Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has delivered the 22nd Galileo navigation payload, the last under Galileo Full Operational Capability (FOC) Works Orders 1 & 2, to prime contractor OHB System in Bremen, Germany. Galileo is Europe’s own Global Navigation Satellite System, providing real-time positioning, navigation and timing services with unrivalled accuracy.
As Payload Prime for Galileo FOC Works Order 1 & 2, SSTL is responsible for the development, assembly, integration and test of 22 navigation payloads. The first Galileo FOC payload was delivered to OHB in 2012, and since then payloads have continued to roll off the production line at SSTL, with a delivery schedule of approximately one every six weeks.
On 12 May, SSTL held an event to mark the occasion, and to celebrate the achievement with the contributors and supporters of the FOC payloads work. Katherine Courtney, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency attended the event and said: “Satellite navigation is an important part of the UK space industry success story and we are at the forefront of innovation in technology and services. Every FOC payload for the Galileo constellation - the beating heart of each satellite - has been built here in Guildford and the completion of this 22nd payload is a significant milestone which should be celebrated. We remain fully committed to the success of the Galileo programme, and look forward to the start of initial services later this year.”
SSTL’s state-of-the-art FOC payload comprises of different units that have been manufactured by a European supply chain and the modular design of the satellite enables SSTL to assemble the payload units onto 3 panels for delivery, fully tested, to OHB in Bremen. The last of the payloads in these two batches has now completed its journey through production and test at SSTL and has been delivered to Germany, where a team of SSTL engineers will assist OHB engineers with integration to the spacecraft platform.
Dr John Paffett, Director of Telecommunications and Navigation at SSTL, commented “The completion and delivery of the 22nd payload for FOC marks another milestone for SSTL, and I must pay tribute to the talented and dedicated FOC team here who have worked tirelessly to keep the production line rolling for the past four years. We are extremely proud of our contribution to Europe’s new navigation system, and we are all looking forward to the day that the new service comes on stream, and we can start using it in our daily lives.”
SSTL’s FOC payload is based on European sourced atomic clocks, navigation signal generators, high power travelling wave tube amplifiers and antennas, and it will provide Galileo’s navigation, positioning and timing services.
Paul Verhoef, Director of Galileo Programme and Navigation at the European Space Agency, said “SSTL has been a reliable partner of the Galileo venture since GIOVE-A. I wish to thank all SSTL staff for their extremely valuable contribution.”
The subcontractors for SSTL’s Galileo FOC navigation payload are Airbus Defence and Space, Finmeccanica, Spectratime, Kongsberg Norspace, Rymsa, TAS-I, Tesat, Ruag, Mier, ComDev (Honeywell), and Siemens. Testing facilities were provided at Airbus Defence and Space and RAL Space.
The next launch of a pair of Galileo FOC spacecraft is due to take place on 24 May on board a Soyuz launcher from Kourou in French Guiana. Twelve Galileo satellites are already in orbit, and a second launch of 4 spacecraft is planned for later this year, bringing the total of 18 Galileo satellites in orbit by the end of this year.
The Full Operational Capability phase of the Galileo programme is managed and fully funded by the European Union. The Commission and ESA have signed a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission. The views expressed in this Press Release can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union and/or ESA. “Galileo” is a trademark subject to OHIM application number 002742237 by EU and ESA.
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is the world's leading small satellite company, delivering operational space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science and communications. The Company designs, manufactures and operates high performance satellites and ground systems for a fraction of the price normally associated with space missions, with 450 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments.
Since 1981, SSTL has built and launched 47 satellites for 20 international customers – as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for ESA, NASA , international governments and commercial customers, with an innovative approach that is changing the economics of space.
Headquartered in Guildford, UK, SSTL is part of the Airbus Group.