Bremen, December 13, 2017. The four satellites for the Galileo European navigation system reached their target orbit in space at 23:31 hours (CET) yesterday after a transit time of just under four hours. They are now orbiting the Earth at a distance of some 23,000 kilometers. “Immediately after being released into orbit, our four satellites activated their systems, unfolded their solar panels and aligned themselves towards the sun. This was followed by preliminary testing,” says Dr. Manuel Czech, Galileo project manager at OHB. The satellites will now enter a test phase lasting around six months. For the first eleven days, they will be managed by the control center of the French space agency CNES in Toulouse before being handed over to the Galileo control center in Oberpfaffenhofen.
Satellites from Bremen helping people all around the world
This brings to 22 the total number of Galileo satellites currently in space. Of these, 18 have been developed, built and tested by OHB. A further four FOC*-satellites are scheduled for launching in July 2018. This will mark the completion of the first two batches. In autumn 2018, work is to commence in OHB’s clean rooms in Bremen on the construction of the satellites under the contract for the third batch. OHB will be building a further twelve Galileo satellites by 2020. The services provided by the Galileo European satellite navigation system over and above the improved classic navigation services for the general public include a search and rescue service, the provision of positioning data for fleet and shipment management, certified time stamps for secure and authenticated financial transactions and powerful connections between devices in the Internet of Things (IoT). Moreover, Europe will be gaining additional independence thanks to its own navigation system. “We are proud to be making a decisive contribution to this with our navigation satellites,” says Dr. Czech.
*) The FOC (full operational capability) phase of the Galileo program is being funded by the European Union. The European Commission and the European Space Agency ESA have signed a contract under which ESA acts as the development and sourcing agency on behalf of the Commission. The views expressed here do not necessarily constitute the positions of the European Union and ESA. "Galileo" is a registered trademark owned by the EU and ESA under the HABM application number 002742237.
About OHB SE
Domiciled in Bremen, Germany, OHB SE (ISIN: DE0005936124, Prime Standard) is Germany’s first listed aerospace and technology company. With 35 years of experience in high technology together with its integrated skills in the areas of space technology and telematics, the Group is ideally positioned as one of the leading independent forces in the European space and high-tech industry.
OHB SE currently employs around 2,400 people all around the world.