Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) is delighted that the first two Galileo Full Operational Capability (FOC) spacecraft, carrying navigation payloads supplied by the Company, have been launched successfully today. The satellites were launched from Kourou, French Guiana on-board the medium-lift Soyuz launch vehicle operated by Arianespace.
Sir Martin Sweeting, SSTL’s Executive Chairman, who was at the launch site to witness the event, commented “It’s a privilege to be here to witness the launch of the first pair of FOC Galileo spacecraft for a landmark European space programme that will bring huge benefits to us all. This first launch of FOC spacecraft is an exciting occasion for the SSTL team who are continuing with the manufacture and test of the remaining 20 FOC payloads.”
SSTL was selected to supply the navigational payloads for the first 14 Galileo FOC satellites, in partnership with prime contractor OHB System AG, in January 2010. In 2012, the OHB-SSTL consortium was awarded a second contract to supply a further 8 spacecraft for the programme.
SSTL is responsible for the construction and test of 22 navigational payloads which are based on European-sourced atomic clocks, navigation signal generators, and high power travelling wave tube amplifiers. The payloads are being assembled at the Company’s technical facility in Guildford, UK. SSTL is also manufacturing the electrical harnesses and electronics to interface the payload to the satellite platforms, which are being manufactured by consortium partner OHB System AG.
Galileo’s full operational constellation will consist of 27 operational satellites, plus 3 spares and will be interoperable with the US GPS and Russian Glonass systems to offer an enhanced combined performance to users.
The Full Operational Capability phase of the Galileo programme is managed and fully funded by the European Union. The Commission and ESA have signed a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission. The views expressed in this Press Release can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union and/or ESA. “Galileo” is a trademark subject to OHIM application number 002742237 by EU and ESA.
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is the world’s leading small satellite company, delivering operational space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science and communications. The Company designs, manufactures and operates high performance satellites and ground systems for a fraction of the price normally associated with space missions, with over 500 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments.
Since 1981, SSTL has built and launched 43 satellites – as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for ESA, NASA , international governments and commercial customers, with its innovative approach that is changing the economics of space.
Headquartered in Guildford, UK, SSTL is part of the Airbus Group.