Galileo satellite platform tests under way

Dec 03, 2009
The Galileo in-orbit verification engineering model satellite platform, showing the power subsystem undergoing testing at Thales Alenia Space, Rome. Credits: ESA / Thales Alenia Space Italia

(PhysOrg.com) -- The engineering model of the first Galileo satellites has completed platform integration tests at the Thales Alenia Space facility in Rome. The platform is now undergoing functional testing. Delivery of the engineering model payload from Astrium UK is expected in December.

These tests are an important step towards building and launching the first four Galileo satellites. Integration testing verifies the interfaces between units or subsystems and the larger integrated system. Functional testing demonstrates that the integrated elements meet their design specifications.

The engineering model of the Galileo In-Orbit Verification (IOV) satellites is mitigating the design risks ahead of building the proto-flight model and the three flight model satellites. It is also being used to debug the testing procedure and to demonstrate the ’s compatibility with the Galileo ground system.

The engineering model represents the flight models in form, fit and function, but does not have the complete redundancy of its flight counterparts. As the individual units of the engineering model do not have to undergo the lengthy and expensive environmental test campaigns needed for the flight models, it can be built far in advance of them, at a fraction of the cost.

Four in-orbit verification satellites

The Galileo In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase will validate the system design using a reduced constellation of four satellites - the minimum required to provide exact positioning and timing at the test locations - along with a small number of ground stations.

The proto-flight and three flight model satellites will also integrated and tested at Thales Alenia Space in Rome. They will be carried into orbit in pairs by Soyuz ST-B / Fregat MT launchers from Europe’s in French Guiana. The first launch is scheduled for late 2010 and the second for early in 2011.

The proto-flight satellite is under construction and starting its integration tests, using flight hardware and software configurations. The on-ground verification programme for the proto-flight model is intended to qualify the satellite design.

The verification programme for the flight model satellites is shorter and simpler, because it only has to demonstrate the correctness and quality of their construction.

The definition phase and the development and In-Orbit Validation phase of the Galileo programme were carried out by the European Space Agency (ESA) and co-funded by ESA and the European Community.

Provided by European Space Agency (news : web)

Explore further: Lunar explorers will walk at higher speeds than thought

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

First Galileo satellite travels to launch site

Dec 01, 2005

GIOVE A, the first Galileo satellite, departed from ESA's test facility at the European Space Research and Technology Centre in The Netherlands on the morning of 29 November, bound for the Baikonur Cosmodrome ...

Further step forward for Galileo

Dec 22, 2004

The Galileo project is now well and truly taking shape, with today's signing of a second contract concerning the In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase, following that signed in July 2003 for two test satellites. The European Spa ...

Two years in space for Galileo satellite

Dec 19, 2007

On 28 December, it will be two years since GIOVE-A - the first Galileo satellite - was launched by a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur, in Kazakhstan. This satellite demonstrates the progress Europe has made in setting ...

Receivers key to Galileo success

Oct 26, 2006

Europe's navigation system requires new receiver designs to make use of the transmissions from its satellite constellation. European industry is developing and supplying receivers for the in-orbit validation ...

Second Galileo spacecraft prepares for launch

Mar 06, 2008

Yesterday, members of the media visited ESA-ESTEC, the agency's European Research and Technology Centre, to see and learn about GIOVE-B, the second Galileo in-orbit validation satellite, before it is packed ...

First 'European GPS' Galileo satellites named 'GIOVE'

Nov 10, 2005

GIOVE - standing for 'Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element' - is the name that has been chosen for the two satellites which are currently being prepared to take the first step of the In-Orbit Validation phase ...

Recommended for you

Lunar explorers will walk at higher speeds than thought

11 hours ago

Anyone who has seen the movies of Neil Armstrong's first bounding steps on the moon couldn't fail to be intrigued by his unusual walking style. But, contrary to popular belief, the astronaut's peculiar walk ...

Space: The final frontier... open to the public

12 hours ago

Historically, spaceflight has been reserved for the very healthy. Astronauts are selected for their ability to meet the highest physical and psychological standards to prepare them for any unknown challenges. However, with ...

NASA releases IRIS footage of X-class flare (w/ Video)

12 hours ago

On Sept. 10, 2014, NASA's newest solar observatory, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, mission joined other telescopes to witness an X-class flare – an example of one of the strongest solar flares—on ...

NASA's Maven spacecraft reaches Mars this weekend

13 hours ago

Mars, get ready for another visitor or two. This weekend, NASA's Maven spacecraft will reach the red planet following a 10-month journey spanning 442 million miles (711 million kilometers).

User comments : 0