in Space

SSTL celebrates navigation payload order as four Galileo sats lift-off

Posted 13 December 2017 · Add Comment

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) celebrated the twin achievements of a successful lift-off of four Galileo satellites from Kourou in French Guiana today and the start of production of a third batch of navigation payloads for the Galileo Constellation.

Above: Celebratory cake, marking 34 SSTL navigation payloads for Galileo supplied or under contract. 
Courtesy Kathryn Graham

The new contract, signed with long-term partner OHB System AG, is for another 12 navigation payloads – adding to the 18 payloads already in-orbit and completing the constellation.

To mark the occasion SSTL staff in Guildford gathered for a slice of celebratory cake, a long-standing tradition at SSTL where cakes have fuelled many previous test campaigns and 50 previous mission launches.

Jo Johnston, Minister for Science and Education said: “The successful launch of the latest Galileo satellites demonstrates the UK’s valuable contribution to Europe’s global navigation satellite system. The team at SSTL should be proud of their work, which is held in high regard around the world.”

“Our recently published Industrial Strategy set out a clear vision for the UK to become the world’s most innovative nation and underlines our commitment to work with industry to capture 10% of the global space market by 2030.”

Gary Lay, SSTL’s Director of Navigation, was at the launch site in Kourou to witness the event and commented: “I am delighted to be here to see the latest launch of Galileo satellites and I am extremely proud of the Galileo team at SSTL for producing world-class navigational payloads that will improve the accuracy of location services for people all around the world.”

Galileo navigation payload in construction at SSTL.
Courtesy SSTL

As with the previous Galileo contracts, SSTL in its capacity as payload provider is responsible for the design, construction and test of the navigation payload panels which are based on European-sourced atomic clocks, navigation signal generators and high power travelling wave tube amplifiers. In addition, SSTL manufactures the electrical harnesses and electronics to interface the payload to the satellite platforms and provides in-orbit verification support.

SSTL was selected to supply the navigational payloads for the first 14 Galileo Full Operational Capability satellites, in partnership with prime contractor OHB System AG of Germany, in January 2010. In 2012, the OHB-SSTL partnership was awarded a second contract to supply a further 8 spacecraft for the programme and earlier this year the Batch 3 contract was again awarded to the OHB-SSTL partnership. 

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