Deal signed for eight more Galileo satellites

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Following agreement with prime contractor OHB-System, Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL) has started manufacture of eight navigation payloads for Galileo, Europe’s global navigation satellite system. The contract, worth approximately €140million, it is a continuation of an existing partnership between the companies, who have built 22 satellites for the Galileo Constellation.

Gary Lay, SSTL’s director of navigation, said: “SSTL is delighted to have been selected to build the third batch of navigation payloads needed to complete the initial Galileo Constellation. I am confident that the OHB-SSTL solution offered the lowest risk and best value for money and I believe that our selection as payload provider for the third time in succession demonstrates a high regard for our work.”

SSTL’s Galileo FOC payload comprises different units, including: European sourced atomic clocks; navigation signal generators; high power travelling wave tube amplifiers; and antennas. SSTL’s payload proposal for Batch 3 is for a recurrent build of the existing payload, with an evolution of the atomic clocks to incorporate advances made under the European GNSS Evolution Programme.

There are 14 SSTL Galileo FOC navigation payloads currently operational in orbit, with a further eight payloads already delivered to OHB for integration and test.

SSTL has been involved in the Galileo programme since 2003, when it designed and built GIOVE-A, Galileo’s pathfinder mission. Launched in 2005, GIOVE-A is still operational, providing data about the radiation environment in Medium Earth Orbit. The satellite also carries an experimental GPS receiver, which is used to plan navigation systems for future high altitude missions in geostationary orbit and beyond into deep space.

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