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First detailed views of the next batch of Galileo satellites

Posted on June 25, 2013

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 Galileo Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellite was delivered to ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands on 15 May.

The next batch of Galileo satellites. Credits: OHB

The next batch of Galileo satellites. Credits: OHB

It is being prepared for testing in the ESTEC Test Centre, 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.

Galileo FOC main antenna. Galileo FOC is dominated by its circular L-band antenna that will continuously broadcast navigation messages down to Earth. Credits: OHB

Galileo FOC main antenna. Galileo FOC is dominated by its circular L-band antenna that will continuously broadcast navigation messages down to Earth. Credits: OHB

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.

Galileo FOC search and rescue antenna. Galileo's smaller, hexagonal antenna beside its main navigation antenna is designed to pick up emergency messages from vessels in distress to relay to search and rescue authorities, contributing to the international Cospas–Sarsat system. Credits: OHB

Galileo FOC search and rescue antenna. Galileo’s smaller, hexagonal antenna beside its main navigation antenna is designed to pick up emergency messages from vessels in distress to relay to search and rescue authorities, contributing to the international Cospas–Sarsat system. Credits: OHB

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

The 'business end' of the Galileo FOC satellite - L-band navigation antenna and the smaller search and rescue antenna on the same face. 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. Credits: OHB

The ‘business end’ of the Galileo FOC satellite – L-band navigation antenna and the smaller search and rescue antenna on the same face. 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. Credits: OHB

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

Gaileo Full Operational Capability satellites in orbit – the second batch of Galileo satellites. These FOC satellites follow on from the initial four Galileo In-Orbit Validation satellites, the first two of which went into orbit on 21 October 2011 with the remaining two joining them on 12 October 2012. As prime contractor for the FOC satellites, OHB is responsible for developing the satellite platform and integrating the satellite with its payload – the part of the satellite that provides Galileo’s precision positioning measurements and services to users worldwide – developed at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in Guildford, UK (also providing assistance to OHB with final satellite assembly). Credits: OHB

Gaileo Full Operational Capability satellites in orbit – the second batch of Galileo satellites. These FOC satellites follow on from the initial four Galileo In-Orbit Validation satellites, the first two of which went into orbit on 21 October 2011 with the remaining two joining them on 12 October 2012. As prime contractor for the FOC satellites, OHB is responsible for developing the satellite platform and integrating the satellite with its payload – the part of the satellite that provides Galileo’s precision positioning measurements and services to users worldwide – developed at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in Guildford, UK (also providing assistance to OHB with final satellite assembly). Credits: OHB

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.

Source: ESA

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