The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded GMV a contract to develop the ground segment responsible for in-orbit control and validation of the Galileo Second Generation (G2G)
Technology multinational GMV, which specializes in systems engineering, development, and integration, has recently been awarded a major contract by the European Space Agency (ESA). The contract entails newly developing the ground control segment for the in-orbit validation (IOV) system of the Galileo Second Generation (G2G). Galileo, Europe’s global navigation satellite system, is the proud flagship of the European Union’s growing space activity.
The primary objectives of the Galileo Second Generation, also known as G2G, are to introduce new state-of-the-art services and technologies; improve existing services and tech; increase the accuracy and robustness of the system; strengthen security; and reduce the system’s maintenance costs. These efforts seek to consolidate and enhance Galileo’s position across the globe. Galileo currently serves more than four billion users worldwide, delivering global positioning, navigation, and clock synchronization services with a positioning accuracy of up to 20 cm.
The new contract signed between GMV and ESA is worth over €200 million. This includes the contracting of core G2G activities, for a value of around €155 million. These activities will be carried out over a period of 42 months, from mid-2023 until the end of 2026, with options for extension until 2028. The contract comes on top of those already signed by GMV for the Galileo First Generation (G1G), bringing the total contracts value since 2018 to more than €500 million.
The ground segment covered in the recently awarded contract will be responsible for controlling the two new second-generation satellite platforms, which are currently in the design and production phase. A total of 12 satellites are expected to be launched over the next three years. The new ground control system is scheduled to come into operation in 2025, coinciding with the launch of the first satellite of this second generation.
In addition to providing control and monitoring capabilities for the future satellites, this new project marks a technological leap forward compared to current developments. It includes features such as post-quantum cryptography, deployed microservices, improved automation, and new user interfaces, to name only a few. These upgrades will help to make the ground segment flexible, scalable, expandable, robust, and autonomous. Development will be carried out for the first time in Galileo following the “Agile” methodology, in order to support future phases of the system, and particular stress will be placed on aspects related to cybersecurity.
The project comes in addition to the activities already entrusted to GMV in 2018 for the ground segment of the Galileo First Generation (G1G), for which GMV has already deployed the first of the two contracted versions, currently providing services to a total of 28 satellites. GMV will deliver on both contracts simultaneously until the end of 2026, when Galileo’s ground control segment will be unified to manage up to 50 satellites for constellation parallel replenishment.
GMV is ready to take on and succeed in this new phase, once again demonstrating its excellence in the field of satellite navigation. This latest achievement within the Galileo program consolidates the company’s position as a key player in the development of the G2G and an overall industry leader.
The Galileo program has proven to be a fundamental growth for GMV, along with our activity in other sectors, generating an increase in turnover and an even greater increase in new hires year after year. Over the last five years, GMV has increased its workforce by 50%. GMV currently employs 3,000 professionals, about half of whom work on space projects. Having achieved this latest milestone, it expects this figure to rise even further.