[Satellite TODAY 04-27-12] The first two Galileo In-Orbit Validation (IOV) satellites launched by Arianespace in October 2011 are working perfectly and have commenced with full in-orbit operations, the satellites’ manufacturer Astrium confirmed April 26.
The satellites are the first two of four IOV satellites developed by Astrium for the Galileo system, which aims to provide Europe with a guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control. The first two spacecraft will be joined in orbit later this year by the third and fourth IOV satellites, which are also being manufactured by Astrium.
“These Astrium satellites in orbit serve as the blueprint for all subsequent Galileo satellites that are built in Europe. Once the IOV 3 and IOV 4 satellites are launched, Astrium will have laid the basis for the high performing overall Galileo system,” Astrium Satellites CEO Evert Dudok said in a statement. “Astrium and its subsidiaries are fully committed to Galileo, having a 50 percent work share of the upcoming Galileo satellites, developing the ground control segment and being involved in system activities.”