- Press Release
- Nov 26, 2022
First UK Built Generative Navigation Payload Successfully Tested
The first UK built “generative” navigation payload (which generates and
transmits a primary navigation signal that is not reliant on GPS) has been
successfully tested by EADS Astrium at its Portsmouth facility as part of
Europe’s Galileo global satellite navigation programme.
The Galileo System Test Bed (GSTB) V2/B Engineering Model (EM) comprises
engineering and qualification model payload equipments, including
state-of-the-art atomic clock and digital signal generation technology. The
successful integration and test of this engineering model marks the first
time that a “fully generative” navigation payload has been built and tested
“This successful test is a major technological step forward proving our
capability to build primary navigation signal payloads which generate
independent signals and do not require GPS for reference,” said Dr Mike
Healy, Director of Earth Observation, Navigation and Science for EADS
Astrium in the UK.
EADS Astrium, as payload prime contractor, has procured many of the
engineering and qualification model payload equipments as customer furnished
items from the European Space Agency (ESA). Most are the result of many
years of advanced development by space equipment manufacturers across
Incorporating these items into the engineering model required a radical
manufacturing solution where the payload walls were designed to fold flat to
enable easy access during the assembly, integration and test phases.
Novel ground support equipment was required to provide environmental control
measures during manufacture. These included a cold plate assembly to
maintain stringent temperature stability of the atomic clocks.
The completion of the EM payload assembly, integration and test campaign was
a fundamental requirement to demonstrate the equipment’s mechanical and
electrical interfaces and compliance to ESA’s functional and end-to-end
The engineering model is crucial to the success of the GSTB V2/B programme
as experience and expertise gained will assure the successful construction
of the Proto-Flight Model (PFM) payload. The PFM payload assembly,
integration and test campaign is due to commence in January 2005,
culminating in the launch of the GSTB V2/B spacecraft late in 2005 or early
Alistair Scott EADS SPACE (UK) +44 (0) 1438 773698
Remi Roland EADS SPACE (UK) +33 (0) 1 42 24 27 34
Hendrik Thielemann EADS SPACE (UK) +49 (0) 89 607 2 72 44
Galileo is a European Union project to develop an advanced satellite
navigation system. It will stimulate a step change in the role of satellite
technology in the daily lives of both the public and business, from
satellite positioning chips in mobile phones, to a vast array of public
services including transport management and personal mobility applications.
In complementing GPS, it will give increased accuracy and integrity,
particularly in built-up areas and it will guarantee a role for European
industry in the rapidly expanding satellite navigation market.
EADS Astrium is Europe’s leading satellite system specialist. Its activities
cover complete civil and military telecommunications and Earth observation
systems, science and navigation programmes, and all spacecraft avionics and
equipment. EADS Astrium is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS SPACE, which is
dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems. In 2003 EADS SPACE
had a turnover of 2.4 billion and 12,000 employees in France, Germany, the
United Kingdom and Spain.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2003,
EADS generated revenues of 30.1 billion and employed a workforce of more