Galileo’s first payload ready

ESA announced on 19th April that the next Galileo navigation payload has been completed and is on its way to meet the satellite platform that will host it in orbit. The first of 14 Galileo Full Operational Capability (FOC) navigation payloads has been shipped from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in the UK to prime contractor OHB System AG in Bremen Germany.

These payload panels for the first Galileo Full Operational Capability satellite are undergoing final testing in the Assembly Integration Test hall at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in Guildford, UK, in April 2012 before being boxed up for shipment to prime contractor OHB in Germany. – Credits: SSTL 2012

The first Galileo Full Operational Capability flight model payload with its solar panels in their ‘boxed’ position, being lifted by crane into its shipping container at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in Guildford, UK in April 2012. This is the first of 14 Galileo FOC payloads to be transported to prime contractor OHB in Germany for integration with their satellite platforms. – Credits: SSTL 2012

The payload, the part of the satellite that provides Galileo’s precision
positioning measurements and services to users worldwide, will then be added to its waiting satellite platform.

The Search and Rescue antenna on the first Galileo Full Operational Capability satellite payload to be completed, at SSTL in the UK before its shipment to OHB in Germany. This antenna will pick up distress calls from around the globe and relay them to local authorities, as well as sending a notification back to those awaiting rescue, operating as part of the international Cospas-Sarsat system. – Credits: SSTL 2012