Europe's Galileo program delays launch after atomic- clock anomalies


23 Jul 2015
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PARIS — European government officials have postponed the next four-satellite launch of their Galileo positioning, navigation and timing network by about three months to investigate atomic-clock failures on in-orbit satellites. The launch, which had been set for August- September, has been rescheduled for November or December aboard a European Ariane 5 rocket. As of mid-January, 10 Galileo atomic clocks, the key element in a navigation satellite, had failed on four different satellites. One was recently returned to service, leaving nine outages. With each satellite carrying four clocks, none of the failures has led to a satellite’s being removed from service.
What is more, the failures have been distributed between both kinds of clocks carried on board Galileo. Seven have occurred on hydrogen maser clocks, and three on rubidium clocks. Each satellite carries two of each kind.
The common thread among them is their prime contractor, SpectraTime of Switzerland, which is the sole provider of atomic clocks for Galileo and has also provided the technology for the satellite navigation programs of India and China.
Benedicto said Galileo officials have compared notes with managers of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System, which uses SpectraTime clocks, but that the issues confronted on the Indian system do not appear to shed much light on the Galileo experience. Woerner said ESA has been in contact with India about the issue. He did not directly respond when asked whether similar discussions have occurred with China. Woerner said the Indian system has also had atomic-clock issues but that they appeared to be unrelated to the occurrences on Galileo satellites.
One European government official said managers of China’s Beidou navigation system, which before developing a domestic supplier also used SpectraTime technology, have been less willing to talk about any issues they have faced.

Source: Galileo clocks — Space Intel Report
"Woerner said the Indian system has also had atomic-clock issues" - so our NAVIC is unreliable ??? If ISRO faced this atomic clock issues previously then it can be happen in future also. Now it is time to invest more in Make in India initiatives.
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