First Galileo System Satellite Undergoes Tests

Galileo is a new global navigation satellite system developed under a partnership between the European Space Agency and the European Commission. According to the ESA, Galileo will be interoperable with the U.S. GPS and Russia's Global Navigation Satellite System (Glonass) and will deliver accuracy "down to the metric range with unrivaled integrity." GIOVE A is the first satellite to be launched as part of the Galileo system.

ESA last week described the quality checks it was conducting on GIOVE A. Engineers at the Chilbolton Observatory in the United Kingdom are using a 25-meter antenna to observe and record in real time the spectrum of signals transmitted by GIOVE A and measure transmitted signal power; center frequency, bandwidth and the format of the navigation messages generated by the satellite. Experimental receivers for Galileo are also being tested.

ESA provided a spectrum display from GIOVE A, a description of the other facilities involved with GIOVE A testing and links to sites with additional information on the Galileo Joint Undertaking.