Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Space Industry and Business News .




SPACEMART
Giant tracking station readies for operation
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Nov 01, 2012


Beautiful sunset view of ESA's new 35m deep space station, Malargue, AR, as seen by Salvador Marti, from our ESTRACK team. On Friday, 24 August, 2012, Mars Express became the first mission to downlink telemetry via Malargue station. It will enter formal service in early 2013. Credits: ESA/S. Marti. For a larger version of this image please go here.

One of the world's most sophisticated satellite tracking stations is nearing inauguration in Malargue, Argentina, 1000 km west of Buenos Aires. The new station will ensure reliable communications with missions voyaging hundreds of millions of kilometres into our Solar System. ESA's new tracking station, near the town of Malargue in Mendoza province, joins two existing stations in Spain and Australia to provide global coverage for the Agency's deep-space missions.

Deep Space Antenna 3 - or DSA 3 - will send commands, receive data and perform radiometric measurements with missions such as Mars Express, Venus Express, Rosetta, Herschel, Planck, Gaia, BepiColombo, ExoMars, Solar Orbiter and Juice.

With major construction complete, teams are preparing DSA 3 for hand-over to operations, formal inauguration late this year and entry in routine service early in 2013.

First test signals received from Mars Express
The first test signals were received in June 2012 from Mars Express, over a distance of about 193 million km, proving that the station's technology is ready for duty.

"Our initial in-service testing with the Malargue station shows excellent results," says Roberto Madde, ESA's project manager for DSA 3 construction.

"We have been able to quickly and accurately acquire signals from ESA and NASA spacecraft, and our station is performing better than specified."

Madde says part of the reason for the excellent performance is the improved ultra-low-temperature amplifiers installed at the station, and also the fact that it's located at 1500m altitude in the clear Argentinian desert air.

Completing a trio of deep space stations
DSA 3 joins the Agency's existing DSA 1 and DSA 2 stations in New Norcia, Western Australia, and Cebreros, Spain, respectively, to provide the third link in a global network that is controlled remotely by engineers at ESOC, ESA's European Space Operations Centre, Germany.

Like the New Norcia and Cebreros stations, Malargue is equipped with a giant 35 m-diameter dish antenna and super-sophisticated cryogenically cooled low-noise amplifiers to detect faint signals and operate at various power levels - up to 20 kW - to transmit commands.

The tracking capability of all three ESA deep space stations also provides support to partner agencies such as NASA and Japan's JAXA, who likewise make their tracking networks available to ESA missions, helping to boost science data return for all.

The three are also equipped for radio science, which studies how matter, such as planetary atmospheres, affects the radio waves as they pass through. This can provide important information on the composition for the atmospheres around Mars, Venus or the Sun, for example.

Using galaxies to pin point satellite locations
The ESA stations can use the highly accurate 'delta - Differential One-Way Ranging' (delta-DOR) technique for very accurate locating and navigation of spacecraft in our Solar System.

This sophisticated method uses quasi-stellar radio sources - very energetic and distant active galaxy centres - as calibration points to fix the location of a spacecraft to within a few metres.

Boosting tracking capacity to support future missions
"The commissioning of this station into ESA's deep-space network allows us to serve the most demanding scientific missions of ESA and provide the required communication capacity for transferring large volumes of scientific data from the sophisticated instruments onboard ESA spacecraft," says Manfred Lugert, ESA's Head of Ground Facilities Operations.

"The design, development and construction of this station marks a huge success for ESA and our industrial partners," says Juan Miro, ESA's Head of Ground Systems Engineering.

"It helps to confirm ESA as Europe's top space research and development organisation."

.


Related Links
Operations and Space Situational Awareness
The latest information about the Commercial Satellite Industry






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SPACEMART
Student teams fly their theses in weightlessness
Paris (ESA) Oct 31, 2012
For three days last week, student teams had the opportunity to run their experiments in near-weightlessness aboard Novespace's Airbus A300 Zero-G aircraft as it followed a series of parabolas. As part of the Fly Your Thesis! project, three student groups flew along with nine professional teams in the 57th ESA parabolic flight campaign, investigating effects that are virtually impossible to ... read more


SPACEMART
Space Station's Orbit Raised to Avoid Space Junk

Zynga builds new version of social game 'CityVille'

SSBV Aerospace and Technology Group and SpaceMetric announce signing of MOU

UC Research Brings Us Step Closer to Rollable, Foldable e-Devices

SPACEMART
Space Systems Loral Selected by USAF to Develop Next Gen Protected Military Satellite Communications

US Army's Soldier Radio Waveform demonstrated on Raytheon's next gen air and ground radios

Completion of FCSA Demonstrates Shift In Government Thinking for SATCOM Procurement

Raytheon awarded contract from US Army to produce and upgrade airborne radios

SPACEMART
Ariane 5s are readied in parallel for Arianespace's next heavy-lift flights

Japan Plans to Launch New Carrier Rocket in 2013

EUTELSAT 21B and Star One C3 Set For Ariane 5 November Launch

Launcher assembly begins for Arianespace's seventh Ariane 5 mission in 2012

SPACEMART
Two SOPS accepts command and control of newest GPS satellite

Telit Introduces LTE Module Expanding Automotive Product Line with 4G for North American and European Markets

China launches another satellite for independent navigation system

Trimble Adds Boom Height Control to its Field-IQ Crop Input Control System

SPACEMART
Boeing Opens First System Integration Lab for KC-46 Tanker Program

India raises more concern over Agusta deal

New China stealth fighter in test flight: state media

US travel chaos continues with 20,000 flights cancelled

SPACEMART
Taming Mavericks: Stanford Researchers Use Synthetic Magnetism to Control Light

Near-atomically flat silicon could help pave the way to new chemical sensors

Japan's Renesas books $1.18 bn quarterly loss

New finding could pave way to faster, smaller electronics

SPACEMART
Sizing up biomass from space

NASA Radar Penetrates Thick, Thin of Gulf Oil Spill

Satellite images tell tales of changing biodiversity

Google adds terrain to Maps as default

SPACEMART
EU Council adopts marine fuel sulfur cuts

More than 50 detained in China pollution protests

China protesters wary after chemical plant victory

EU takes Italy back to court over illegal landfills




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement