Tuesday, December 12, 2017

RUAG Space Lands Contract Extension to Develop Crucial Parts for Galileo Satellites

An artist’s rendering of a Galileo satellite in orbit around Earth. Image Credit: Arianespace

OHB System AG, the prime contractor for Europe’s Galileo navigation satellites, has extended its contract with RUAG Space to produce 12 additional Control and Data Units for these spacecraft.

The Control and Data Unit is dubbed as the “brain” of each Galileo satellite. It is an onboard computer that controls and monitors the navigation payload and numerous other subsystems of the spacecraft. Moreover, such unit also monitor the satellite’s status in order to ensure its full functionality.

Under the newly extended contract, RUAG Space was obligated to deliver the parts between November 2018 and December 2019.

“RUAG Space has provided the ‘brain’ of the Galileo satellites ever since the program started and we thank OHB for their continued trust in our product. We are proud to be on board as the European navigation system now takes the next crucial step towards full service,” said Peter Guggenbach, CEO of RUAG Space.

RUAG Space is a division of the international technology Group RUAG. It develops and manufactures subsystems and equipment for satellites and launch vehicles. The space division has been delivering its products for Galileo since the start of the program.

Besides Control and Data Units, RUAG Space supplies Galileo satellites with receiver electronics, antennas and power supply modules. The company also delivers mechanisms responsible for aligning solar arrays of Galileo spacecraft and special thermal insulation blanket for these satellites.

Galileo is a European project that is currently creating a new global satellite navigation system, carried out on behalf of the European Commission under a contract with ESA. Under civilian control, Galileo is planned to deliver highly precise positioning services. The network is designed for interoperability with the U.S. GPS and Russian GLONASS global positioning systems.

The newest four Galileo satellites, designated Galileo FOC 15-18, were launched into space on December 12 atop an Ariane 5 ES rocket from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. The mission expanded the Galileo network to 22 spacecraft, boosting the global availability of navigation signals.

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