ESTEC, the European Space Agency's (ESA) technical centre in the Netherlands, has started work on technologies needed for the continent's Galileo satellite navigation system. Work on the 30-satellite system is being conducted ahead of this week's ESA ministerial meeting, where decisions on funding and the work programme for the project are due to be made.

ESTEC is developing onboard clocks for the satellites, signal generators, power amplifiers, antennae, timing units to correct the onboard clocks and a system simulation facility for tests.

The first stage of the Galileo System Test Bed (GSTB), which will validate control algorithms, has been completed. The GSTB will eventually allow critical technologies to be tested in medium Earth orbit.

Source: Flight International