Spaceflight Insider

RUAG Space lands contract extension to develop crucial parts for Galileo satellites

RUAG Space will produce Control and Data Units for the next 12 Galileo spacecraft.

Artist’s rendition of a Galileo Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellite. RUAG Space will produce Control and Data Units for the next 12 Galileo spacecraft. Image Credit: Pierre Carril (2015) / ESA

OHB System AG, the prime contractor for Europe’s Galileo navigation satellites, has extended its contract with RUAG Space to produce 12 additional Control and Data Units for these spacecraft.

The Control and Data Unit is dubbed as the “brain” of each Galileo satellite. It is an onboard computer that controls and monitors the navigation payload and numerous other subsystems of the spacecraft. Moreover, such a unit also monitors the satellite’s status in order to ensure its full functionality.

Under the newly extended contract, RUAG Space was obligated to deliver the parts between November 2018 and December 2019.

“RUAG Space has provided the ‘brain’ of the Galileo satellites ever since the program started and we thank OHB for their continued trust in our product. We are proud to be on board as the European navigation system now takes the next crucial step towards full service,” said Peter Guggenbach, CEO of RUAG Space.

RUAG Space is a division of the international technology Group RUAG. It develops and manufactures subsystems and equipment for satellites and launch vehicles. The space division has been delivering its products for Galileo since the start of the program.

Besides Control and Data Units, RUAG Space supplies Galileo satellites with receiver electronics, antennas, and power supply modules. The company also delivers mechanisms responsible for aligning solar arrays of Galileo spacecraft and special thermal insulation blanket for these satellites.

Galileo is a European project that is currently creating a new global satellite navigation system, carried out on behalf of the European Commission under a contract with ESA. Under civilian control, Galileo is planned to deliver highly precise positioning services. The network is designed for interoperability with the U.S. GPS and Russian GLONASS global positioning systems.

The newest four Galileo satellites – designated Galileo FOC 15–18 – were launched into space on December 12, 2017, atop an Ariane 5 ES rocket from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. The mission expanded the Galileo network to 22 spacecraft, boosting the global availability of navigation signals.



Tomasz Nowakowski is the owner of Astro Watch, one of the premier astronomy and science-related blogs on the internet. Nowakowski reached out to SpaceFlight Insider in an effort to have the two space-related websites collaborate. Nowakowski's generous offer was gratefully received with the two organizations now working to better relay important developments as they pertain to space exploration.

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