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Galileo Second Generation Satellites Transforming Navigation Technology.

In pursuit of Galileo’s future, the European Space Agency (ESA) collaborates with the European industry to advance the satellite navigation system. Key components such as ultra-precise atomic clocks, system testbeds, ground mission and control segments, along with the construction of satellites, are actively in progress. Airbus Defence and Space recently unveiled the first flight model structure of six Galileo Second Generation constellation satellites, signaling a significant step forward. With 28 satellites already in orbit and 10 awaiting launch, Galileo stands as the world’s most precise navigation system, serving over four billion users globally.


Andrea Cotellessa, ESA’s Head of Galileo Space Segment Management Office, emphasizes the transformative impact of G2 with its novel services and enhanced robustness. The collaborative efforts of ESA and industry leaders like Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space underscore the commitment to shaping the next chapter of Galileo’s success.


The Galileo Second Generation satellites are poised to be revolutionary, featuring fully digital payloads, electric propulsion, an enhanced navigation antenna, and an increased number of improved atomic clocks on board, according to ESA’s Galileo Second Generation Project Manager, Miguel Manteiga Bautista. The innovative design incorporates a modular architecture, providing flexibility for additional equipment, and enables inter-satellite links.


This groundbreaking approach is a testament to the commitment of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European industry, pushing the boundaries of satellite navigation through continuous development and testing of new technologies. Many of these advancements find their roots in research and development programs such as ESA’s GNSS Evolution Programme and the EU’s Horizon 2020.


Validation of Navigation Payload and Antenna Progress.



The Airbus Defence and Space Galileo Second Generation (G2) satellite showcases innovation, notably with its navigation antenna, validated through an intensive radiated performance test at the Spanish National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) during the summer. The navigation payload, considered the satellite’s heart and brain, underwent evaluation at the company’s Ottobrunn facilities in Germany.


A model of the payload demonstrated its ability to amplify and radiate navigation signals as intended. Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Airbus Space Systems at Airbus Defence and Space, highlighted the commencement of production for these state-of-the-art G2 satellites, emphasizing the collaborative efforts of teams across Europe to meet the challenging schedule and enhance the global Galileo system.


Unveiling the Flight Model Satellite Structure.


Last week, Beyond Gravity’s Swiss branch unveiled the Galileo Second Generation (G2) satellite structure at Airbus Defence and Space’s Friedrichshafen site in Germany. Eric Villette, ESA’s Head of Management Office for Airbus Defence and Space G2 Satellite, highlighted the demonstration of disassembling and preparing the immense panels that constitute the satellite’s structure for delivery to various Airbus sites. Employing a proven modular design initially developed for telecommunication satellites, the company assembles different units around a central tube, supported by an external frame, resulting in a 3 by 3 meters cube structure. This approach marks a strategic reutilization of a reliable design for the G2 satellite.


Over the next few months, the Galileo Second Generation (G2) satellite structure will undergo further preparations. It will be disassembled, integrated with the necessary harness (a complex network of wires for powering and connecting components), and equipped with thermal hardware to regulate the satellite’s temperature. Following this, the structure will be populated with units, subjected to functional and environmental testing, and ultimately qualified for launch. Javier Benedicto, ESA’s Director of Navigation, expresses anticipation for the evolving milestones in G2 development, envisioning the convergence of various components to enhance the Galileo system’s performance and continue serving European and global citizens through this EU program.


About Galileo.


Galileo stands as the world’s foremost satellite navigation system, catering to nearly four billion users globally since its Open Service launch in 2017. Every smartphone sold in the European Single Market now comes equipped with Galileo capabilities. Beyond personal devices, Galileo plays a pivotal role in diverse sectors such as rail, maritime, agriculture, financial timing services, and rescue operations.


As a flagship program of the European Union, Galileo is managed and funded by the European Commission. The European Space Agency (ESA) takes the lead in designing, developing, and qualifying space and ground systems, as well as procuring launches. The EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) assumes the role of Galileo’s service provider, overseeing market and application needs and ensuring a seamless connection with users.




Surendra Uikey

My name is Surendra Uikey, I am a science blogger, I have been blogging for the past three years, because I love to write, especially on astronomy, and I believe, if you want to learn something, then start learning others, By this it will be, that you learn things in a better way. In 2019, I started, the aim of making was to connect astronomy in simple words to common people.

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