Thales Alenia Space is the pioneer in European satellite navigation, as prime contractor for the Egnos augmentation system, the precursor to Galileo. We play a major role in its development, with system support for Galileo and a lead role in the in-orbit validation phase, not only through the first four satellites to be launched, but above all by building the Mission Ground Segment for the complete constellation.
Egnos is Europe's satellite navigation system, designed to improve the positioning messages from the GPS system, and Thales Alenia Space is its prime contractor. Egnos was deployed starting in 2005 and started "open service" operation in 2009. Its "Safety of Life" service was declared operational in March 2011, allowing it to be used for landings and precision approaches to European airports, without requiring ground guidance equipment.
THALES ALENIA SPACE'S CONTRIBUTION TO GALILEO
Since the outset, Thales Alenia Space has been a major partner in the Galileo program, supplying the GSTB (Galileo System Test Bed) in 2003, and as lead subcontractor for the GIOVE-B demonstrator, launched in 2008. As prime contractor for Galileo system assistance, Thales Alenia Space provides ESA with system-level industrial support, including system engineering, performance, assembly, integration and validation, as well as space signal engineering and product assurance and security. Thales Alenia Space is also prime contractor for the development and deployment of the Galileo Mission Segment (GMS) and the Galileo Security Facility (GSF) which will control the entire navigation system from the ground; Furthermore, Thales Alenia Space will supply the signal generation units and the antennas, two critical navigation payload components, for the 22 satellites already ordered to start the deployment of the constellation for full operational capacity (FOC).