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Welcome to Telespazio VEGA Deutschland

Telespazio VEGA Deutschland is a well-established consulting, technology and engineering services business. Over the past 30 years, we have built up a first-class reputation in high-technology markets, where quality and reliability are essential. Our roots are in the Space market and the experience we have developed there brings benefits to our other core markets of Aviation and Defence.

Telespazio VEGA Deutschland was created in early September 2012 when Telespazio Deutschland and VEGA Space GmbH merged into one company. These changes were made in order to serve the needs of our markets better and provide more integrated services to our clients worldwide.

      | January 2017 |
      The future of simulation for space has started

      ​Humans are usually good at noticing when something ends. Quite often it is more difficult to determine when something new starts. 2017 will mark the first step towards future simulators used for space operations.

      The “Next generation simulators infrastructure – SIMULUS-NG” is a study that will lay the foundation of the infrastructure development for future operational simulators. Telespazio VEGA Deutschland is leading the consortium which includes several European companies. Together the consortium will develop the first prototypes of this infrastructure by mid-2018.

      The results of the study will reflect the needs of future operational and non-operational simulators used mainly at the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC/ESA) in Darmstadt.

      Operational Simulators today

      Currently, operational simulators are developed individually for each mission with a fixed set of Ground Stations to use for communication and without foreseen interaction with other missions. Exceptions are made for twin missions or constellations; however, these too, are custom-developed. Although there is already a framework in place which guides developers of operational simulators, for example on which standards to use, the needs are expected to change and to become more complex. 

      The future is more complex

      In the future, various space missions might have to be synchronised to cope with increased complexity of space exploration and robotics – this will impact elements such as their control systems, their communication standards (radio, laser) and interfaces, and also the way they are operated. These complex scenarios need to be properly simulated and trained. Simulation Officers might have to operate multiple simulators for training to reflect the operations reality, for example (see illustration) in order to reflect the communication between an Orion module, a habitat, a lunar landing module and a lunar rover. Simulus Illustration Communication.png

      These and more requirements will be explored by SIMULUS Next Generation. Using better standards and models across all future operational and non-operational simulators will enable the European Space Industry to develop simulators more rapidly and more cost-efficiently. Eventually, also smaller missions, such as CubeSats, could benefit from SIMULUS Next Generation. In a few years, they might think back at the beginning of 2017 when it all started.

      Simulation background in Telespazio VEGA

      Telespazio VEGA has been playing a leading role in the development of operational satellite simulators for over 20 years. We have developed simulators, to name a few, for Rosetta, Mars Express, Venus Express, CryoSat/CryoSat2, RADARSAT-2, MSG, SWARM, Lisa Pathfinder, BepiColombo, and most recently ExoMars. The simulators are used to train the operations team and also to support the validation of the ground segment systems and flight operations procedures. They are an essential element to the success of space missions.

      Further Links

      SIMULUS Website

      Simulation in Telespazio VEGA Deutschland

      Training in Telespazio VEGA Deutschland

      ESOC in Darmstadt

      | December 2016 |
      Galileo: Spaceopal awarded the management of the European satellite navigation programme's operations

      Spaceopal, equal joint venture between Telespazio and DLR-GfR, won the GSOp (Galileo System Operator) tender, issued by the GSA (European GNSS Agency) for managing the operations of the European Galileo satellite positioning and navigation programme.

      In the presence of the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the contract was signed today in Brussels, at the headquarters of the European Commission, by Carlo des Dorides, Executive Director of the GSA, by Giuseppe Lenzo and Simon Plum, respectively CEO and COO of Spaceopal.

      The contract will run for ten years, with a value of up to EUR 1.5 billion.

      Spaceopal will assume responsibility for managing the Galileo satellite system and its performance: in particular, the operations and control of the system, its security, logistics and maintenance of the systems and infrastructure, the user support services.

      The GSOp contract extends the scope of activities that Spaceopal has carried out for the Galileo programme since 2010, and includes the overall responsibility for the system's operations and its global maintenance.

      The company will carry out these activities through the two Galileo Control Centres in Fucino (atTelespazio's "Piero Fanti" Space Centre in the L'Aquila province) and Oberpfaffenhofen (at the DLR site near Munich), as well as the GNSS Service Centre (Madrid) and a network of sites and stations distributed around the globe and connected by the Galileo Data Distribution network.

      Spaceopal leads an industrial team that includes the participation of Telespazio and DLR-GfR, Vitrociset Belgium, SES Techcom, T-Systems, INECO, CNES, INRIM and TASF, ESOC.

      Giuseppe Lenzo, CEO of Spaceopal, said: “Spaceopal is honoured and proud to have been selected by the European GNSS Agency as the Galileo System Operator for the next decade. Together with our partners of DLR and Telespazio, and the members of our core team, we have submitted a very reliable and highly competitive proposal, gathering many of the best available competence and capabilities across Europe. It is a privilege to be in the position to continue to support the deployment of the first European Space infrastructure, Galileo, and to contribute to the development of Galileo Services for European and international users“.

      In addition to the planned activities in the Operations field, Spaceopal will provide a fundamental contribution to the development of the Galileo services through a GNSS Competence Cluster, which leverages the experience of its shareholders Telespazio and DLR-GfR and the other GSOp industrial partners, and through an international ecosystem of entities heavily engaged in application development, made up of institutes, Research Agencies, leading companies and SMEs (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana, Austro Control, BavAIRia, Catapult, Cesah, Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), ERF, Fraunhofer IIS, Globant, Hexagon, Hexagon Geospatial, IABG, IBM, IFEN, IFSTTAR, Indra, ITS Hessen, KSAT, NSL, Qascom, Scisys, Septentrio, Sogei, SUR, Thales Avionics).

      Further Links

      Leonardo press release on spaceopal award

      spaceopal press release

      GSA press release


      About Galileo and Satellite Navigation

      “Shooting” with lasers at satellites

      Where is Galileo? We know who knows!

      ESA:  Navigation Facility - Galileo

      DLR: Galileo Control Centre Oberpfaffenhofen

      Telespazio: The Group's involvement - spaceopal - Galileo Control Centre Fucino

      GSSF Website

      | November 2016 |
      “Shooting” with lasers at satellites

      Navigating to that new café in your town might occur to you as a simple task. Open your Maps App, let it determine your position and let it guide you. This service is handy for private users and also for commercial users such as the aviation sector, agriculture, and of course road traffic.

      In our previous Navigation highlight, we gave insight into determining a navigation satellite’s position – a mandatory step before the data can be used to determine someone’s position on Earth. And quite exciting!

      Lasers! Phew phew phew! 

      Lasers play an important role when it comes down to verifying a satellite’s position. We spoke to one of our colleagues Henno Boomkamp to understand how this works in more detail. Henno works as consultant for Satellite Navigation and a part of his job is to perform precise calculations to determine a satellite’s position.

      Henno, which data can we use in order to get a first idea where a satellite is?

      Henno: “There are several sources of data. In the case of a newly launched satellite, we know for example the details of the launch and more or less its orbit after separation. This is when we receive the first telemetry radio signals on high frequency via S-band. Through the measurements of the Doppler effect we can improve the estimate where the satellite is, at around 20-50 metres precision."

      04-Navigation-Facility-Vorauswahl-13x19cm-JMai_6968.jpgTelespazio VEGA staff are also experts on determining satellite orbits up to a centimetre level. - Photo Telespazio VEGA Deutschland / J. Mai

      Is this already precise enough?

      Henno: “For some satellite missions, perhaps, but not for most Earth observation satellites or navigation satellites. For precise orbit determination dedicated tracking measurements are used, which nowadays come primarily from Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) such as Galileo, GPS or GLONASS. GNSS data is used to compute the orbits of low Earth orbiting satellites, but also the orbits of the GNSS satellites themselves."

      And how do you know that your orbits are correct?

      Henno: “Well, this is where lasers come in! An orbit prediction is provided to the International Laser Ranging Service, ILRS, for them to track satellites with a laser. To make it very simple, they send laser pulses in the direction where we believe the satellite to be at a certain time – if it comes back we can compute how much time it took to travel to the satellite and back. Since we know the speed of light, we can determine the distance of the satellite, and have an independent range measurement to the orbit. We have to be very precise in the prediction because the satellite is moving, Earth is moving and the satellite can be thousands of km away, and it is not very big.

      Wettzell Laser Ranging System (WLRS), the satellite and lunar laser ranging system of the geodetic observatory in Wettzell, Bavaria.​


      But doesn’t this mean that there has to be a mirror on-board the spacecraft? How else would the laser pulse be reflected?

      Henno: “This is exactly right. Many satellites are equipped with mirrors, so-called Laser Retro Reflectors (LRR). They have the property that they reflect a wave, in this case laser light, back to its source with minimal scattering. A good example is the LAGEOS satellite: It looks like a golf ball and its payload consists only of LRR’s. It’s a perfect, passive measurement system for example to study the gravity field of the Earth. Its data improves our models of the Earth, which in turn helps in the orbit determination of many other satellites.”

      Diagram showing how a corner reflector works.
      ​Image of LAGEOS satellite, courtesy of NASA

      Is the integration of LRR’s a speciality of navigation satellites?

      Henno: “Not necessarily. The LRR’s enable us to determine very precise orbits of satellites through laser ranging. The laser data is in most cases used as an independent validation for the satellite orbits that are computed from other tracking data, such as GNSS, and is fundamental for precise orbit determination of many Earth observation satellites."

      So let’s imagine you have collected a set of laser measurements from the ILRS.  What happens next?

      Henno: “It is essential to keep doing precise orbit determinations throughout a satellite mission, and not just once after launch. The orbit of a satellite changes constantly, by at least a few hundred meters per day, due to all sorts of small perturbations such as gravity of the sun, moon, planets, or radiation pressure from the sun and earth, or effects of asymmetric gravity and tides of the Earth. The laser data forms an important independent verification of the orbit accuracy that is being achieved."

      And how often would you determine a satellite’s orbit?

      Henno: “The work is a constant circle of specific tasks: The primary tracking data, such as GNSS data is collected continuously. At regular intervals, like once per day, a dataset from the recent past is processed to compute the precise orbit of the satellite over this period. This orbit can be extended a few hours or days into the future to get a prediction, and these predictions are for instance needed by the ILRS to track the satellite with lasers.”

      And how many laser measurements are available?

      Henno: “There are around 50 Laser Ranging Stations in the world. All of them can track the low satellites up to 1000 km height, but only around 20 of them can track the much higher GNSS satellites. A few of them can even track the Moon, where some laser reflectors were left behind by the Apollo astronauts. The best stations manage to produce two or three passes per day for a GNSS satellite. There are about 35 GNSS satellites with LRRs and ideally each of these 35 satellites has a handful of passes per day. So you could say that it is possible to validate orbits several times per day.”

      Further Links about Satellite Navigation

      Where is Galileo? We know who knows!

      ESA:  Navigation Facility - Galileo

      DLR: Galileo Control Centre Oberpfaffenhofen

      Telespazio: The Group's involvement - spaceopal - Galileo Control Centre Fucino

      ILRS website

      GSSF Website


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Copyright 2013 Telespazio VEGA Deutschland GmbH

Telespazio Vega Deutschland GmbH