Third, Fourth Galileo FOC Satellites Confirmed Fit for Soyuz Launch

February 17, 2015  - By
Source: GPS world staff

The Flight Model #3 (FM3) spacecraft is moved for positioning on the payload dispenser. (Photo credit: Arianspace)

The third and fourth Galileo Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites are a confirmed “fit” for their Arianespace Soyuz launch March 27, having made initial contact with the mission’s dual-payload dispenser in French Guiana, according to Arianespace.

The fit check was completed over a two-day period inside the Spaceport’s S1A payload preparation building. The two satellites were installed separately, with the Flight Model #3 (FM3) spacecraft integrated on — and subsequently removed from — the dispenser on Feb. 9. Flight Model #4 (FM4) underwent the same process the following day.

The payload dispenser for Galileo was developed by RUAG Space Sweden for Arianespace, and carries one satellite on each side. It will deploy the spacecraft during the Soyuz launch by firing a pyrotechnic separation system to release them in opposite directions at the orbital insertion point.

Source: GPS world staff

Flight Model #4 (FM4) after its integration. (Photo credit: Arianspace)

Final integration on the dispenser is to be performed during upcoming processing at the spaceport, and will be followed by the completed unit’s installation on Soyuz.

The March 27 mission — designated Flight VS11 in Arianespace’s numbering system — will be the company’s fourth launch carrying spacecraft for the Galileo constellation. FM3 and FM4 were built by OHB System, with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. supplying their navigation payloads.

The Galileo network’s complete operational and ground infrastructure will be deployed during the Full Operational Capability phase, which is managed and funded by the European Commission. The European Space Agency has been delegated as the design and procurement agent on the commission’s behalf.

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