An Arianespace Soyuz rocket has brought a pair of Galileo satellites to orbit on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 10 from Sinnamary in French Guiana.
The rocket was launched at exactly 11:08:10 p.m. local time. At 2:08 GMT or three hours and 48 minutes after liftoff, the satellites were confirmed separated from the rocket. The mission aims to expand the global positioning systems of Europe.
This event marks the completion of the 9th and 10th satellite placement in the constellation. Two more satellites are planned to be launched during the latter part of 2015. Authorities plan to complete the entire project of 26 functional and six spare satellites in orbit. In 2016, the first navigational services will be provided to its consumers.
Galileo was created to offer Europe its own navigational system called the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) so as to reduce or potentially eliminate the continent's reliance on global positioning system developed by the U.S. Nonetheless, Europe's system will still utilize some of the signals from the American system even if their own finally becomes completed. With this, improved accuracy and efficiency will definitely be ensured.
In 2015, the experts behind the Galileo projects issued a new analysis software to remedy the distorted signals that occurred in the upper atmosphere of the planet. Through these new mathematical solutions, the accuracy of positioning data may be ensured with some of its services.
Experts started developing Galileo in the 1990s and is said to be worth about $4.9 billion. This project aims to provide free service to the public, including encrypted data for improving crucial transportation and emergency operations, law implementations and border regulations.
The system is yet to provide sufficient services until after the 14th functional satellite has been put in place. However, with each new addition, its signals can be used by obtaining devices with compatible chipsets.
Some devices such as smartphones and car equipment have been incorporated with these types of chipsets, said Javier Benedicto, the Galileo program manager at the ESA. These devices already have the ability to combine Galileo and GPS signals.
Here is the video of the launch:
Photo: Arianespace | YouTube