Paris Air Show 2023 – We Were There!


Paris Air Show 2023 – We Were There!

From the 19th to the 25th of June 2023, we participated in the oldest and largest aerospace exhibition, the Paris Air Show. During the event, we showcased our flagship project, the European global satellite navigation system Galileo, along with our operations of communication and navigation satellite systems, and our future technologies in precise point positioning.

As a loyal exhibitor at the world-renowned International Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, France, we were once again present this year to introduce our company. Our team included 17 experts from flight and ground operations, navigation services, and system engineering.

Apart from engaging in numerous discussions with visitors at our booth, our CEO, Walter Päffgen, also provided insights into the current progress of constructing the new control center at our Oberpfaffenhofen site. This new facility will significantly enhance the Galileo ground segment, expanding the Galileo control center’s capabilities. As a result, we remain fully equipped to establish and manage future space missions for Europe.

Vincenzo D’Onofrio, the System Engineering expert at DLR GfR, offered a glimpse through the “Operations Lens,” explaining how our System Engineering team plays a crucial role by providing a structured and comprehensive approach to designing, developing, and managing complex space systems.

Vincenzo D’Onofrio

Without applying the principles and practices of Systems Engineering, we would not be able to continuously improve the efficiency and reliability of Galileo operations. Our system engineers are, therefore, one of our most valuable assets in the project, allowing us to apply this expertise to other challenging endeavors and carry out successful missions, meeting our customers’ expectations to the fullest satisfaction.

Amidst many interesting and exciting discussions at this remarkable event, our CEO Walter Päffgen and our NAVCAST expert, Jan Gebhardt, visited XSun’s CEO, Benjamin David, and the Business Development Director, Dr. Waldemar Krebs, at their booth. During the meeting, they reaffirmed the cooperation agreement initiated in June and discussed further steps within the ‘Roadmap for Innovation and Improvement of Drone Operations’. “I feel that a meeting in such an inspiring environment like the Paris Air Show always ignites the spirit of innovation in all participants and helps turn ideas into reality,” explained Walter Päffgen. “We look forward to collaborating with DLR GfR to enhance the safety of drone operations through their PPP service NAVCAST, which relies on Galileo data,” added Benjamin David.

From left: Walter Päffgen, Benjamin David 

This year, we had the opportunity to meet many interesting people from all around the world at the Paris Air Show and engage in stimulating conversations. Besides the meeting with Benjamin David from XSun, we also welcomed Prof. Dr. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla, the Chairwoman of the German Aerospace Center, and Dr. Anke Pagels-Kerb, the Executive Board member, at our booth. For us at DLR GfR, it is a great honor to have you as representatives of DLR, one of the most important supporters of our work, believing in our goals. Furthermore, as always, we were pleased to have our partner, Telespazio, visit our booth. We maintain regular coordination and close collaboration as part of the Galileo project. During our discussions, we addressed shared objectives and future steps related to the Galileo project.

From left: Walter Päffgen with Giuseppe Lenzo at Paris Air Show 2023

About DLR GfR:

Founded in 2008 as a subsidiary of the German Aerospace Center, DLR GfR mbH is responsible for the management of Europe’s largest space constellation, the European satellite navigation system GALILEO, at the Galileo Control Center (GCC-D) in Oberpfaffenhofen on behalf of the European Commission.

Thanks to the technical infrastructure implemented by DLR GfR, the company guarantees a service availability of 99.99 percent. DLR GfR’s constellation operations services at GCC-D include 24/7 routine operation and maintenance of the 26 Galileo satellites and associated ground segment infrastructure. From GCC-D, the operation of the globally distributed Galileo infrastructure, both on the ground and in orbit, is organized across all mission phases. This includes mission planning and flight dynamics services, efficient team training and management, reliable configuration monitoring, and global service level tracking and monitoring.

With an international team of more than 240 experts from 24 nations, DLR GfR provides its customers with reliable and safe space services and steers the Galileo project into the future with foresight.

About XSun:
The XSun company consists of a group of highly qualified aerospace engineers with breakthrough ideas to contribute to a better future.
Their expertise in aircraft design, air navigation systems, radio and satellite communications enables them to build advanced autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles that can fly farther, quieter and safer in many areas.

XSun is on its way to becoming one of the leading companies in the solar drone industry. Their solar-powered drones are designed to operate fully autonomously without human intervention. The drone is designed with two wings to optimize aerodynamics and flight performance for long-distance and high-altitude flights.

About Telespazio:
Telespazio, a joint venture between Leonardo and Thales (67/33), is one of the world’s leading providers of satellite services. Its activities range from the design and development of space systems to the management of launch services, from in-orbit satellite control to Earth observation, from integrated communications, satellite navigation and localization services to scientific programs. Telespazio plays a leading role in reference markets, relying on the technological experience acquired over the years. Since its creation, the company has participated in major European space programs such as Galileo, EGNOS, Copernicus and COSMO-SkyMed. In 2021, Telespazio generated revenues of €605 million and employed more than 3,000 people in nine different countries.

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