The first two Galileo satellites for space environment simulation test
The first Galileo satellite has recently been removed from the Phenix chamber after a five-week thermal-vacuum test. With the hatch open, the satellite concluded the thermal-vacuum test process, reaching an important node before entering the orbit.
The trial was conducted at the European Center for Space Research and Technology (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. Starting in October, the satellite was placed in a “Phoenix” test chamber of 4.5m diameter. The air drawn out of the cabin, the formation of a space-like vacuum environment. In this vacuum environment composed of six walls of copper, constantly repeat the temperature limit. With liquid nitrogen cooling, the minimum temperature can reach -180 ° C.
The second satellite is undergoing similar tests, as well as vibration tests simulating the rocket separation process. The second satellite’s thermal vacuum test will start in early 2014. The two satellites are scheduled to launch on orbit from the French Guiana launch site in mid-2014 on a “Union” rocket. This is also the first two full operational capability (FOC) satellites.
The next Galileo satellite is scheduled to arrive at the ESTEC pilot center in March 2014, with more satellites arriving within the next 1-2 months. A total of 22 FOC satellites were constructed by OHB Systems Germany and their navigational payloads were provided by Surrey Satellite Technologies UK.