Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Industry and Business News .




TECH SPACE
Steering ESA satellites clear of space debris
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Oct 31, 2014


The CryoSat mission provides data to determine the precise rate of change in the thickness of the polar ice sheets and floating sea ice. It is capable of detecting changes as little as 1 cm per year. The information from CryoSat is leading to a better understanding of how the volume of ice on Earth is changing and, in turn, a better appreciation of how ice and climate are linked. Image courtesy ESA - P. Carril.

Improved collision warnings for its Earth observation missions means ESA controllers can now take more efficient evasive action when satellites are threatened by space junk. ESA has signed an agreement with the US Strategic Command to improve data exchange between the organisations for supporting missions.

The tie-up will see ESA receiving higher quality and more timely space information tailored to its needs in exchange for sharing more accurate positional information of its satellites.

Engineers at ESA's Space Operations Centre, ESOC, in Darmstadt, Germany, currently control five satellites in low orbits and expect six more to join them in the next few years.

Improving operations
"The agreement improves ESA's operations in low orbital altitudes, an environment that is contaminated with numerous pieces of debris from recent fragmentation, at a time when we are about to significantly increase the number of active missions in this orbit," said ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain.

"The more timely and customisable data exchange enabled by this agreement will improve collision avoidance as well as launch and early operations for our missions."

ESA have already been receiving US data and predictions on possible 'conjunctions' for some time, but could not request customised data.

Time-critical scenarios
Under the new arrangement, ESA can request specific surveillance information and receive it in a timely manner.

"We will now get clearly defined data upon requests we submit to the US Joint Space Operations Centre at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. We also look forward to faster responses," says Holger Krag, Head of ESA's Space Debris Office.

"In time-critical scenarios like a degraded orbit injection after launch or sudden loss of contact with one of our missions, there will be fewer formalities and shorter time until we get the data we'd like."

With earlier warning of potential close calls, controllers will be able to plan avoidance manoeuvres at the working level better. This will reduce the workload and allow collision avoidance manoeuvres to be merged with other, routine manoeuvres, cutting fuel usage.

Enhancing sustainability
"As more countries, companies and organisations field space capabilities and benefit from the use of space systems, it is in our collective interest to act responsibly, to promote transparency and to enhance the long-term sustainability, stability, safety and security of the space joint operating area," said Admiral Cecil D. Haney, head of US Strategic Command.

In exchange for the improved service from the US side, ESA will provide information on planned orbit manoeuvres, which will allow fine-tuning of the US surveillance approach. This, in turn, will generate more accurate and updated information for ESA.

The more timely and customisable data exchange will improve collision avoidance as well as launch and early orbit operations by ESA.

ESA missions today perform four to six debris avoidance manoeuvres each year, and this number has been increasing.

The latest conducted by ESOC was performed by CryoSat-2 on 7 October, to avoid a fragment of Cosmos-2251, which collided with Iridium-33 in 2009.

"The predicted flyby distance was just 121 m, which is within the uncertainties of our orbit knowledge - so we had to get further away," says Holger.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
ESA Space Debris
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






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





TECH SPACE
NASA Team Proposes to Use Laser to Track Orbital Debris
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Oct 28, 2014
As participation in space exploration grows worldwide, so does the impact of orbital debris - man-made "space junk" that poses significant hazards to live spacecraft and astronauts should they cross paths and collide. Barry Coyle and Paul Stysley, laser researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, want to develop a method to define and track orbital debris usin ... read more


TECH SPACE
Reverse engineering materials for more efficient heating and cooling

Steering ESA satellites clear of space debris

NASA Team Proposes to Use Laser to Track Orbital Debris

Cutting power could dramatically boost laser output

TECH SPACE
Central Asian country orders Harris tactical radios

Canadian military receiving satellite-on-the-move communications system

Canadian military communications getting upgrade

Russia to Orbit 9 MilCom Satellites by 2020

TECH SPACE
NASA Completes Initial Assessment after Orbital Launch Mishap

FY 15 launch schedule kicks off with GPS IIF-8 liftoff from 'The Cape'

Arianespace signs contract with ELV for ten Vega launchers

Antares Rocket Crash in Virginia Investigation to Take up to Year

TECH SPACE
A GPS from the chemistry set

No Galileo nav-sat launch for December - Arianespace

Russian Bank Offers 5 Billion Rubles for GLONASS

Galileo duo handed over in excellent shape

TECH SPACE
Britain modernizing military air traffic management system

Thales wins 1.9bn-euro bid for British military air traffic

Airbus DS and Indian firm jointly pursue transport deal

Israel backing out of US V-22 aircraft sale: report

TECH SPACE
DARPA Circuit Achieves Speeds of 1 Trillion Cycles per Second

Molecular electronics process enables DNA-based computer circuitry

Quantum holograms as atomic scale memory keepsake

Precise and programmable biological circuits

TECH SPACE
Copernicus operations secured until 2021

IceBridge Flies Around the Pole

ECOSTRESS Will Monitor Plant Health

China to help map Guyana's mineral resources: minister

TECH SPACE
Delhi chokes on toxic smog after festival of lights

Major breakthrough could help detoxify pollutants

US hid troop exposure to chemical agents in Iraq: report

Days of heavy air pollution blight northern China




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news 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 All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.