A super-nice report today from Werner Enderle, Head of ESA’s Navigation Support Office at ESOC, the European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, who writes to tell us how the team there have performed the first highly precise orbit determination for Galileo. The Navigation Support Office provides products and services related to global navigation satellite systems in support of ESA missions and to European customers such as Eumetsat and to worldwide customers through its participation in the International Global Navigation Satellite Systems (IGNSS) Services group.

ESOC Navigation Support Office Credit: ESA/J. Mai

ESOC Navigation Support Office Credit: ESA/J. Mai

On Thursday, 19 March, the team at ESA’s Navigation Support Office generated the first ‘Precise Orbit Determination’ (POD) for a Full Operational Capability (FOC) Galileo satellite –  GALSAT Number 202.

The POD for Galileo 202 was based on the processing of signals in L-Band, which had been transmitted by the Galileo satellite and received by the Navigation Support Office’s global distributed GNSS sensor station network, in conjunction with data from the International GNSS Service (IGS) network of sensor stations, used in the context of the MGEX experiment.


The Multi-GNSS Experiment (MGEX) has been set-up by the IGS to track, collate and analyse all available GNSS signals. This includes signals from the BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS, and the IRNSS systems, as well as from modernized GPS and GLONASS satellites and any space-based augmentation system of interest. Analysis centres will characterize new satellites and signals, compare equipment performance and further develop processing software capable of handling multiple GNSS observation data.