Tag Archives: BBCnews

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…

SSTL ships “last” navigation payload for Galileo

SSTL_PHMUK satellite manufacturer SSTL has reached a key milestone in its work on Galileo. The company has just shipped its 22nd navigation payload, and the last under its current work contract. Essentially the “brains” of a sat-nav spacecraft, this payload is already in the hands of consortium partner, OHB of Bremen, Germany, which will complete final assembly and testing.

Galileo is expected to begin public services by the end of this year. Twelve satellites are already in orbit transmitting timing and location data. A further two are set to launch on a Soyuz rocket on 24 May. Another four are scheduled to go up on an Ariane rocket before 2016 is out. Read more…