June 22nd, 2011
Astrium... A Proper Grounding For Galileo (Satellites)
Astrium has been selected by the European Space Agency and the European Union as prime contractor for the Galileo Full Operational Capability Ground Control Segment. The contract value is 73.5 million euros. The Ground Control Segment (GCS) contract covers the provision of GCS facilities for the operation of the constellation of Europe’s global navigation satellite system. The contract, which will be led by an Astrium team out of the U.K., covers the provision of a new facility at Fucino (Italy) and the expansion of the existing Ground Control Centre at Oberpfaffenhofen (Germany). The deployment also includes the provision of a temporary GCS back-up facility at the Fucino Galileo Control Centre for the four In-Orbit Validation satellites, and the provision of two further Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) stations on Réunion and Nouméa.
Astrium’s unique expertise in ground systems has enabled them to be selected for all phases of the Galileo GCS development and implementation. Astrium was responsible for the development, installation and test of the GCS for the Galileo demonstrator GIOVE-B, launched in April 2008 and which is still successfully operating in-orbit. In the In-Orbit Validation phase, Astrium is also responsible for providing the initial Galileo ground segment infrastructure, including the functional elements contained at the Oberpfaffenhofen Galileo Control Centre and the two existing TTC stations located at Kiruna and Kourou. Through the new contract, the UK team will be responsible for the deployment of the GCS to provide the full operational capability for the complete constellation.