Gallileo Switches On

 SAR  Comments Off on Gallileo Switches On
Jan 262013
 
On the launchpad: Soyuz VS01 carried the first two satellites of Europe’s Galileo navigation system into orbit.

On the launchpad: Soyuz VS01 carried the first two satellites of Europe’s Galileo navigation system into orbit.

The first switch-on of a Galileo search and rescue package shows it to be working well. Its activation begins a major expansion of the space-based Cospas–Sarsat network, which brings help to air and sea vessels in distress.

The second pair of Europe’s Galileo navigation satellites – launched together on 12 October last year – are the first of the constellation to host SAR search and rescue repeaters. These can pick up UHF signals from emergency beacons aboard ships and aircraft or carried by individuals, then pass them on to local authorities for rescue.

Once the satellites reached their 23 222 km-altitude orbits, a rigorous test campaign began. The turn of the SAR repeater aboard the third Galileo satellite came on 17 January.

“At this stage, our main objective is to check the repeater has not been damaged by launch,” explains ESA’s Galileo SAR engineer Igor Stojkovic. Continue reading »

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Galileo Contracts For SatNav Sats And Stuff

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Jan 122010
 

imageThree of the six contracts for the procurement of the initial operational capability of the European satellite navigation system, Galileo,have now been awarded by the European Commission. The remaining three procurement contracts, for the ground mission infrastructure, the ground control infrastructure and the operations should be awarded by mid-2010.

Galileo will provide an alternative to the US-owned Global Positioning System, GPS. Many satellites in the GPS constellation are beyond their designed lifespan and others are approaching it, while budget cuts have delayed replacement leading to concerns regarding degradation of the GPS system and the possibility that there may eventually be too few satellites to provide adequately accurate fixes.

Continue reading »

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