A panel of satnav experts at last week’s US Institute of Navigation’s annual Global Navigation Satellite System meeting has recognised ESA’s previous Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related Activities for the work done to establish Galileo during his tenure.
Didier Faivre oversaw ESA’s Galileo programme from 2011 to the start of 2016.
The citation states: “Under his leadership, the Galileo constellation has been growing and first results of importance to the user community became visible, such as the first Galileo-based PVT (position/ velocity/time) result.”
The award was accepted on Didier’s behalf by Marco Falcone, ESA’s Galileo System Manager.
“The European Space Agency and more generally the European Global Navigation Satellite System Community is very proud and honoured that Didier received this award, which is a mark of recognition of the quality of our European programmes,” comments Paul Verhoef, the current ESA Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related activities.
From 1983 to 2000 Didier made his career in France’s CNES space agency, with positions at the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana and at the Toulouse Space Centre and CNES Headquarters in Paris.
He joined ESA in 2000, initially within the Directorate of Applications involved in telecommunications strategy.
Didier’s time as Galileo Director included the first launches of Galileo satellites, starting in October 2011, as well as the steady expansion of ground stations around the world.
The historic first determination of a ground location using Galileo took place on 12 March 2013, proving the system worked as planned as a prelude to its deployment.
Since leaving ESA, Didier has retained a close connection with Galileo. Having returned to CNES, he is serving as Director of the Guiana Space Centre, from where the 13th and 14th Galileo satellites were launched in May and where the next four satellites are being prepared for launch by Ariane 5 in November.