Spaceopal Taking Over Maintenance of European GNSS Service Centre - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design

Spaceopal Taking Over Maintenance of European GNSS Service Centre

Spaceopal has successfully passed the Maintenance Handover Review (MHOR) for the Level 2 and 3 Maintenance of the European GNSS Service Centre (GSC) in Torrejón de Ardoz, located outside Madrid, Spain.

Following this achievement, the responsibility for in-depth troubleshooting and problem resolution of the GSC Ground Infrastructure will be transferred on March 1, 2019 from a GSA-held GSC Infrastructure contract to Spaceopal and its Core Team member DLR GfR, responsible in the GSOp industrial organization also for L2/L3 maintenance activity.

“Taking over this responsibility will allow us to react much quicker to anomalies in a more flexible way, directly improving operations and the service that the European GNSS Agency (GSA) provides to the Galileo end users”, stated Christian Hessmann, Engineering Manager at Spaceopal, in a press release.

After more than 1.5 years of successful GSOp Galileo Service Operations, this milestone marks the beginning of a number of planned Level 2 and 3 Maintenance Handover campaigns to Spaceopal.

The GSC services can be accessed by Galileo users via the GSC web portal at:

The GSC is an integral part of the European GNSS infrastructure and provides the single interface between the Galileo system and the users of the Galileo Open Service (OS), and the Galileo Commercial Service (CS) for the provision of specific services beyond the Galileo Signal-In-Space (SIS) transmitted by the operational satellites. The GSC acts as an active means to engage in “in”- and “out” bound activities and it is conceived as a center of expertise, knowledge sharing, custom performance assessment, information dissemination and support to the provision of value-added services enabled by the Galileo OS and CS core services.

The GSC is located in a fully secured environment in Madrid within the National Institute of Aerospace Technologies (INTA) facilities at Torrejón de Ardoz, overseen by the Spanish Ministry of Defence. The agreement for the location of the Centre in Spain was signed in May 2011 by the European Commission (EC) and the Government of Spain, and it was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (in February 2012).

The three centers in Italy, Germany, and Spain, guarantee the service and control of the constellation, the satellite localization and navigation signal. Once fully operational, the GCCs will monitor the orbit of the Galileo satellites with an accuracy of less than 50 centimeters via the main control rooms and a several integrated control rooms manned 24 hours a day by certified personnel. The centers also generate, transmit and distribute the navigation signal, ensuring its integrity, quality and precision, according to the GSA. If the system malfunctions, the end user reportedly will be notified within a matter of seconds. The clocks on board the satellites are continually updated to the time of the entire Galileo system from the control centers.