Galileo: another 4 satellites come into service. The system now guarantees worldwide coverage
The 4 Galileo FOC (Full Operational Capability) satellites launched on 25th July 2018 from the European Space Centre in French Guiana, using an Ariane-5 ES carrier, have successfully completed the in-orbit test phases and have become fully operational on 11th February this year.
They are added to the 18 satellites already in operation which supply services of the European satellite positioning and navigation system.
The current configuration of the Galileo constellation now includes a total of 26 satellites: 4 IOV (In Orbit Validation) and 22 FOC (Full Operational Capability) satellites, of which 22 are in service to supply the Galileo services, and 4 are being used for experimentation and optimisation.
For the first time, the current configuration makes it possible to obtain your position anywhere on earth, using only the Galileo System. In fact, from any part of the planet at least 4 Galileo satellites can be seen - above the horizon. This is the minimum number required to be able to obtain precise location.
The coming into operation of the 4 satellites was announced to the community of Galileo users by the European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency (GSA).
Telespazio plays a leading role in the development of the programme, having built, at the Fucino Space Centre, one of the Galileo Control Centre (GCC), which will manage the programme’s constellation and mission. A second GCC was built by DLR GfR, a company of the German Space Agency (DLR), in Oberpfaffenhofen (Munich).
Telespazio is heavily involved in all the phases of the system's operational life span of Galileo through Spaceopal, who manages and coordinates the services using the “LEOP Operations Control Centres” in Toulouse (France) and Darmstadt (Germany), operated by CNES and ESOC respectively, which provide constellation launch and early orbit phase services.
Spaceopal uses the GCC at Fucino and Oberpfaffenhofen for the provision of the navigation signals and the in-orbit control of the satellites. It also manages the IOT system at Redu (Belgium) for the In Orbit Test phase for the launched satellites.