The latest batch of 4 Galileo satellites - GSATs 0219, 0220, 0221 and 0222 - have been declared operational.
The 4 satellites were launched from Kourou, French Guiana, on 25 July 2018 and put into service on 11 February 2019, following successful commissioning.
This brings the Galileo constellation up to 22 usable satellites, with a further 4 experimental or unusable ones also in orbit.
The European GNSS Agency (GSA) Executive Director, Carlo des Dorides, comments:
‘This is another important milestone for Galileo and the European Union. Each satellite that is commissioned brings us closer to our full operating capacity. More satellites in operation mean better coverage and more availability, which translates into increased accuracy and better services for users. The entry into service of the latest 4 satellites will boost Galileo service provision around the world.’
This 10th Galileo launch was the second for which the GSA was responsible for the mission’s Early Orbit Phase (EOP) and In-Orbit Testing (IOT) phase, overseeing Spaceopal - a joint venture between Telespazio and DLR-GfR - in its role as Galileo Service Operator (GSOp).
Galileo Initial Services were declared in December 2016; it is estimated that it is already used in over 600 million devices globally. Full Operational Capability (FOC) is scheduled for 2020.