Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ESA to build a deep space ground station in Cebreros (Spain)

18.07.2003


Communicating with ESA’s spacecraft such as Mars Express, or SMART-1, Rosetta and Venus Express - yet to be launched - will be even easier and more effective when the new Cebreros ground station, near Avila (Spain), becomes operational in September 2005.



On 22 July, in Madrid, the Director General of ESA, Jean-Jacques Dordain, the Spanish Secretary of State for Defence, Mr Fernando Díez Moreno, and the Spanish Secretary of State for Science and Technology, Mr Pedro Morenés Eulate, will sign an agreement between ESA and the Kingdom of Spain that will pave the way for the installation of a new high-performance deep-space tracking station in Cebreros.

Communicating with spacecraft over very long distances, probes that have to be controlled remotely, together with their on board instruments, at distances up to 900 million kilometres from Earth (more than six times the distance from Earth to the sun) require huge and powerful antennas.


Through its control Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt (Germany), responsible for all spacecraft operations, ESA already has long experience of dealing with a large network of ground stations and antennas, including a 35 m deep-space antenna in New Norcia, north of Perth in Australia.

Back in the 1970s, ESA signed an agreement with Spain to use a satellite tracking station located at Villafranca del Castillo (Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid). ESA/Villafranca has now become one of the most highly specialised spacecraft tracking stations in the world.

To support the new project and allow ESA to take a further step towards a real European Deep Space Network, the Government of Spain will grant the European Space Agency a 75-year lease on two plots of land that belong to the Ministry of Defence. One plot will accommodate the space tracking facilities and the 35m diameter deep-space antenna. The other will serve for the calibration tower, used to simulate the signals transmitted by spacecraft for testing. Construction work is scheduled to start in September this year.

“The new capabilities of the future antenna at Cebreros will significantly support the role of ESA in Spain. Moreover, in terms of radio-electric conditions, the Cebreros environment is perfect, and will give this new site an important growth potential,” according to ESA’s Director of Technical and Operational Support, Gaele Winters.

The network of antennas in Spain (Cebreros (Avila), Villafranca del Castillo (Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid) and Robledo (Robledo de Chavela, Madrid, owned by NASA/JPL), will soon be one of the most important groups of satellite tracking stations worldwide, due to the optimum environment free of radio-electric disturbances, and will make a valuable additional contribution to the scientific and technological framework of European space activities.

Franco Bonacina | alfa

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'
23.02.2017 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

nachricht Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars
22.02.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>