GIOVE Mission Segment transmits the first Galileo navigation message
04 May 2007
The Mission Segment, designed and deployed on-time in a record 12 months, is the result of a fruitful partnership between ESA and the industrial consortium led by ESNIS (European Satellite Navigation Industries, formerly Galileo Industries), of which Thales Alenia Space is a major actor.
The aim of the GIOVE Mission Segment, started in December 2005, is to carry out tests to validate the key technologies in the Galileo system, and to provide a full-scale demonstration of operational capabilities. It now comprises a worldwide network of 13 sensor stations equipped with Galileo receivers, plus a processing center at the ESA-ESTEC facility in the Netherlands, operated by ESNIS.
Marc Gandara, GIOVE Mission Segment manager for Thales Alenia Space working through ESNIS, said: "After one year in-orbit, we have assessed the onboard clock, characterized the sensor station environment, and prototyped ground system algorithms proving that Galileo performance in orbit can be met. Furthermore, the broadcast of the Galileo navigation message will enable, for the first time in the history of satellite navigation, the calculation of a position by using a combination of Galileo and GPS signals, thus demonstrating the interoperability of the two systems."
Thales Alenia Space together with its main partners INDRA, GMV, Septentrio, Space Engineering and Science System has contributed to the successful delivery of the main GIOVE Mission core infrastructure as well as key prototype algorithms that will later be implemented in the overall Galileo Ground Mission Segment. This segment under the responsibility of Thales Alenia Space will ensure and control the overall end-user performance of Galileo.
Marc Gandara added: "Deployment of the GIOVE Mission Segment marks a major milestone in the Galileo program, since it establishes the technical and technological foundations needed for the operational deployment of Galileo."
To highlight this milestone, a special site http://www.giove.esa.int is now online, accessible by the public. It offers general information on the GIOVE program, as well as providing the data collected and results of tests to all participants in the Galileo program.
About Thales Alenia Space
European leader in satellite systems and at the forefront of orbital infrastructures, Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). Together with Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space forms the "Space Alliance" between the two groups. The company is a worldwide reference in telecoms, radar and optical Earth observation, defense and security, navigation and science. With 7200 employees and 11 industrial sites, Thales Alenia Space is located in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium. www.thalesaleniaspace.com
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