02 November 2011

New Galileo Satellites - Experiment on Galileo Signals Acquisition

After a long delay, the first two satellites of the Galileo constellation have been launched from French Guyana on October the 21st using a Soyuz launcher.
Those satellites, and the other two that will be launched in January 2012, will be used for the In Orbit Validation - IOV phase of the Galileo Project. "This quartet of satellites, built by a consortium led by EADS Astrium Germany, will form the operational nucleus of the full Galileo satnav constellation. They combine the best atomic clock ever flown for navigation – accurate to one second in three million years – with a powerful transmitter to broadcast precise navigation signals." ESA says.
For this historic moment, ESA set up a dedicated website with all the information available.

NavSAS researchers are setting up an experiment in order to receive the new Galileo signals as soon as they will be transmitted by the satellites. In the meanwhile the team is monitoring, day by day, the public available information about the satellites orbits.
In the following figures some screenshots from Orbitron (© by Sebastian Stoff), a free software available at this website, are shown.
In the first figure the current orbits of the two Galileo satellites, denoted as GALILEO-PFM GALILEO-FM2, are visible.

The second figure shows a detailed skyplot simulated in Turin, Italy. Here the Fregat (FREGAT_RB) can also be seen.

You can download from here the predictions of the next satellite passes over Turin.