4 new Galileo satellites
This year we have had two successful Galileo launches one on 27 March and the second on 11 September.
It is good to report that these 4 satellites were delivered to the correct orbits as opposed to the launches last year (more on those below!)
The 27 March launched delivered satellites E26 and E22 to the B plane correctly. The E22 started transmitting for navigation users on 10 September. The E26 started transmitting on 2 October. Both satellites continue to operate normally and 2 frequency data is readily available from the IGS Data centers.
The 11 September launch placed in orbit satellites E24 and the A plane of the constellation. Both satellites had a short period of active navigation signal on 10 October and then were available on a continuous basis to navigation users from 6 November.
The two satellites delivered to the incorrect orbit late in 2014 have had their perigee raised and the orbit circular isles as much as possible with the limited on-board capabilities. The satellites will be used for scientific studies such as the investigation into general relativity just started between ESA and two German research institutes.
In a few weeks two more Galileo satellites will be launched from Kourou atop a Soyuz rocket. This will be the last ‘paired launch’ of Galileo as we switch next year to Ariane 5 ‘cuadruple launches’ which will help to complete the Galileo constellation much faster.
Happy positioning to all!