A qualification model of the Galileo dispenser fitted with one Galileo engineering model on each side, for testing on the QUAD shaker at the ESTEC Test Centre.
When Galileo launches in 2011, this ‘dispenser’ supporting structure will hold the twin satellites firmly in place under the Soyuz fairing during launch, having already provided connection to power and data links during the pre-launch phases on the ground.
The dispenser will help the satellites endure the loads and vibrations of launch. Then, some four hours into flight at an altitude of 23 000 km, the dispenser will deploy the satellites into orbit by firing a pyrotechnic separation system. A distancing system ensures their release in opposing directions from the dispenser.