Tag Archives: European Space Agency

European Space Agency (ESA)

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…

[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…

Galileo initial services available #GalileoGoesLive #MyGalileo

Europe’s own Galileo satellite navigation system has begun operating, with the satellites in space delivering positioning, navigation and timing information to users around the globe.

This animation shows how service availability increases as the overall number of satellites in the Galileo constellation goes up.

Today, the European Commission, owner of the system, formally announced the start of Galileo Initial Services, the first step towards full operational capability. Read more…

[vid] Galileo satellites 15–18, from final preparations to liftoff

This timelapse video shows Galileo satellites 15–18, from final preparations to liftoff on a Ariane 5 launcher, flight VA233, from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, on 17 November 2016, accelerating deployment of the new satellite navigation system. Galileo is the Europe’s own global satellite navigation system. The full system of 24 satellites plus spares is expected to be in place by 2020.

 

Galileo Reference Centre Construction officially started

Galileo Reference Centre. NoordwijkToday marks the official start of the building of the Galileo Reference Centre (GRC) at the Space Business Park in Noordwijk. The GRC will measure the quality of services of the European satellite navigation system Galileo. The centre will also be in contact with other satellite navigation systems such as the American Global Positioning System.

The Galileo Reference Centre agreement was signed by the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Environment Melanie Schultz van Haegen and European Commissioner of Internal Market Elżbieta Bieńkowska at the European Space Solutions Conference in The Hague last May. Read more…

Galileo launch 8, VA233 (17-11-2016)

Launch of 4 new Galileo satellites

Liftoff of Ariane flight VA233An Ariane 5 rocket has launched four additional Galileo satellites, accelerating deployment of the new satellite navigation system.

The Ariane 5, operated by Arianespace, lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 13:06 GMT (14:06 CET, 10:06 local time) carrying Galileo satellites 15–18. The first pair was released 3 hours 35 minutes and 44 seconds after liftoff, while the second separated 20 minutes later.

The Galileos are at their target altitude, after a flawless release from the new dispenser designed to handle four satellites. Read more…

Call for media: Launch of Galileo satellites 15-18

Two flagship European space programmes will combine on 17 November, as Galileo navigation satellites are carried into orbit by an Ariane 5 rocket for the first time.

Using this customised vehicle allows four Galileos to be launched together. The total number of satellites in orbit will rise from 14 to 18 – the single biggest increase of any navigation satellite constellation from a single launch.

Liftoff of Ariane flight VA233 is scheduled for 13:06 GMT (14:06 CET, 10:06 local time) on 17 November. Read more…