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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

European Space Agency News

European GPS Slated for 2014 Launch

Galileo, the EU satellite navigation program (the European GPS) and Copernicus, the EU Earth monitoring program, are in decisive phases this year. With the launch of six additional Galileo satellites, Europeans will soon be able to enjoy their own satellite navigation system. The first Copernicus satellite launch in March will also enable considerable progress in improving maritime security, climate change monitoring and providing support in emergency and crisis situations. The progress in both European space programs - Galileo and Copernicus - was announced by Vice President Antonio Tajani following a meeting with Jean Jacques Dordain…

Galileo Must Proceed Financing Difficulties

The European Commission (EC) has stated that the Galileo satellite navigation system must go ahead on schedule despite financial contribution delays experienced by the European Space Agency (ESA). Galileo is being designed to compete with the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) in the satellite navigation market. Source: HK Law

GPS Satellites Launched, Stray Off Course

Galileo GPS Configuration: Image ESA

Following an announcement made by Arianespace on the anomalies of the orbit injection of the Galileo satellites, the teams of industries and agencies involved in the early operations of the satellites are investigating the potential implications on the mission, says the European Space Agency (ESA). Both satellites have been acquired and are safely controlled and operated from ESOC, ESA’s Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. Further information on the status of the satellites will be made available after the preliminary analysis of the situation.

NovAtel Awarded Galileo Contract

NovAtel has been granted a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) for definition work on Galileo, the proposed European satellite navigation system. The $126,700 contract calls for NovAtel to provide input to ESA on signal validation and receiver development requirements. The company will also review draft Galileo signal specifications and provide feedback on receiver performance, development requirements and cost implications. Working directly with ESA technical management, NovAtel expects that the study will be complete during the next six to eight months. Jointly initiated by the European Union and ESA, the Galileo project aims to launch a series of Medium Earth Orbit satellites in three orbital planes at 20…

EU and China Set to Collaborate on GALILEO

An agreement has been reached between the European Union and China on its participation in the GALILEO program. This agreement was initialled in Beijing on September 18 by F. Lamoureux, Director-General of Energy and Transport at the European Commission, and M Shi Dinghuan, Secretary General of China's Ministry of Science and Technology. “China will help GALILEO to become the major world infrastructure for the growing market for location services,” said Loyola de Palacio, Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for the GALILEO programme. Her counterpart in the negotiations, China's Science and Technology Minister Xu Guanhua highlighted that “China supports GALILEO and plans to participate actively in its construction and application for mutual benefits”.

Satellite Maps Arctic Ocean Floor

While the main objective of the polar-orbiting CryoSat is to measure the thickness of polar sea ice and ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica, its radar altimeter can also measure tiny changes in sea level, 'Terra Daily' is informed by a European Space Agency report. Variation in sea level mimics the rises and dips of the ocean floor beneath due to the pull of gravity, as areas of greater mass such as underwater mountains have a stronger pull, attracting more water and producing a minor increase in ocean-surface height, researchers said. The CryoSat data combined with ongoing ocean mapping will result in global seafloor topography -- bathymetry -- two to four times more accurate than measurements currently available, they said.

Maritime Surveillance Drone Testing to Begin this Summer

Photo: TEKEVER

The AR5 Life Ray UAS, developed by TEKEVER, has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to demonstrate the first European maritime surveillance system where drones are integral to operations. The first demonstration will be performed this summer over the Maltese waters of the Mediterranean sea, said Pedro Sinogas, TEKEVER CEO, at the AUVSI Xponential show in New Orleans, La. Maritime operations have been brought into focus in Europe by the unprecedented migrant crisis.

Microsatellites Launched for Maritime Monitoring, Comms and Science

NORsat-1 in EMC test at SFL. Two AIS antennas may be seen at the top, and four Langmuir probes off to the sides. The solar wings of the satellite are at the bottom. (Photo: Space Flight Laboratory)

The Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) announced the successful launch of two Norwegian microsatellites developed and built by SFL for the Norwegian Space Centre with support from the Norwegian Coastal Authority, Space Norway and the European Space Agency. The Soyuz-2.1a rocket carrying the satellites into orbit launched from Baikonur at 06:36:49 UTC Friday, July 14, 2017. Shortly after launch both satellites were contacted from ground stations in Svalbard and Vardo, Norway. Both satellites are healthy based on initial telemetry, and commissioning is underway.

Inmarsat Alphasat Satellite Launch Successfrul

Alphasat preparation: Photo credit Inmarsat

Inmarsat provider of global mobile satellite communications services, confirms the successful launch of Alphasat, the largest satellite, designated I-4A F4. Alphasat was launched on an Ariane 5 ECA, the latest version of the Ariane 5 launcher, from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana at 20.54hrs BST on 25th July (16.54hrs Kourou local time). Arianespace confirmed a successful spacecraft separation at 27 minutes 45 seconds after launch and the Alphasat Mission Operations Team confirmed telemetry reception and that they have command of the satellite at 21.47 BST.

Satellite Images Reveal Ocean Acidification

Pic: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Ocean acidification can now be seen from space, highlighting an ongoing danger of climate change and revealing the regions most at risk. Pioneering techniques that use satellites to monitor ocean acidification are set to revolutionize the way that marine biologists and climate scientists study the ocean. This new approach offers remote monitoring of large swathes of inaccessible ocean from satellites that orbit the Earth some 700 km above our heads. Seawater absorbs about a quarter of the carbon dioxide…

TeamSurv Ocean Survey Project Boosted

TeamSurv logo

TeamSurv, the crowd sourcing project to create better nautical charts, has won support and endorsement from the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC). TeamSurv has won a call by ESA to enter their Business Incubation Centre (BIC) at Harwell, Oxford. This provides TeamSurv with finance, with business and technical support, and with office space for the next year to enable a plan for a sustainable future, and to grow with the number of vessels and the amount of data produced.

Galileo Navigation Satellite Project Update

Galileo unboxed: Photo ESA

Europe’s latest Galileo navigation satellite has arrived at the European Space Agency’s (ESA) technical centre in the Netherlands for testing, as the previous two satellites are prepared for shipping to French Guiana for launch this summer. ESA explains that the new satellite arrived at ESA’s Technical Centre, ESTEC, in Noordwijk, in the Netherlands, safely enclosed within an air-conditioned and environmentally controlled container from manufacturer OHB of Bremen, Germany. Meanwhile…

Europe’s GALILEO Project Lifts Off

The European Commission adopted a communication on progress on the GALILEO program. Less than two years after the launch of the project in March 2002 and less than six months after the actual setting up of the GALILEO joint undertaking, the Commission was keen to inform Parliament and the Council of progress achieved in the development phase of the project. Among other things, the communication covers the ordering of the first two experimental satellites, the cooperation agreement with China and the procedure for designating the future concession holder for the system. «Everything is now in place to be able to move on to the deployment and operation phases in accordance with the planned deadlines, i.e.

Navy Space-Based Orbital Debris Sensor Gets Patent

Small orbital debris objects can threaten vital space-based assets. The Navy's patented compact debris detection device can detect debris in near real-time and provide essential trajectory data for future use. The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Geospace Science and Technology Branch, received U.S. patent (#8976245), March 10, for the Optical Orbital Debris Spotter - a compact, low power, low cost, local space debris detection concept that can be integrated into larger satellite designs, or flown independently on-board nano-satellite platforms. Man-made debris orbiting the Earth continues to increase at an alarming rate - with objects smaller than one centimeter (cm) exceeding 100 million.

Samskip Nor Lines' Service to Call Rotterdam

Photo: ©rainville, Marinetraffic.com

Samskip subsidiary Nor Lines will include calls at Rotterdam for the first time in its weekly multipurpose liner service connecting to Western, Mid and Northern Norway, with effect from June 1st. The service is provided by Nor Lines' state of the art, LNG-fuelled vessels MV Kvitnos and MV Kvitbjorn. These flexible ships will sail in 14-day loops, connecting Rotterdam and Eemshaven with Norwegian ports from Hammerfest in the far north, and taking in calls including Sandnes/Tananger, Bergen, Trondheim, Ålesund, Bodo and Tromso.

New Data Safety Service for Inmarsat FleetBroadband

Logo

Supported by European Space Agency (ESA) funding, Inmarsat’s forthcoming Maritime Safety Data Service (MSDS) for FleetBroadband, delivers an increased data capability over the Inmarsat-4 network, including the Alphasat satellite, providing global coverage and the same reliability of over 99.9 per cent associated with the Inmarsat network. MSDS will continue to offer distress alerting, priority messaging and SafetyNET safety information broadcasts, but also deliver greater data capability than is currently available with Inmarsat C safety services.

Inmarsat Launches Voice Distress Service on Fleetbroadband

Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT) has announced the commercial availability of a new voice distress service on FleetBroadband. The free-to-use service ensures that, in the event of an emergency, all non-priority telephone calls underway on the vessel’s FleetBroadband are interrupted, connecting the caller directly to a Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC). The new voice distress service requires a simple software and hardware add-on, which provides a ‘red button’ for one-touch easy use. The new service also utilises the enhanced capability of the FleetBroadband network, as it simultaneously sends an email to the MRCC and network controllers to alert them to a call, providing additional data such as vessel name, identification and position.

‘VoyagOR’ Project Seeks Shipping Participants

Shipping companies are being sought to assist the ‘VoyagOR’ project, which aims use route optimization systems to make shipping operations more cost-effective. The VoyagOR project team is keen to engage with businesses that stand to benefit from improved route Optimization. A better understanding of such companies will help the project develop VoyagOR to best meet user requirements. VoyagOR utilizes a cloud-based voyage optimization system to provide a support tool to achieve fuel and emissions savings on short sea routes as well as improved scheduling.

Arctic Ocean Free of Ice in Summer Perhaps in a Few Years

Sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing at a far greater rate than previously expected according to latest dedicated satellite data. Preliminary results from the European Space Agency's CryoSat-2 probe indicate that 900 cubic kilometres of summer sea ice has disappeared from the Arctic ocean over the past year. This rate of loss is 50% higher than most scenarios outlined by polar scientists and suggests that global warming, triggered by rising greenhouse gas emissions, is beginning to have a major impact on the region. In a few years the Arctic ocean could be free of ice in summer, triggering a rush to exploit its fish stocks, oil, minerals and sea routes.

New Satellite Navigation Service from Fugro

Oslo based navigation specialist Fugro Seastar AS has announced the introduction of a new service: SeaSTAR G2. This new high performance navigation service combines the navigation satellites of both the American GPS constellation and the Russian GLONASS constellation, to produce a composite GPS/GLONASS position solution. The service utilizes Fugro’s own network of dual system reference stations to calculate ‘orbit and clock’ errors on a satellite by satellite basis for all 50…

GALILEO: 2008 or Bust

The European Union is on track to start its own satellite navigation and positioning system, Galileo, as it was earlier this year announced that the Council of Transport Ministers released the $44 million needed to develop Galileo, and at the same time adopted the regulation establishing the joint undertaking responsible for operating it. Galileo is being developed as a commercial alternative to the U.S. GPS system, and tentatively is scheduled to be up and running by 2008. While markets are varied, and much of the advantages are touted in terms of savings tot the airlines, the maritime sector, including offshore oil and gas exploration, has been targeted as a major market for the project.

British Ports Association Writes to PM on Brexit Concerns

Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive. Photo: British Ports Association

The British Ports Association has written to the Prime Minister calling for funding guarantees for any new border facilities and digital infrastructure, which may be needed after the UK leaves the European Union. There are concerns from the industry that those ports with EU traffic will need to provide new facilities and digital infrastructure for government officials to carry out customs and other border checks. In the letter, Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the British…

New Satellite Images Earth Environment, Monitors Disasters

Satellite image: Photo NASA

Europe has launched the first satellite of its multibillion-euro 'Copernicus' Earth observation project that will supply valuable images in the event of natural disasters, ocean oil pollution, or even a plane crash. The Sentinel-1a satellite, which blasted off into Earth's orbit from Europe's spaceport in French Guiana, carries a 12-metre-long (40-foot-long) radar antenna and has two 10 metre-long solar panels, and is now orbiting the planet at 693 km (439 miles) above the earth.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Apr 2018 - Offshore Energy Annual

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