Indra Technology Supports Management and Control of New Galileo Satellites

By on Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Indra technology supports the management and control of the two new Galileo satellites launched on 12 October. Under the technical supervision of the European Space Agency, the multinational has developed key stations and elements of the ground segment of the European global positioning system.

Moreover, Indra is expanding this infrastructure to enable it to control the 30 satellites that will form part of the system, once full operational capacity is reached. The company has won contracts worth €20m to perform this work.

Indra was one of the companies involved in the development and implementation of the network of stations for the management of the first two In-Orbit Validation satellites launched into space in 2011.

The company was responsible for the commissioning of the Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) stations at Kourou (French Guiana) and Kiruna (Sweden). Over this first year, these stations have monitored the position of the satellites in orbit and sent the orders to control them.

Indra also developed the 10 up-link stations that send navigation and integrity messages to the satellites. Moreover, it provided the processing systems for the central computer of the Galileo Sensor Stations (GSSs). These systems are a key component that enables the integrity and quality of the data Galileo supplies to be confirmed. This verification will allow the data to be used in critical operations planned for the future, such as air navigation.

In this first year of operation the performance of the technology supplied by Indra has been extremely high. These systems will now support the control of the two new Galileo in-orbit validation satellites.

Indra gains influence in Galileo

In order to prepare the ground segment to manage the entire constellation of Galileo satellites, Indra is currently working on the development of two new Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) stations, under contract with Astrium UK, to be deployed at Nouméa (New Caledonia) and Réunion. The company will also be responsible for the maintenance of all the TTC stations.

Furthermore, Indra is working on the development of 11 other processing systems for the sensor stations, under contract with Thales Alenia Space, and will be responsible for their software maintenance and development. This new order has increased the number of processing systems developed by Indra to over 40.

It will also supply new equipment and be responsible for the maintenance of the hardware and software of the up-link stations, which are located at Svalbard (Norway, 70º north latitude), Kourou, Nouméa, Papeete (French Polynesia) and Réunion.

Finally, under contract with the same company, Indra is playing a leading role in the deployment of the TGVF (Time and Geodetic Validation Facility), which is the element responsible for independently evaluating the performance of the Galileo system. Indra is responsible for the control centre within the scope of this element and for the network of sensor stations that support it.

This new work places Indra among the companies most actively participating in the preparation of the Galileo ground segment for Full Operational Capability (FOC).

Galileo is the most ambitious space initiative ever promoted by the European Commission and the European Space Agency. Indra has taken part in the development of all the ground infrastructure since the initial phases of the project. The quality of its developments has made Indra an important partner in this complex multinational programme.

The knowledge acquired by Indra since it became involved with Galileo over a decade ago places the company in an unbeatable position to develop new services to offer to future customers of the European global positioning system.

Indra is the leading technology multinational in Spain and a leader in Europe and Latin America. It is the second European company in its sector in terms of R&D, with €550 million invested in the last three years. Its turnover in 2011 was €2.688 billion, and more than half of its income is currently from international markets. The company employs 40,000 professionals and has customers in 118 countries.

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