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Galileo satellite signals back from space

Posted: 13 May 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:test satellite  Galileo system  GPS  clock 

A test satellite for Europe's Galileo system named Giove-B has made history by sending its first navigation signals back to Earth, establishing the fact that Galileo can indeed work with the U.S. GPS system.

A BBCreport said that Giove-B, the latest since Giove-A in 2005, carries the most accurate clock ever sent into orbit, which utilizes its intended capacity of providing location information accurate to a metre.

The half-tonne, 2.4x1x1m device hopes to test key Galileo technologies such as atomic clocks that provide precise timing underpinning all satellite navigation applications.

In the coming days, the in-orbit behaviour of Giove-B's passive hydrogen maser clock, which is designed to keep time with an accuracy of better than 1ns in 24hrs, will be observed.

The EU system claims to offer "the most advanced satellite positioning services, while ensuring compatibility and interoperability with GPS."

The Galileo fleet will be fully operational by 2013, reports said.

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