1st satellite ready for launch
Its twin Giove-B will join it in 2006. Together, the 2 precursor satellites will cover the 1st phase of Galileo IOV, during which they will test new technologies essential to build the full constellation.
- Validate critical technologies, like new atomic clocks
- Secure frequency slots allocated to Galileo by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
- Characterize the environment of the medium-Earth orbit in which the Galileo satellites will be operating.
Supporting satellite navigation in Europe
These satellites will validate the basic Galileo concept and ground segment, laying the foundation for the full 30-satellite system.
The Galileo constellation will comprise 27 operational satellites and 3 on-orbit spares, in circular orbits at an altitude of around 24,000 km.
Each satellite’s payload includes timing instruments (for example, atomic clocks), signal generators and signal amplification equipment.
Galileo, operating alongside the U.S. GPS2 and Russian Glonass3 systems, will begin delivering services in 2010 for a broad range of applications in many sectors, including air and road transport, shipping and agriculture.
1 Giove : Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element
2 GPS : Global Positioning System
3 Glonass : GLObal Navigation Satellite System