After completing in-orbit tests, Galileo Nikolina satellite enters service
On 5th May, Galileo satellite “Nikolina” (GSAT0223) has entered in service provision, reinforcing the performance and robustness of the EU’s satellite-based positioning system.
Nikolina was launched on 5 December 2021 on Galileo eleventh mission (L11) together with Shriya (GSAT0224) satellite, which is soon completing its in-orbit validation and will then join the operational constellation
For the two satellite, for the first time in the programme, both the „Launch and Early Orbit Phase“ (LEOP) and fine positioning operations has been performed by DLR GfR with mission directive of Spaceopal under the responsability of EUSPA from the Galileo Control Centre (GCC) in Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich in Germany.
Oberpfaffenhofen manages the constellation together with its sister centre at Telespazio’s Fucino Space Center, Italy, and during 2021, both Galileo Control Centres have been upgraded with a new system build enhancing its capabilities, among others to enable LEOP operations. Both GCC are managed by Spaceopal, a joint venture between Telespazio and DLR GfR, which since November 2010 has been the main contractor for operational services for Galileo (Galileo Service Operator, GSOp).
“As the number of satellites in orbit increase, the ground asset infrastructure that controls them and ensure Galileo Navigation Message generation and dissemination is undergoing a corresponding evolution: the main benefits of the ground system migration completion will be better overall performance, increased robustness, and new services such as the Galileo High Accuracy and the Open Service Navigation Message Authentication services.” said Pierluigi Fedele, Galileo Service Provision Manager, Spaceopal GmbH
Galileo is the result of a robust collaboration between EUSPA (the European Space Programme Agency), the European Commission, the European Space Agency (ESA) and industrial partners.