Postmortems

Galileo outage (EU's global positioning)

Galileo is not yet in “full service” but it’s still a big outage. It seems the orbital parameters were not uploaded and became stale, at which point receivers should refuse to compute a position.

The EU’s GNSS network was down for six days last week after a failure initially attributed to the constellation’s Precise Timing Facility in Italy. Updated information suggests that other components of the network’s ground infrastructure may also have been to blame.

Upstream:

The technical incident originated by an equipment malfunction in the Galileo ground infrastructure, affecting the calculation of time and orbit predictions, and which are used to compute the navigation message. The malfunction affected different elements on the ground facilities.

A team composed of GSA experts, industry, ESA and Commission, worked together 24/7 to address the incident. The team is monitoring the quality of Galileo services to restore Galileo timing and navigation services at their nominal levels.

We will set an Independent Inquiry Board to identify the root causes of the major incident.

The Register has some information here: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/11/08/galileo_satellites_outage/

1 Like

Thanks! Sounds like a dysfunctional organisation: “organizational chaos, secrecy and self-regulation”

A few clicks deeper gets us to an outsid observer’s take on the story:

The outage in the ephemeris provisioning happened because simultaneously:

  • The backup system was not available
  • New equipment was being deployed and mishandled during an upgrade exercise
  • There was an anomaly in the Galileo system reference time system
  • Which was then also in a non-normal configuration

In a way this is very good news - if a major outage needed many things to go wrong at the same time, that means it was not theoretically an accident waiting to happen. We can of course wonder why upgrade work was happening while the backup site was not available.

1 Like