Indra technology supports the management and control of the two new Galileo satellites launched on October 12. Under the technical supervision of the European Space Agency, the Spanish multinational has developed key stations and elements of the ground segment of the European global positioning system. Now Indra is expanding this infrastructure to enable it to control the 30 satellites that will form part of the system, once full operational capacity is reached. The company has won contracts worth €20 million to perform this work.
Commenting on the deal, Bankia Bolsa analysts said that, although “Indra shows a sizeable negative differential in comparison to other businesses in the sector, with a cumulative -19%, its estimated organic growth for 2013 is positive.” Experts expect its operational profitability to recover up to 10% in 2014.
Indra was one of the companies involved in the development and implementation of the network of stations for the management of the first two In-Orbit Validation satellites launched into space in 2011.
The company was responsible for the commissioning of the Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) stations at Kourou (French Guiana) and Kiruna (Sweden). Over this first year, these stations have monitored the position of the satellites in orbit and sent the orders to control them.
Indra also developed the 10 up-link stations that send navigation and integrity messages to the satellites. It also provided the processing systems for the central computer of the Galileo Sensor Stations. “These systems are a key component that enables the integrity and quality of the data Galileo supplies to be confirmed. This verification will allow the data to be used in critical operations planned for the future, such as air navigation,” the company explained in a press release.
In order to prepare the ground segment to manage the entire constellation of Galileo satellites, Indra is currently working on the development of two new TTC stations, under contract with Astrium UK, to be deployed at Nouméa (New Caledonia) and Réunion. The company will also be responsible for the maintenance of all the TTC stations.
Indra is working on the development of 11 other processing systems for the sensor stations, too, under contract with Thales Alenia Space, and will be responsible for their software maintenance and development.
This new order has increased the number of processing systems developed by Indra to over 40.
It will also supply new equipment and be responsible for the maintenance of the hardware and software of the up-link stations, which are located at Svalbard (Norway, 70º north latitude), Kourou, Nouméa, Papeete (French Polynesia) and Réunion.
Under contract with the same firm, Indra is playing a leading role in the deployment of the Time and Geodetic Validation Facility, which is the element responsible for independently evaluating the performance of the Galileo system.
Galileo is the most ambitious space initiative ever promoted by the European Commission and the European Space Agency. Indra has taken part in the development of all the ground infrastructure since the initial phases of the project.