GMV - an ESA success story

Development of one idea can lead to great things, especially when ESA is on your side. Spanish company GMV is proof of such success. Starting work as a contractor for ESA in mid 1980s, GMV acquired the necessary know-how in the development of various control systems for numerous scientific and Earth observation missions. In the short span of 25 years, GMV has become a world leader in satellite ground control systems.

In 2010, 45 per cent of all commercial telecom satellites launched worldwide use GMV ground systems technology for monitoring and control and/or flight dynamics operations. These launches included satellites operated by Arabsat, Eutelsat, Globalstar, Nilesat, SES and Hispasat.

Currently GMV’s control systems have been deployed in 22 countries and are used by 21 operators to perform operations of 145 telecommunications satellites. GMV has also developed relationships with all large commercial satellite manufacturers worldwide including; Astrium, Boeing Satellite Systems, Lockheed Martin, OHB, Orbital Sciences, Space Systems/Loral, Thales Alenia Space and Mitsubishi Electronics.

Recently GMV has been selected to modernise the ground system for the NASA Tracking Data and Relay Satellite (TDRS) constellation; to provide a flight dynamics system for the O3B constellation and to deploy the ground segment for the Turksat-4A and -4B satellites.

GMV’s focusSuite is an advanced off-the shelf flight dynamics solution for satellite operations which is based on NAPEOS, ESA’s navigation package for earth observation satellites. GMV’s advanced solution for real time satellite monitoring and control is called hifly and is also based on another ESA development known as SCOS-2000, ESA’s generic mission control system software.

The on-going ARTES 3-4 Total Multimission Operations (TMO) project is key in maintaining GMV’s number one position including; new satellite platforms support, new technology and many advanced features. Visit the link in the column to the right for more information.

GMV started its cooperation with ESA in several frame contracts to develop mission control systems, flight dynamics systems and data processing systems. The company gradually began participating with increasing responsibility in the development of control systems for numerous scientific and Earth observation missions, such as ERS-1, EURECA, HIPPARCOS and METEOSAT.

“GMV has traditionally made an effort to exploit technology acquired through our involvement in different ESA projects. This has proven very beneficial and has served as a growth engine for our company, while providing leadership positioning for GMV in the global market place,"  says Miguel Angel Molina Cobos, GMV Business Development Manager. "GMV believes that this has come as a result of our vision, the acquired knowledge through our involvement in ESA projects, GMV’s efficient use of ESA financing for R&D programs and our drive to put all this to work for GMV’s growth. We are convinced that there is still a world of opportunities to explore.”

By the second half of the 1990s, GMV had consolidated its position as a reference supplier in the European institutional market with contributions ever more relevant in the development of control systems for space missions such as; ISO, ERS-2, Cluster, Integral, Rosetta or MARS Express, with Cryosat I and II, GOCE, Swarm, Sentinels 1, 2 and 3 and BepiColombo. In addition, GMV engineers have participated in the development and operations of flight dynamics systems virtually for all ESA missions in the last 25 years.

GMV’s activity has also significantly increased in the commercial market where it played a key role in the development of mission and orbital control centres for most of the Eutelsat fleet, amongst others. GMV's products, through appropriate customisation to fit market needs and requirements, provide a powerful flight proven solution that reduces the development cycle and the associated risks while allowing the incorporation of new satellite platforms into a homogeneous ground control system.

For more information, see the links located in the column to the right.


Event Date

05 September 2011
Published 22 June 2012
Last updated at 22 June 2012 - 10:35