The Galileo Control Center in Oberpfaffenhofen was in the focus of the first system tests of Galileo, the future European satellite navigation system. As prime contractor for the operations of the Galileo satellites within the In-Orbit Validation Phase, the German Aerospace Center (DLR e.V.), together with its recently established company DLR Gesellschaft für Raumfahrtanwendungen (GfR) mbH, coordinate the operations tasks of Galileo.
The operations teams of ESA, DLR GfR, CNES and ESOC have successfully conducted from the Control Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, the first operations procedures with a test model of the satellite. This test model is currently being assembled at the integration site in Rome, Italy. A test team consisting of 50 persons, also with the participation of the satellite manufacturer Astrium Germany, has been involved in the preparation and conduction of this important test campaign. The achieved good results are of major importance for the further preparation of the launch of the first Galileo satellites, scheduled for end of 2010.
Command and Control of the Satellite Systems
In addition to the successful test of the data connection between the Galileo Control Center Oberpfaffenhofen and the satellite integration site, the first commands to the satellite subsystems have been sent and the satellite telemetry data has been received and further processed. Beside the test of the transmit- and receive-units of the satellite and the attitude control system, also the propulsion system has been successfully tested from Oberpfaffenhofen. Based on pre-defined ground rules, the operations procedures have been executed, in a similar shape and environment as for the satellite launches and the expected control of the Galileo constellation. The cooperation between the involved entities, under the lead of ESA and DLR GfR Operations Management, has worked out extremely well and is very important for the success of Galileo.
The achieved results are directly flowing into the following preparation activities, to further optimize the operations processes. The infrastructure of the Control Center, newly established within 2008, has been operated during the test campaign with success and shows, that the Galileo Control Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, is ready to support the upcoming Galileo launches.