GNSS Satellite (GIOVE-A)


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Saturday, 22 November 2008

Galileo Status

Short update on the Galileo, or rather Giove, status. Both Giove-A and Giove-B are in good health and cycling the Earth. The 13 Galileo Experimental Sensor Stations (GESS) are tracking the satellite signals. The GESS track Giove-A using 2 channels and Giove-B using 5 channels. This is due to the limit of 7 Galileo (Giove) tracking channels in the GESS hardware, these are truly experimental receivers.

Giove-A, launched in December 2005, is meanwhile passed its design lifetime but still going strong. Giove-B is performing very well. Especially its on-board passive hydrogen maser (PHM) is performing extremly well. Even much better then its specifications. This is a very important result for two reasons. First of all this is the first time such a clock is flown in space. Secondly, this type of clocks holds a promise of significantly improving the navigation quality of the GNSS systems. The main limiting factor today in GNSS navigation solutions is the quality of the predicted clocks. This PHM will allow clock predictions that may be one order of magnitude better than todays atomic clocks. A real break trought for GNSS!

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