Norspace to supply hardware for Europe’s Galileo navigation satellites

Norspace to supply hardware for Europe’s Galileo navigation satellites Horten, Norway 13th December 2010 – UK’s Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), working with Germany’s OHB-System AG to build the first fourteen satellites for Europe’s future Galileo satellite positioning system, has selected Norspace® of Horten, Norway for delivery of two different payload units. The selection follows a competitive tendering process started more than a year ago.


The FGUU is one of two units to be supplied by Norspace for each of the fourteen Galileo satellites

Norspace has been working under preliminary authorisations for the two units since March and April and expects to sign full contracts before end of 2010. Norspace expects the combined value of the two contracts to be in excess of 20 million euros, which signifies a major jump in the company’s order portfolio. In 2009, Norspace revenues were just over 11 million euros. The two units Norspace is to deliver are a Frequency Generator and Upconverter Unit (FGUU) and a search-and-rescue payload, also called Search And Rescue Transponder (SART). The FGUU, which generates local oscillator signals and converts the position data to radio signals, was an expected win, since Norspace has been the sole supplier of this equipment for all the preceding Galileo satellites. Norspace started to develop this unit already in 2000, and has since then supplied almost identical units to two satellites already in orbit, and to another four satellites scheduled for launch next year.

Norspace’s SART unit is a new development for Galileo, although Norspace has heritage from supplying similar equipment to four Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellites, the first of which launched in 2002. The SART’s mission is to relay radio signals sent from distress transmitters on ground to Rescue Centres within the satellite’s coverage area. Commenting on the award of the work for Galileo, Sverre Bisgaard, CEO of Norspace, stated, “We are very pleased and honoured with our customers’ decisions. The contracts will help create a solid platform for growing our company’s industrial activity over the next two to three years. It also puts Norspace in a strong position to win further work for follow-on satellites. “ The contracts will be carried out under a programme of and funded by the European Union. On 22nd September, Norwegian and European Union (EU) authorities signed a cooperation agreement on the Galileo project that will permit Norway, which is not an EU member, to provide Galileo hardware and polar ground stations for the Galileo system. Under the agreement, Norway will contribute 70 million euros ($91 million) to Galileo. Disclaimer: This document has been produced under funding of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union and/or ESA.  The OHB/SSTL project is funded by, and part of, the Galileo programme which is an initiative by the European Union (EU), and where the European Space Agency (ESA) acts in the name of, and on behalf of, the EU.  "Galileo" is a trademark subject to OHIM application number 002742237 by EU and ESA.


Galileosat (Illustration foto ESA)

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