The European Space Agency (ESA) signed a contract Thursday with a German-British consortium to build eight additional satellites for its Galileo navigation constellation.
The deal, which brings the Galileo navigation constellation to completion, was signed at the International Paris Air Show with German company OHB System AG as the prime contractor, and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. overseeing the navigation platforms.
With so much of today’s society reliant on GNSS technology, any extended disruption of service could cause quite an uproar. Several of these potential problems are described in great detail in a government report commissioned by Innovate UK along with the UK Space Agency and the Royal Institute of Navigation.
Maj. Gen. Roger Teague, the director of space programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition. Photo courtesy of Air Force.
The White House is asking Congress to boost overall funding for the GPS program back over $1 billion, with the largest infusion of new money earmarked to cover the cost growth of the Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX).
If approved, overall spending on the GPS program would reach $1.09 billion in fiscal year 2018 (FY18) with funding for OCX surging to $510.94 million from the $393.27 million allocated by Congress for FY17.
Two further satellites — increasing the total number to 16 — have formally become part of Europe’s Galileo satnav system, broadcasting timing and navigation signals worldwide while also picking up distress calls across the planet.
These are the 15th and 16th satellites to join the network, two of the four Galileos that were launched together by Ariane 5 last November, and the first additions to the working constellation since the start of Galileo Initial Services in December.
One of 12 magnetograms recorded at Greenwich Observatory during the Great Geomagnetic Storm of 1859
1996 soccer game in the Midwest, (Rick Dikeman image)
Nouméa ground station after the flood
A pencil and a coffee cup show the size of NASA’s teeny tiny PhoneSat
Bonus Hotspot: Naro Tartaruga AUV
Pacific lamprey spawning (photo by Jeremy Monroe, Fresh Waters Illustrated)
“Return of the Bucentaurn to the Molo on Ascension Day”, by (Giovanni Antonio Canal) Canaletto
The U.S. Naval Observatory Alternate Master Clock at 2nd Space Operations Squadron, Schriever AFB in Colorado. This photo was taken in January, 2006 during the addition of a leap second. The USNO master clocks control GPS timing. They are accurate to within one second every 20 million years (Satellites are so picky! Humans, on the other hand, just want to know if we’re too late for lunch) USAF photo by A1C Jason Ridder.
Detail of Compass/ BeiDou2 system diagram
Hotspot 6: Beluga A300 600ST
1. RESCUE DRONE Noordwijk, Netherlands √ Inspired by the refugee crisis, Dutch start-up Avy has been working on robust, long-duration drones capable of detecting people in distress and, if necessary, dropping life jackets, life buoys, food and medicine. The rescue drone can take off from a boat or the shore, carrying among other items, a cylinder that contains a large deployable rescue buoy, which not only can keep refugees afloat but indicates its location to boats in the vicinity.
For several years the European Union (EU) has sought a waiver for its Galileo system from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing requirements — the so-called Part 25 rule to operate in this country.
Long-overdue approval of the request should be expedited by the FCC.
Discussions continue on the pros and cons surrounding the possible privatization of the nation’s Air Traffic Control (ATC), with opponents sharing concerns and a proposal by President Trump aimed at looking into taking the air operations duties away from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The first generation of the Galileo Program, at satellite and ground segment level, has been “an enormous success,” according to Miguel Manteiga Bautista, who recently spoke with Inside GNSS at his office at the European Space Agency’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, Netherlands.
Last week, researchers at the University of Bath in England announced findings indicating for the first time that turbulence does not take place within the Northern Lights and instead that unknown mechanisms are responsible for the outages of GNSS. This research concludes that new technology can be developed to overcome these outages from the Northern Lights, also known as aurora borealis.