About our company

spaceopal – We make Galileo fly

From November 2010 until end of June 2017, Spaceopal has been the Prime Contractor responsible for Galileo operations under the Galileo Full Operational Capability (FOC) Operations Framework contract, regulated by two control centres through a worldwide network of ground stations.

Since July 1, 2017, after a 2-year long international competitive tender, ran by the European GNSS Agency (GSA), Spaceopal GmbH will continue to operate the Galileo satellite fleet under the Galileo Service Operator (GSOp) contract and will thus ensure the provision of the Galileo services to the worldwide community.

Since the end of 2016, Galileo Initial Service is available and Spaceopal is actively supporting the completion of the system to expend the services up to full operational capability by 2020.

The fully established constellation and infrastructure of Galileo consists of 30 satellites distributed over three orbits, approx. 20 sensor stations for monitoring the navigation signals, two satellite control centres – one each in Oberpfaffenhofen (Bavaria, Germany) and in Fucino (Abruzzo, Italy), the GNSS Service Center in Torrejón de Ardoz (Spain), several mission-uplink stations and  satellite control transmitting stations. As Service Operator of the Galileo system, Spaceopal GmbH provides high-quality navigation and timing for users worldwide.

The European satellite navigation programmes Galileo and EGNOS are important elements enhancing the international competitiveness of the European space and high-tech sector. Through its core business activities, Spaceopal GmbH is making a key contribution to Europe‘s performance in the field of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and the navigation and position and timing related services development.

Spaceopal GmbH, with headquarters in Munich, is a joint venture founded in 2009 by the partners DLR Gesellschaft für Raumfahrtanwendungen (GfR) mbH and Telespazio S.p.A. (a Leonardo and Thales Company).

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DLR Telespazio DLR GfR mbH

The Galileo Programme

Galileo is Europe’s own Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control. It is interoperable with GPS and Glonass, respectively the US and Russian global satellite navigation systems. By offering dual frequencies as standard, Galileo is set to deliver real-time positioning accuracy down to the metre range.

The fully deployed Galileo system will consist of a total of 30 satellites – 24 operational satellites plus six in-orbit spares – positioned in three circular Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) planes at 23 222 km altitude above the Earth, at an inclination of the orbital planes of 56 degrees to the equator.

Initial Services is available since December 15th, 2016. The constellation is currently under depoloyment, new services are tested and made available, with system completion scheduled for 2020.

©Image: ESA

Learn more about the Galileo Programme


Core Business Activities

The core business activities of Spaceopal GmbH which assure Galileo operation include:

  • Operations Management
  • Operations Engineering and Preparation
  • Maintenance and Operations (M&O)
  • Galileo Service Provision (GSC)
  • Launch and Early Operation Phase (LEOP)
  • Galileo Data Dissemination Network (GDDN)
  • Time Service Provision (TSP)
  • Geodetic Reference Service Provision (GRSP)
  • In-orbit Test (IOT) Services
  • Integrated Logistics Services (ILS)
  • Security Operations

Managing Directors

Portrait Marco Folino, Spaceopal

»I am very proud and excited to cover this new role as Managing Director and CEO of Spaceopal. Bringing over 30 years of experience in the space industry, I’m strongly motived to continue the success of the past years, operating the Galileo satellite fleet under the Galileo Service Operator (GSOp) contract and ensuring the provision of the Galileo services to the worldwide community«

Marco Folino, Spaceopal Managing director and CEO

Portrait André Bauherin, Spaceopal

»Spaceopal together with our core team has been tasked by the GSA to be the Galileo Service Operator for the next decade. With more than 10 years of experience in operating the Galileo System we are delighted to take the necessary responsibility in providing continuous and reliable Galileo services to the worldwide user community. As one of the Managing Directors of Spaceopal I am proud to lead the company and support the teams in solving all upcoming complexities.«

André Bauerhin, Spaceopal Managing director and COO

Control Centres

Galileo is being operated by three centres – the Galileo Control Centre GCC-I in Fucino (built by Telespazio at its Fucino Space Centre near L’Aquila) and the Galileo Control Centre GCC-D in Oberpfaffenhofen (built by the German Aerospace Centre DLR) will jointly manage the 30 satellites, the ground assets and the operational activities of the Galileo European Navigation System, whereas the European GNSS Service Centre (GSC) in Torrejón de Ardoz (located in within the National Institute of Aerospace Technologies - INTA) will take care of the service side of the Galileo system towards the different user communities.


The Galileo Control Centre  (GCC) in Fucino, which was part financed by the Abruzzo region, covers around 5,000 square metres and will contain more than 200 operators when fully operational. The GCC will handle the transmission of the navigation signal to the satellites, while also guaranteeing the quality of service provided to end users. From the main control room, it is possible to control the orbit of all the satellites in the constellation, managing a network of about 20 ground stations spread right around the globe. To ensure that the navigation and positioning system is working correctly, the GCC houses two ultra-accurate maser atomic clocks, which will set the time and the synchronisation of the entire constellation.



The Galileo Control Centre (GCC) in Oberpfaffenhofen built by DLR operates the Galileo Satellites. Preparatory operations for satellites to be launched and safe routine operations for the in-orbit satellite constellation are performed simultaneously. The experience gained goes directly into the high quality operational products and processes, which can be applied on all types of missions and operational services. For the purpose of Galileo satellite and ground asset operations, DLR GfR mbH has implemented highly sophisticated and extremely reliable technical infrastructures to satisfy availability requirements up to 99,9999%. In addition, highly secure infrastructures certified up to secret level are operated and maintained 24 hours a day / 365 days a year.


Torrejón de Ardoz

The European GNSS Service Centre (GSC) is an integral part of the European GNSS infrastructure and provides the single interface between the Galileo system and the users of the Galileo Open Service (OS), and the Galileo Commercial Service (CS) for the provision of specific services beyond the Galileo Signal-In-Space (SIS) transmitted by the operational satellites. The GSC acts as an active means to engage in “in”- and “out” bound activities and it is conceived as a centre of expertise, knowledge sharing, custom performance assessment, information dissemination and support to the provision of value-added services enabled by the Galileo OS and CS core services.
The GSC is located in a fully secured environment in Madrid, Spain, within the National Institute of Aerospace Technologies (INTA) facilities at Torrejón de Ardoz, overseen by the Spanish Ministry of Defence. The agreement for the location of the Centre in Spain was signed in May 2011 by the European Commission (EC) and the Government of Spain, and it was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (in February 2012).


The three Centres in Italy, Germany, and Spain, guarantee the service and control of the constellation, the satellite localisation and navigation signal. Once fully operational, the GCCs will monitor the orbit of the Galileo satellites with an accuracy of less than 50 cm via the main control rooms and a several integrated control rooms manned 24 hours a day by certified personnel. The centres also generate, transmit and distribute the navigation signal, ensuring its integrity, quality and precision. If the system malfunctions, the end user be notified within a matter of seconds. The clocks on board the satellites are continually updated to the time of the entire Galileo system from the control centres.


Working together with international partners for the continued successful development of Galileo.

Public authorities / Agencies
GSA European GNSS AgencyPrague, Czech Republic
CNESToulouse, France
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e. V. (DLR)Cologne, Germany
InrimTurin, Italy
Telespazio S.p.A.Rome, Italy
DLR Gesellschaft für Raumfahrtanwendungen (GfR) mbHWeßling, Germany
InecoMadrid, Spain
SESChâteau de Betzdorf, Luxembourg
T-Systems InternationalFrankfurt, Germany
Vitrociset BelgiumTransinne, Belgium
Thales Alenia SpaceToulouse, France

Quality Management System

Spaceopal has implemented a Quality Management System, which is certified in accordance with ISO 9001 since 2011 and covering the full scope of our business activities such as:

Design and Implementation of Systems
Operations, Services and Networks for Space Programmes
Programme Management, Mission and Satellite Constellation Operation
Integrated Logistic Support
Data Processing and Service Provision

Code of Ethics

The aims of spaceopal are pursued with loyalty, seriousness, appreciation, honesty, competence, fairness, team spirit and transparency by all those who work in the Company, and with absolute respect for the basic legal principles of human rights as well as the applicable laws and regulations. spaceopal shall promote these principles as well as fair competition, which it deems to be in its own interest as well as in the interest of all the stakeholders.

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Code of Ethics

The activity described in this presentation is carried out under a contract managed by GSA on behalf of the European Commission and funded by the European Union.