GIOVE-B on the Air

The European Space Agency announced Wednesday that its GIOVE-B satellite had begun transmitting navigation signals. This satellite will be used to test equipment and technology for use in the Galileo satellite navigation system, which is designed to complement and compete with with U.S. GPS system.

“Now with GIOVE-B broadcasting its highly accurate signal in space we have a true representation of what Galileo will offer to provide the most advanced satellite positioning services, while ensuring compatibility and interoperability with GPS,” said Galileo Project Manager Javier Benedicto.

More work and more satellites are needed before Galileo will be usable for navigation. GIOVE-B gives engineers an opportunity to determine the quality of the signal, observe the effect of the path from space to Earth on the signal and verify the satellite’s signal will not interfere with services operating in adjacent frequency bands. Researchers are using the 25 meter antenna at Chilbolton Observatory in the United Kingdom to analyze the signals. The GIOVE-B control center in Telespazio’s facilities in Fucino, Italy, the Galileo Processing Centre at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), in the Netherlands, and the ESA ground station at Redu, Belgium are also involved with the testing.

Technical details on the satellite are available in the ESA publication The First Galileo Satellites = Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element GIOVE.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.