New breed of satellites

June 25, 2013, European Space Agency
Credit: OHB

(Phys.org) —These pictures give the first detailed views of the next batch of Galileo satellites, the first of which has already been delivered to ESA for rigorous testing in simulated space conditions.

The first Full (FOC) satellite was delivered to ESA's ESTEC technical centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands on 15 May.

It is being prepared for testing in the ESTEC , a unique facility for Europe with all the facilities needed to validate a satellite for launch under one roof.

This initial FOC satellite is functionally identical to the first four Galileo In-Orbit Validation satellites already in orbit, the operational nucleus of the full Galileo constellation, but has been built by a separate industrial team.

Like all the other 21 FOC satellites so far procured by ESA, the satellite's prime contractor is OHB in Bremen, Germany and the navigation payload was produced by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in Guildford, UK. The photos shown here were taken at OHB.

The satellite is approximately the size and shape of an old-fashioned telephone booth, dominated by its circular L- that will continuously broadcast navigation messages down to Earth.

The smaller, hexagonal antenna beside it will perform a no less vital task – picking up emergency messages from vessels in distress to relay to authorities, contributing to the international Cospas–Sarsat system.

Credit: ESA

A second Galileo FOC satellite is due to join its predecessor at ESTEC later this summer, preparing for a launch scheduled for later this year.

Explore further: First payload ready for next batch of Galileo satellites

Related Stories

Preparing for Galileo's next launch

September 11, 2012

(Phys.org)—After arriving at the launch site last month, the second pair of Galileo navigation satellites is being prepared for launch from Europe's Spaceport in October. 

Milestone for European navigation system

March 12, 2013

Galileo, Europe's rival to the US Global Positioning System (GPS), passed a milestone Tuesday when it pinpointed its first-ever ground location, the European Space Agency said.

Recommended for you

Three 'super-Earths' orbiting a cool dwarf star discovered

January 23, 2018

Using NASA's prolonged Kepler mission, known as K2, astronomers have found three new "super-Earth" exoplanets. The newly detected alien worlds orbit the cool dwarf star designated LP415-17. The finding is reported January ...

Dust storms linked to gas escape from Martian atmosphere

January 23, 2018

Some Mars experts are eager and optimistic for a dust storm this year to grow so grand it darkens skies around the entire Red Planet. This type of phenomenon in the environment of modern Mars could be examined as never before ...

Scientist proposes new definition of a planet

January 23, 2018

Pluto hogs the spotlight in the continuing scientific debate over what is and what is not a planet, but a less conspicuous argument rages on about the planetary status of massive objects outside our solar system. The dispute ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.