileo satellites are prepared for December 12 mission

Ariane 5’s vehicle equipment bay is lowered for installation

Ariane 5’s vehicle equipment bay is lowered for installation

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s December 12 year-ending flight for 2017 has completed its initial build-up at the Spaceport in French Guiana – where preparations also are moving ahead with four satellite passengers that will further expand Europe’s Galileo global navigation system once in their final orbit.

During activity in the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building, this heavy-lift vehicle for Arianespace Flight VA240 underwent the assembly process that began by mating its two solid propellant strap-on boosters with the main cryogenic stage. Read more…

Contract signed with OHB, SSTL for eight more Galileo satellites

Signing the contract. ESA’s Director of the Galileo Programme, Paul Verhoef (right) shakes hands with CEO of OHB, Marco FuchsEurope’s Galileo navigation constellation will gain an additional eight satellites, bringing it to completion, thanks to a contract signed at the Paris Air and Space Show.

The contract to build and test another eight Galileo satellites was awarded to a consortium led by prime contractor OHB, with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd overseeing their navigation platforms.

This is the third such satellite signing: the first four In Orbit Validation satellites were built by a consortium led by Airbus Defence and Space, while production of the next 22 Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites was led by OHB. Read more…

Time is Everything With GNSS

Time is Everything With GNSSThe recent news of clock failures on both the European Union’s Galileo and IRNSS satellites (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) shows that launching and commissioning new satellite navigation constellations is not a simple business. The news, however, does make it worthwhile asking whether clock failures could have any implications for GNSS users — especially professional users such as in the surveying or GIS industries.

The short answer is that satellite clock failures should not directly impact any users of the Galileo or IRNSS satellites. In the event of all clocks (primary and backup) failing on a single GNSS satellite, the satellite becomes unusable. Read more…

Two more satellites join Galileo service provision

Commissioning of two new Galileo satellitesThe European GNSS Agency (GSA), along with the European GNSS Service Centre (GSC), announce the commissioning of two additional satellites, bringing the total number of satellites available for the Galileo service provision to 18.

The GSA announced beginning of August the completion of in-orbit testing (IOT) of two new Galileo satellites, GSAT0212-SV ID 03- and GSAT0213-SV ID 04 -. Having passed all initial tests, the two satellites are now officially commissioned for operational use and are usable for the Galileo service provision (see NAGU 2017029 and NAGU 2017033). Read more…

Problem behind failing clocks identified

Galileo launch 8 (17-11-2016)

Galileo launch 8 (17-11-2016)

Investigators have uncovered the problems behind the failure of atomic clocks onboard Galileo satellites, the European Commission said.

For months, the European Space Agency has been investigating the reasons behind failing clocks onboard some of the 18 Galileo navigation satellites.

Each Galileo satellite has four ultra-accurate atomic timekeepers, two that use rubidium and two hydrogen maser. But a satellite needs just one working clock for the satnav to wor, the rest are spares. Read more…

Another eight Galileo satellites for Europe

Signing the contract to build another 8 Galileo satellites

Signing the contract to build another 8 Galileo satellites

Europe’s Galileo navigation constellation will gain an additional eight satellites, bringing it to completion, thanks to a contract signed at the Paris Air and Space Show.

The contract to build and test another eight Galileo satellites was awarded to a consortium led by prime contractor OHB, with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd overseeing their navigation platforms.

This is the third such satellite signing: the first four In Orbit Validation satellites were built by a consortium led by Airbus Defence and Space, while production of the next 22 Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites was led by OHB.

These new batch satellites are based on the already qualified design of the previous Galileo FOC satellites, except for changes on the unit level – such as improvements based on lessons learned and reacting to obsolescence of parts.

Read more…