First prototype of Galileo ground segment

21 April 2004

In a major step in the ground segment development of the Galileo program, the first stage of the Galileo System Test Bed (GSTB-V1) has been completed. It supports experimentation on the critical performances behind the services to be delivered to users by the final Galileo system.

The GSTB-V1 processing centre has been set up at the European Space Agency (ESA-ESTEC) in The Netherlands. The aim is to solve the issues surrounding positioning, timing and integrity by making use of existing navigation data. These data are collected from a globally distributed network of sensor stations established in co-operation with the International GPS Service and Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) community.

A GSTB-V1 website (www.gstb-v1.esa.int) is now online for specialists in the field of navigation and integrity. It provides GPS measurements and associated generated core products. This data provides invaluable feedback to the Galileo development teams in terms of confidence in achieving the performances of the operational system and consolidation of system design allowing mitigation of the development risks and acceleration of the schedule to meet the time to market.

A European consortium lead by Galileo Industries is carrying out the GSTB-V1 project. In a workshop they ran at ESA-ESTEC last week they presented to the user community the validated results coming out of the commissioning period: the Galileo broadcast navigation message meets the demanding target accuracy of 65 cm, the experimental Galileo System Time is accurate to within less than 1 microsecond with the Universal Time Coordinated and provides the required target stability. This is a solid basis on which the integrity experimentation can start in support of the design of the Safety of Life service.

GSTB-V1 is the first stage of the Galileo System Test Bed (GSTB). The second stage (GSTB-V2) consists of two experimental satellites. These are being built by Galileo Industries and Surrey Space Technology Limited respectively and are planned for launch by end 2005.

Galileo is an initiative of the European Commission and the European Space Agency. Galileo will be a global navigation satellite infrastructure under civil control. It will ensure European sovereignty in future traffic management services and many other application areas.

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