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  • richardmitnick 8:31 am on December 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESA Galileo   

    From ESA: Galileo Satellite Recovered and Transmitting Navigation Signals” 

    ESASpaceForEuropeBanner
    European Space Agency

    3 December 2014
    No Writer Credit

    Europe’s fifth Galileo satellite, one of two delivered into a wrong orbit by VS09 Soyuz-Fregat launcher in August, has transmitted its first navigation signal in space on Saturday 29 November 2014. It has reached its new target orbit and its navigation payload has been successfully switched on.

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    Galileo

    A detailed test campaign is under way now the satellite has reached a more suitable orbit for navigation purposes.

    Recovery

    The fifth and sixth Galileo satellites, launched together on 22 August, ended up in an elongated orbit travelling up to 25 900 km above Earth and back down to 13 713 km.

    A total of 11 manoeuvres were performed across 17 days, gradually nudging the fifth satellite upwards at the lowest point of its orbit.

    As a result, it has risen more than 3500 km and its elliptical orbit has become more circular.

    “The manoeuvres were all normal, with excellent performance both in terms of thrust and direction,” explained Daniel Navarro-Reyes, ESA Galileo mission analyst.

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    Galileo satellite’s revised orbit

    “The final orbit is as we targeted and is a tribute to the great professionalism of all the teams involved.”

    The commands were issued from the Galileo Control Centre by Space Opal, the Galileo operator, at Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany, guided by calculations from a combined flight dynamics team of ESA’s Space Operations Centre, ESOC, in Darmstadt, Germany and France’s CNES space agency.

    The commands were uploaded to the satellite via an extended network of ground stations, made up of Galileo stations and additional sites coordinated by France’s CNES space agency.

    Satellite manufacturer OHB also provided expertise throughout the recovery, helping to adapt the flight procedures.

    Until the manoeuvres started, the combined ESA–CNES team maintained the satellites pointing at the Sun using their gyroscopes and solar sensors. This kept the satellites steady in space but their navigation payloads could not be used reliably.

    In the new orbit, the satellite’s radiation exposure has also been greatly reduced, ensuring reliable performance for the long term.

    A suitable orbit

    The revised, more circular orbit means the fifth satellite’s Earth sensor can be used continuously, keeping its main antenna oriented towards Earth and allowing its navigation payload to be switched on.

    Significantly, the orbit means that it will now overfly the same location on the ground every 20 days. This compares to a normal Galileo repeat pattern of every 10 days, effectively synchronising its ground track with the rest of the Galileo constellation.

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    Controlling Galileo

    The navigation test campaign

    The satellite’s navigation payload was activated on 29 November, to begin the full ‘In-Orbit Test’ campaign. This is being performed from ESA’s Redu centre in Belgium, where a 20 m-diameter antenna can study the strength and shape of the navigation signals at high resolution.

    “First, the various payload elements, especially the Passive Hydrogen Maser atomic clock, were warmed up, then the payload’s first ‘signal in space’ was transmitted,” said David Sanchez-Cabezudo, managing the test campaign.

    “The satellite-broadcast L-band navigation signal is monitored using the large antenna at Redu, with experts from OHB and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd – the payload manufacturer, based in Guildford, UK – also on hand to analyse how it performs over time.”

    The first Galileo FOC navigation signal-in-space transmitting in the three Galileo frequency bands (E5/E6/L1) was tracked by Galileo Test User Receivers deployed at various locations in Europe, namely at Redu (B), ESTEC (NL), Weilheim (D) and Rome (I). The quality of the signal is good and in line with expectations.

    The Search And Rescue (SAR) payload will be switched on in few days in order to complement the in-orbit test campaign.

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    Galileo L-band antenna at Redu

    The way forward

    The same recovery manoeuvres are planned for the sixth satellite, taking it into the same orbital plane but on the opposite side of Earth.

    The decision whether to use the two satellites for Navigation and SAR purposes as part of the Galileo constellation will be taken by the European Commission based on the test results.

    About Galileo

    Galileo is Europe’s own global satellite navigation system. It will consist of 30 satellites and their ground infrastructure.

    The definition phase and the development and In-Orbit Validation phase of the Galileo programme were carried out by the European Space Agency (ESA) and co-funded by ESA and the European Union. This phase has created a mini-constellation of four satellites and a reduced ground segment dedicated to validating the overall concept.

    The four satellites launched during the IOV phase form the core of the constellation that is being extended to reach Full Operational Capability (FOC).

    The FOC phase is fully funded by the European Commission. The Commission and ESA have signed a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission.

    Learn more about Galileo at: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Navigation

    See the full article here.

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    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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  • richardmitnick 1:35 pm on November 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESA Galileo   

    From ESA: “Galileo put to the test” 

    ESASpaceForEuropeBanner
    European Space Agency

    Europe’s next pair of Galileo satellites have been the focus of a busy autumn at ESA’s technical centre in the Netherlands, continuing a full-scale campaign to ensure their readiness for space.

    With the first four Galileos already in orbit, these new versions are the first two of a total 22 ‘Full Operational Capability’ satellites being built by OHB in Germany with a payload from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in the UK.

    The second satellite joined its predecessor in mid-August at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre in Noordwijk. This is the largest spacecraft testing site in Europe, with a full range of space simulation facilities under a single roof in cleanroom conditions. A wide range of tests have been performed on the two satellites.

    gal1
    Galileo Full Operational Capability Flight Model 2, FM2, satellite’s main L-band antenna used for broadcasting navigation messages, seen during preparation for a mass property test at the ESTEC Test Centre at the end of August 2013. Credits: ESA-Anneke Le Floc’h

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    The first two Galileo Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites seen together at the ESTEC Test Centre on 30 August 2013. The second flight model, FM2, is in the foreground to the left with the first, FM1, in the background to the right.
    Credits: ESA-Anneke Le Floc’h

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    The main antenna of the second Galileo Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellite being inspected with a flashlight in advance of mass property testing during August 2013. Credits: ESA-Anneke Le Floc’h

    See the full article with more images here.

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.


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    gal4
    Checking the underside of the second Galileo Full Operational Capability satellite with a flashlight in advance of mass property testing in August 2013. Credits: ESA-Anneke Le Floc’h

     
  • richardmitnick 11:59 am on July 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ESA Galileo,   

    From ESA: “Galileo spreads its wings” 

    ESASpaceForEuropeBanner
    European Space Agency

    11 July 2013
    No Writer Credit

    “Deployment of the solar wings on the latest Galileo satellite is shown being checked at ESA’s technical hub in the Netherlands. The navigation satellite’s pair of 1 x 5 m solar wings, carrying more than 2500 state-of-the-art gallium arsenide solar cells, will power the satellite during its 12-year working life.

    wings
    Galileo FOC solar wing deployment. No image credit

    A counterweighted rig supports the deployment, otherwise the delicate fold-out wings – designed for the weightlessness of space – would crumple under the pull of Earth gravity.

    With the first four Galileo ‘In-Orbit Validation’ satellites already in orbit, this is the first of the rest of Europe’s satnav constellation.

    These Full Operational Capability satellites provide the same operational services as their predecessors, but they are built by a new industrial team: OHB in Bremen, Germany build the satellites with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in Guildford, UK contributing the navigation payloads.

    There are also a lot more of them: this satellite is only the first of 22 ordered from OHB. It arrived at ESA’s ESTEC research and technical centre in Noordwijk in mid-May to begin a rigorous campaign of testing in simulated launch and space conditions, guaranteeing its readiness for launch.”

    See the full article here.

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA Technology


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  • richardmitnick 7:20 am on March 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ESA Galileo,   

    From ESA: “Galileo fixes Europe’s position in history” 

    ESASpaceForEuropeBanner
    European Space Agency

    12 March 2013
    No Writer Credit

    Europe’s new age of satellite navigation has passed a historic milestone – the very first determination of a ground location using the four Galileo satellites currently in orbit together with their ground facilities.

    ESA Galileo Spacecraft
    Galileo

    This fundamental step confirms the Galileo system works as planned.

    A minimum of four satellites is required to make a position fix in three dimensions. The first two were launched in October 2011, with two more following a year on.

    ‘Once testing of the latest two satellites was complete, in recent weeks our effort focused on the generation of navigation messages and their dissemination to receivers on the ground, explained Marco Falcone, ESA’s Galileo System Manager.

    This first position fix of longitude, latitude and altitude took place at the Navigation Laboratory at ESA’s technical heart ESTEC, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands on the morning of 12 March, with an accuracy between 10 and 15 metres – which is expected taking into account the limited infrastructure deployed so far.”

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    See the full article here.

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.


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