GIOVE-B

May 12, 2008

Galileo’s GIOVE -B Spacecraft Transmits Signals

A screen in the Galileo control room displays the spectra of signals received from GIOVE-B shortly after the spacecraft began transmitting navigation signals. ESA photo.

Europe’s second Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element (GIOVE-B) satellite began transmitting navigation signals on May 7, including the common GPS-Galileo civil signal MBOC (multiplexed binary offset carrier).

Built under a cooperation between the European Space Agency (ESA) and European Union (EU), GIOVE-B was launched April 27 from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The MBOC signal design will be used by the future GPS L1C broadcasts as well as the Galileo Open Service in accordance with an agreement drawn up in July 2007 between the EU and the United States.

Locked to an on-board passive hydrogen maser clock, the GIOVE-B signals will help improve positioning accuracy in challenging environments with multipath and interference as well as better penetration for indoor navigation.

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By Inside GNSS
April 27, 2008

Galileo’s GIOVE-B Satellite Opens New Era of GNSS Signals

Close up view of the payload fairing of the Soyuz-Fregat launcher carrying ESA’s GIOVE-B satellite, on the launch pad in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, prior to the April 27, 2008, launch. ESA photo by S. Corvaja

A new generation of GNSS signals will become available soon as Europe’s second Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element satellite (GIOVE-B) reached orbit, following successful launch on Sunday (April 27) from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Riding a Soyuz/Fregat launcher, the 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) spacecraft lifted off at 12:16 a.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST). The Fregat upper stage performed a series of maneuvers to reach a circular orbit at an altitude of about 23,200 kilometers inclined at 56 degrees to the equator. The two solar panels that generate electricity to power the spacecraft deployed correctly and were fully operational by 5:28 CEST.

The European space Agency (ESA) operational schedule called for Galileo signals at three L-band frequencies to begin transmitting within seven to eight hours after reaching orbit, according to Giuseppe Viriglio, ESA’s director of telecommunications and navigation.

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By Glen Gibbons
March 20, 2008

GIOVE-B Reaches Baikonur Launch Site, Undergoes Pre-Flight Check

GIOVE-B, the second Galileo in-orbit validation satellite, has arrived safely at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, where it is undergoing pre-flight checks in preparation for its launch early on April 26.

After completing final tests at the European Space Agency (ESA) space technology center in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, the spacecraft was transported to Baikonur aboard an Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft.

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By Glen Gibbons
October 11, 2007

Lack of Launcher Module Delays Galileo Launch

GIOVE-A satellite with Fregat module

Unavailability of an upper stage of the Soyuz launcher will delay launch of the second Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element satellite (GIOVE-B) until at least March 2008. The most recent schedule had called for a late-December launch from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan.

Already behind schedule as the result of an electrical short that caused widespread damage to the spacecraft during laboratory tests in summer 2006, the Galileo program’s latest postponement reportedly stems from the lack of a Fregat module. Fregat is the portion of the Russian rocket that releases the spacecraft into its final orbit (shown with GIOVE-A in accompanying ESA photo).

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By Glen Gibbons
September 9, 2007

It’s MBOC for common Galileo-GPS civil signal

The United States and the European Union (EU) have agreed to use the multiplexed binary offset carrier (MBOC) for a common GPS-Galileo signal for civilian use. In the future, this will enable combined GNSS receivers to track the GPS and Galileo signals with higher accuracy, even in challenging environments that include multipath, noise, and interference.

These signals will be implemented on the Galileo Open Service and the GPS IIIA new L1 civil signal known as L1C.

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By Inside GNSS