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 New NASA study improves search for habitable worlds
20.10.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods
19.10.2017 | California Institute of Technology

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>