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Galileo chalks up 500th ESA Engineering Board

January 11, 2021  - By
Image: ESA

Image: ESA

The end of 2020 marked a milestone for the Galileo First Generation, as the program chalked up its 500th European Space Agency (ESA) Engineering Board.

For more than 12 years, ESA and industry engineers from all relevant disciplines — system, satellite, ground, signal, radio navigation, RAMS (reliability, availability, maintainability and safety), security and infrastructure — have put their best skills at the disposal of the board.

The board is a forum where technical experts regularly meet to maintain, review and update the Galileo Project technical baseline, known as the System Technical Requirements Baseline (STRB). The STRB drives the implementation of the Galileo System and its infrastructure, the space and ground segments, along with associated interfaces and operations.

The G1 system technical specification under ESA adds up to more than 22,000 separate requirements. These requirements are both unclassified and classified, with considerable interdependencies which all that need to be controlled in configuration.

The Galileo G1 Engineering Board is chaired by ESA in accordance with its role as Galileo System Design Authority, assigned to it by the European Commission.

Since the building of the first G1 Engineering Board in 2008, 26 Galileo satellites have been built, tested and flown. The Galileo system’s globe-spanning ground system has also been put in place and made operational. The board continues to be a crucial enabler for further robustness improvements and new service evolutions.

A further 12 Batch 3 satellites are set to join the constellation in the coming decade. These satellites are being finalized at OHB Systems in Bremen, Germany, and then tested at ESA’s ESTEC Test Centre in the Netherlands.

The worldwide Galileo ground segment includes two control centers (Italy and Germany) as well as various tracking, uplink and sensor stations and monitoring and test centers. (Image: ESA)

The worldwide Galileo ground segment includes two control centers (Italy and Germany) as well as various tracking, uplink and sensor stations and monitoring and test centers. (Image: ESA)

Galileo began initial operations in December 2016 and today serves more than 1.5 billion smartphones and devices.

The G1 Engineering Board meetings will continue, complemented with Engineering Boards for the new Galileo Second Generation (G2 satellites are planned for later this decade), which are already well underway.

About the Author:


Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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