Construction of Galileo Sensor Station Bonaire transferred to Rijksvastgoedbedrijf

Kralendijk – Recently Island Governor Edison Rijna and outgoing Minister I&W, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, gave the go-ahead for the process of realizing a Galileo Sensor Station on Bonaire. The station will be located on the WEB property along the Queen’s Highway. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management has commissioned the Rijksvastgoedbedrijf (RVB) to design and execute the construction of the project. The Sensor station consists of 3 satellite dishes with a diameter of 2.5 meters and an unmanned building with rooms for computers and receivers, storage, office space and a guardhouse for security personnel.

Special expertise is required for the construction of the Galileo Sensor Station because the construction must be carried out under strict European Union conditions. The starting point is that RVB will work with local parties. If this is not possible, the expertise will be obtained elsewhere. The strict requirements apply not only to the construction, but also to the maintenance and operational services of the station. The construction of the ground station will provide local employment for construction companies, services (security and technical malfunctions) and products. From EUSPA (European Union Agency for the Space Programme), knowledge will be transferred to the people who will work at the Galileo Sensor Station.

In the framework of innovation and nature, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management will set up a Nature Committee in which RVB, Public Entity Bonaire, WEB and Stinapa will participate, with the joint aim of finding a balance between the placement of the sensor station and the existing nature. By combining expertise and joining forces, a good integration of the building into the environment can be ensured.

The expectation is that the construction of the Galileo Sensor Station will start

Mid-2022. An innovative step for Bonaire towards space and satellite data.

What is the Galileo satellite navigation system?

Galileo will be the first satellite navigation system to be realised in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union, i.e. not a military system like the American GPS, the Russian GLONASS or the Chinese Beidou. Galileo can also be made available, in addition to the free and open service for time reference and positioning, for other commercial services. The Galileo project is the largest European space project ever and is more accurate than GPS.

By now, 26 of the 30 satellites have been put into orbit. The European Commission has chosen Bonaire as the location for the realisation of one of these Galileo Sensor Stations. At this moment France has the most ground stations for the EU. Bonaire has a strategic location in the Caribbean.

Aerospace and Bonaire
If the Ministry of I&W, in addition to the Galileo Sensor Station, also manages to secure the Telemetry Tracking and Command (TT&C) facility for Bonaire, a next step will follow within the aerospace and satellite data development on Bonaire. This facility provides the connection between the satellites and the facilities on the ground. It monitors the status, controls and determines the location of the satellites. More clarity on this is expected by mid-September.

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