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Galileo SAR enhanced with new Greenland site

June 1, 2023  - By
Image: KimKimsenphot/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Image: KimKimsenphot/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) and Naviair — a company that specializes in air navigation and related infrastructure services and is owned by the Danish state and represented by the Ministry of Transport — have partnered to strengthen the monitoring capabilities of the Galileo search and rescue (SAR) service by adding a new site in Greenland.

The partnership between EUSPA and Naviair will expand the ground segment and current SAR capabilities. As part of the agreement, Naviair will contribute to the Galileo Programme objectives by procuring, deploying, hosting, and operating a reference beacon (REFBE) near the Kangerlussuaq Airport in Greenland.

The new SAR/Galileo site and REFBE will be located around the margins of the declared service coverage area and will be fully integrated into the SAR ground segment, bringing the number of REFBEs to eight. The REFBEs provide data for service performance monitoring.

There are currently five REFBEs in the European coverage area and two in the Indian Ocean coverage area.

The REFBEs are fitted with vertical linear polarized antennas that transmit timely, synchronized signals equivalent to a standard 406 MHz Cospas-Sarsat beacon. This, combined with their well-known position, enables specific SAR/Galileo Service performance indicators to be derived.

The new site will be ready by the fourth quarter of 2023.

The SAR/Galileo component of the EU Space Programme plays a crucial role in the detection of emergency signals transmitted by distress beacons in support of the internationally recognized SAR Cospas-Sarsat program. As part of this program, the Galileo SAR Service utilizes SAR instruments onboard Galileo satellites, medium-Earth orbit local user terminals, and a network of SAR REFBEs located across Europe.

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About the Author: Maddie Saines

Maddie was a managing editor at GPS World.