Astrium, Europe's leading space company, has been selected by the European Space Agency and the European Union as prime contractor for the Galileo Full Operational Capability Ground Control Segment. The contract value is EUR73.5 million.
The Ground Control Segment (GCS) contract covers the provision of GCS facilities for the operation of the constellation of Europe's global navigation satellite system. The contract, which will be led by an Astrium team out of the UK, covers the provision of a new facility at Fucino (Italy) and the expansion of the existing Ground Control Centre at Oberpfaffenhofen (Germany).
The deployment also includes the provision of a temporary GCS back-up facility at the Fucino Galileo Control Centre for the four In-Orbit Validation satellites, and the provision of two further Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) stations on Reunion and Noumea.
Astrium's unique expertise in ground systems has enabled them to be selected for all phases of the Galileo GCS development and implementation. Astrium was responsible for the development, installation and test of the GCS for the Galileo demonstrator GIOVE-B, launched in April 2008 and which is still successfully operating in-orbit.
In the In-Orbit Validation phase, Astrium is also responsible for providing the initial Galileo ground segment infrastructure, including the functional elements contained at the Oberpfaffenhofen Galileo Control Centre and the two existing Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) stations located at Kiruna and Kourou. Through the new contract, the UK team will be responsible for the deployment of the GCS to provide the full operational capability for the complete constellation.
Colin Paynter, Managing Director of Astrium in the UK said: "Astrium's team in the UK has been the leading European player in satellite ground control systems for over 20 years. Winning this contract will enable us to further develop our prime capability and expertise in this field and to contribute to the timely delivery of the Galileo system."
David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, said: "Astrium's success in this contract is recognition of the UK's track record of excellence in a dynamic sector of the European economy. New uses for satellite navigation data are being developed every day, and here in the UK, we are building the infrastructure to take advantage of the opportunities that involvement in the Galileo programme can bring. I am determined that we should continue to foster the strong growth in the UK space sector, in line with the commitments of the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy."
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