On Monday 8 September 2008, the new building complex for the Galileo Control Centre at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen was formally handed over.
“For the staff of the new Galileo Control Centre, today marks the beginning of the immediate preparation phase for the operation of Galileo, the future European satellite navigation system,” said Professor Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Chairman of the DLR Executive Board. He continued: “By operating the Galileo Control Centre, DLR is demonstrating the importance of its Oberpfaffenhofen site and the significance of science as an economic factor when it joins forces with political and other partners.”
The Berlin-based architectural firm Schultes Frank Architekten presented a symbolic key to DLR as part of a celebratory ceremony. The importance of the Galileo project for Europe, Germany and Bavaria was underlined by the attendance of the EU Commissioner for Transport, Antonio Tajani; Prime Minister of the Free State of Bavaria, Günther Beckstein; Bavarian State Minister Emilia Müller and Matthias von Randow, State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development.
The new control centre was built in just two years and has over 3,000 square metres of floor space. The cost of the fully-equipped building amounts to approximately 100 million Euro.
By the time the Galileo satellite navigation system is fully operational, up to 100 engineers and scientists will be working at over 30 control consoles in the control centre in Oberpfaffenhofen. A multinational team is responsible for preparing and operating Galileo. Employees from the other European Galileo Control Centres will also be present in Oberpfaffenhofen to ensure close coordination and cooperation.
The Galileo Control Centre in Oberpfaffenhofen is a core part of the ground segment. The satellites are controlled and mission data is received via a globally distributed ground station network. The control centre in Oberpfaffenhofen is equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure in order to meet the high demands on the Galileo infrastructure and to ensure fault-free operation for the next 20 years. Important navigational data and the reference time relevant for all Galileo applications are generated on the ground in the control centres and transmitted to the Galileo satellites via the ground stations.