They, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), must be doing something right for OHB-System AG which again and, Under an Authority to Proceed, selected Surrey to build eight navigation payloads for Galileo, Europe’s global navigation satellite system. The contract will be worth approximately 140m euros, and is a continuation of a long and successful cooperative effort between SSTL and OHB-System AG, which previously built 22 FOC satellites for the Galileo Constellation.
The Full Operational Capability phase of the Galileo program 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.
Gary Lay, SSTL’s Director of Navigation said that SSTL is delighted to have been selected to build the third batch of navigation payloads needed to complete the initial Galileo Constellation. He is confident that the OHB-SSTL solution offered the lowest risk and best value for money, and he believes that their selection as payload providers for the third time in succession demonstrates a high regard for their work. Galileo Full Operational Capability Works Order 1 for 14 satellites was placed with the OHB-SSTL team in 2010. The second work order for eight satellites was placed with the OHB-SSTL team in 2012. The Galileo satellite launches then began in 2011 with the schedule planned for completion in 2020.
SSTL’s state-of-the-art Galileo FOC payload comprises different units including European sourced atomic clocks, navigation signal generators, high power traveling wave tube amplifiers and antennas. SSTL’s payload proposal for Batch 3 is for a recurrent build of the existing payload, with an evolution of the atomic clocks to incorporate advances made under the European GNSS Evolution Program.
Fourteen of SSTL’s Galileo FOC navigation payloads are currently operational in orbit, with a further eight payloads already delivered to OHB for integration and test.
The fully deployed Galileo system will consist of 24 operational satellites plus in-orbit spares, positioned in three circular Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) planes at 23 222 km altitude above the Earth, and at an inclination of the orbital planes of 56 degrees to the equator.
SSTL has been involved in the Galileo program since 2003 with the design and build of GIOVE-A, Galileo’s pathfinder mission. GIOVE-A launched in 2005 is still operational, providing valuable data about the radiation environment in Medium Earth Orbit. An experimental GPS receiver on board GIOVE-A is also used to map out the antenna patterns of GPS satellites for use in planning navigation systems for future high altitude missions in Geostationary orbit, and beyond into deep space.