GMV wins yet another Galileo contract

The technology multinational GMV has won the European Commission’s framework contract for supplying the Return Link Service Provider (RLSP) of the Search and Rescue Service (SAR) of Europe’s Galileo navigation system. This 4-million-euro framework contract is set to last four years.

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Galileo’s Search and Rescue Service (SAR) will significantly upgrade the current search and rescue system, bringing in such improvements as nearly real-time detection and localization of distress signals from anywhere in the world, precise localization of distress signals on the strength of multiple satellites to prevent blockage in conditions of poor satellite visibility and a greater availability of the space segment (30 satellites in medium earth orbit to be added to the five satellites in low earth orbit and the six geostationary satellites of the current system). Galileo will also phase in new functions such as the return link (from the SAR operator to the signal-emitting beacon), expediting rescue operations and helping to cut down the number of false alarms.

The Return Link Service Provider, RLSP, is the facility in charge of the formation of Galileo’s Return Link Messages and their coordination with the whole system, interfacing on one hand with the Cospas-Sarsat network and on the other with the Galileo Ground Mission Segment.

The GMV-primed consortium, also including the French firms PROSICA and AMOSSYS, will design and develop the RLSP before validating it and then installing it in the SAR/Galileo Service Centre, then taking care of maintenance and supporting system integration tests.

The contract will be controlled by the European Commission, with technical assistance from the French Space Agency CNES as the future operator of Galileo’s Search and Rescue service.

RLSP development and installation has to tackle a series of challenges associated with the security of the Galileo program and its infrastructure. There is no doubt that cyberthreats nowadays pose a significant risk to critical infrastructure such as Galileo. Connectivity between the RLSP and Galileo’s central infrastructure, on the one hand, and the Cospas-Sarsat network of the Mission Control Centers (MCC), on the other, via the French MCC, calls for the rollout of secure networks and specific protection barriers, topped up with suitable surveillance measures to avoid intrusion by external elements in the Galileo network.

Guaranteeing RLSP security is therefore a sine qua non that GMV, as a leading light in the cybersecurity field, will bear firmly in mind throughout the whole development to forestall cyberattacks.

Galileo

This contract is now to be added to the growing roster of GMV’s Galileo contracts, including the supply of several key elements for the system’s ground segment such as OSPF (Orbit & Synchronisation Processing Facility), IPF (Integrity Processing Facility), SPF (Service Product Facility), FDF (Flight Dynamics Facility) and MNE (MDDN Network equipment). GMV is also currently the main contractor for providing Galileo’s essential Timing and Geodetic Validation Facility (TGVF) services; it is co-leading development of the European Union’s GNSS Service Centre (GSC) and is leading the development of Galileo’s commercial service (CS) demonstrator.