[SatNews] SES S.A. (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) has become a key partner in the future operations of Europe's Galileo satellite navigation system.
ASTRA TechCom Services, an SES company, has signed a contract with Spaceopal, the company providing ground-based services required to operate the Galileo constellation until it has been fully deployed. The agreement was signed by Gerhard Bethscheider, Managing Director of ASTRA TechCom Services and by Francesco D'Amore and Hubertus Wanke, both Managing Directors of Spaceopal. The agreement is encompassed in one of the six Galileo Work Packages (WPs) identified by the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA) as necessary to develop Galileo's Full Operational Capability (FOC). The WP6 Framework Contract is dedicated to preparation activities as well as to all the operation services the fully-deployed Galileo system requires.
ASTRA TechCom Services' contribution to WP6 covers engineering support to Spaceopal and a leading role in the In Orbit Testing (IOT) of the Galileo FOC Satellites. To this end, ASTRA TechCom Services will work through its subsidiary, Redu Space Services, to use the Galileo IOT infrastructure in Redu to deliver this critical service. Furthermore, the Framework prepares the ground for the future development of the Galileo Data Distribution Network (GDDN). Redu Space Services is a joint venture between ASTRA TechCom Services and the space systems manufacturer QinetiQ and operates the ESA center in Redu. Spaceopal is a joint undertaking between Italian company Telespazio and German firm DLR Gesellschaft für Raumfahrtanwendungen (GfR) mbH, which has been set up by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) to provide operational services for the Galileo system.