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Charting GIOVE-s contribution to Galileo

GIOVE-A, the satellite that played a crucial role in setting up Europe’s Galileo SatNav system, has been retired after six and a half years of service. SSTL built the satellite for ESA to fulfil four mission objectives. Firstly, to secure the use of the frequencies allocated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for the Galileo system. Secondly, to demonstrate critical technologies for the navigation payload of future Galileo satellites. Thirdly to characterise the radiation environment of the Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) that the navigations satellites would use, and fourthly to provide an on orbit platform for experimentation with the Galileo Signals and Spectrum. Not only did GIOVE-A succeed on all four counts, it also outlived its design life of 27 months by over four years "“ an incredible feat for the first European satellite to be launched into the challenging environment of MEO. The success of the GIOVE-A mission marked Europe's independent entry into global positioning, navigation and timing services and, at a cost of just 28 million Euros, GIOVE-A demonstrated that innovative small low cost satellites could fulfil the requirements of major institutional space missions. As the GIOVE-A navigation signals are taken out of service, we look back at the life of the satellite that laid the foundations of Europe’s own navigation service.Charting GIOVE-A's contribution to Galileo SSTL is continuing its involvement in the development of the Galileo GNSS system as payload prime for the construction of the first 22 Full Operational Capability satellites. SSTL delivered the first of these payloads to its partner and satellite prime OHB System in April for integration and testing and the first satellite is expected to launch in 2013. Both these first steps and future developments towards a complete Galileo system would not have been possible without the data and frequency allocations secured by GIOVE-A. The story doesn’t end with Galileo, either, as the engineering know-how gained from GIOVE-A supported the development of the SSTL geostationary platform and future communications and navigation missions.





12 July 20120 Comments1 Comment

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