RISE & SHINE - LEOP is about to be completed


RISE & SHINE – LEOP is about to be completed

The last few weeks have been exciting, because just under two weeks ago, on 28.04.2024 to be precise, a Falcon 9 rocket was launched with two Galileo satellites in its luggage. The launch went smoothly and our LEOP team is about to complete the final phase.

Over the past few days, our LEOP team at the Galileo Control Center in Oberpfaffenhofen has been working hard to successfully maneuver the new satellites into their final orbit at an altitude of 23,220 km. This operation was only possible thanks to the remarkable cooperation of European companies in the space sector.

LEOP stands for Launch Early Orbit Phase and comprises four crucial phases: the Initialization Mode (INIT Mode), the Post Initialization Mode (POST Init), the Earth Acquisition Mode (IAM) and the Maneuver Phase.

The LEOP mission begins with the Initialization Mode immediately after the satellites are separated from the launch vehicle. During this phase, the satellites are powered up and important telecommand and telemetry connections are established. The satellites then automatically align themselves with the sun and deploy their solar panels to ensure a stable power supply.

After successful initialization, the mission enters Post Initialization Mode. This phase represents a critical control point at which detailed system checks are carried out. The support systems are carefully initialized to ensure operational readiness.

As LEOP progresses, Earth Acquisition Mode plays a crucial role. The satellites are realigned with the earth to optimize communication with the ground. This strategic alignment ensures the smooth provision of navigation services, a fundamental aspect of the Galileo mission.

In the final phase of LEOP, a series of maneuvers will be performed. These precise movements will guide the spacecraft to their intended positions within the Galileo constellation. Each maneuver is crucial for the optimal positioning of the satellites in space.

For our team, every launch is a special moment full of tension and hope for a smooth process.

Now that the LEOP is almost complete, we celebrated the successful final days with our employees on Monday (May 6) with a joint breakfast.

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