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Next-generation EGNOS satellite orbited for GSA

Image: GSA

Image: GSA

A Eutelsat communications satellite launched Oct. 9 carried a payload for the European GNSS Agency (GSA) called GEO-3. GEO-3 is a geostationary satellite designed to augment GNSS signals.

The EGNOS payload, manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space, will hone the accuracy of satellite navigation signals over Europe for use in aviation, maritime and other industries as part of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System (EGNOS).

The Eutelsat-5 West B satellite also hosts a payload that will enable service continuity for television broadcasting in Europe and North Africa.

The GSA signed a contract in March 2017 with Eutelsat Communications for the development, integration and operation of the next-generation GEO-3 EGNOS payload.

EGNOS operational messages are broadcast via navigation payloads on-board two GEO satellites, including an Inmarsat-3F2 satellite that is fast approaching end-of-life. The GEO-3 services replenish the EGNOS SBAS payloads, guaranteeing EGNOS availability and supporting the transition to the dual-frequency multi-constellation-capable EGNOS V3.

Eutelsat will also develop two redundant RF ground stations to uplink the EGNOS message to the payload. It will also host EGNOS’ Navigation Land Earth Stations (NLES) in Rambouillet, France, and Cagliari, Italy, both of which will be co-located and connected to the RF ground stations.

Proton-powered launch

The satellite was carried aloft on a Proton rocket along with a second satellite, the Mission Extension Vehicle-1 for Northrop Grumman subsidiary SpaceLogistics, designed to service satellites. Both spacecraft were built by  Northrop Grumman.

The Proton rocket lifted off at 6:18 a.m. Eastern from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Its two passengers separated from the rocket 16 hours later in a supersynchronous transfer orbit.

Eutelsat-5 West B is a replacement for the 17-year-old Eutelsat-5 West A satellite.

artist's depiction, ILS/Loral

SES-5 GEO satellite (artist’s depiction).

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