ESA title
Galileo constellation


14/07/2022 4275 views 35 likes
ESA / Applications / Navigation

Europe’s Galileo constellation is already the world’s most precise satellite navigation system, but now Galileo Second Generation, G2, is coming. A set of 11 procurements – adding up to a maximum of up to approximately 950 million euros – are being released over the course of July by ESA, aiming for this next generation satnav system to begin operations and provide new capabilities later in this decade.

Galileo Second Generation
Galileo Second Generation

The state-of-the-art G2 satellites will represent a major step forward on what has gone before and will incorporate numerous technology upgrades, developed through EU and ESA research and development programmes. Employing electric propulsion for the first time, and hosting an enhanced navigation antenna, their fully digital payloads are being designed to be easily reconfigured in orbit, enabling them to actively respond to the evolving needs of users with novel signals and services.

Building on all the preparatory development activities executed in recent years, ESA has actively engaged G2 procurements in all areas, starting with the critical Batch 1 of G2 satellites and G2 clock procurements awarded during 2021, which are now fully engaged and in preparation for their critical design reviews next year, which will confirm they are indeed fit for purpose.

ESA has technical oversight over Galileo development
ESA has technical oversight over Galileo development

Procuring Galileo’s new generation on the ground

Just as ESA, in its role as design authority and system development prime, oversaw development of the first generation of Galileo, it will also do the same for Galileo Second Generation. The G2 satellites and clocks have already been procured last year, but now it is the turn of the associated ground infrastructure necessary to put this second generation to work.

These 11 new procurements address key areas of the G2 ground segment – including the Ground Control Segment to monitor, control and provide services with all Galileo satellites including the required levels of security monitoring– as well as System Test Beds – which will allow the validation of new capabilities and system engineering support, harnessing specialist technical experts as required.

New G2 procurements
New G2 procurements

 “These Galileo Second Generation procurements represent an important step forward for Europe, through the implementation of innovative technologies to ensure an order of magnitude improvements in precision, alongside plentiful new services,” comments Javier Benedicto, ESA Director of Navigation. “G2 is a unique programme for Europe, an ambitious evolution of the Galileo system, encompassing both legacy services and the future of navigation, positioning and timing capabilities for all users to come.”

As part of the overall Galileo programme, G2 aims to ensure both the long-term provision of Galileo legacy services that more than 3 billion people around the globe have come to rely on and the exponential evolution of Galileo activities in the coming years, fostering the leading role of European industry across the positioning, navigation and timing sector.

The procurements will build on Galileo's current ground segment
The procurements will build on Galileo's current ground segment

Novel capabilities from Galileo’s next phase

The combination of these 11 procurements will enable the introduction of plentiful new capabilities, aimed at a coming market of assisted and autonomous driving, self-flying drones, and smart cities.

As an example, already under development for the current Galileo constellation, the High Accuracy Service will provide free of charge high accuracy error correction to yield precision down to 20 cm scale, while the Emergency Warning Service will alert entire regions at once in the event of a looming disaster. The G2 satellites, when complemented by these new Ground Segment and System Test Bed procurements, will allow to further enhance these capabilities in the future.

Galileo for smart mobility
Galileo for smart mobility

In addition, these G2 procurements will allow the Galileo Programme to exploit all the novel capabilities implemented in G2 satellites, such as inter-satellite links for enhancing the performances of all Galileo services.

“Preparing all these procurements has involved impressive coordination between the many experts of ESA, EUSPA and the EC across several months, we are extremely thankful to all of them.” comments Miguel Manteiga, G2 Project Manager.

“Collectively they will ensure not only the lift-off, Launch and Early Orbit Phase, In-Orbit Testing and Validation of the state-of-the-art G2 satellites, but also the full provision of both Legacy Services and ambitious new G2 capabilities. The result promises to be evolutionary in positioning, navigation, and timing.”

Airbus Galileo Second Generation satellites
Airbus Galileo Second Generation satellites

“We aim to keep Europe in the lead in this sector: the G2 programme’s main objective is to ensure that Galileo remains the world’s most advanced global navigation satellite system, while advancing the leading role of European industry.”

These 11 procurements were kick-started late last year and will be fully released over the course of July, with four novel ones being released over the course of July. For some of the contracts, more than 25 industrial consortiums have already been selected and will be able to enter the final competition phase.

ESA wishes all European industries all the success in final stages of this competition processes.

Thales Galileo Second Generation satellites
Thales Galileo Second Generation satellites

Doing business with ESA

These procurements are executed by ESA who acts on behalf of the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) and in the name of the European Union represented by the European Commission (COM).

Procurements takes place through the ESA-star system, where registered industries can interface with ESA. Find out more about doing business with ESA .

About Galileo

Galileo is currently the world’s most precise satellite navigation system, ensuring metre-level accuracy and serving more than three billion users around the globe.

Galileo is a flagship European programme , managed and funded by the European Commission. The European Commission, ESA and EUSPA (the EU Agency for the Space Programme) have signed an agreement by which ESA acts as design authority and system development prime on behalf of the Commission and EUSPA as the exploitation and operation manager of Galileo/EGNOS.

Galileo: finding our way
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