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 type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective
14.12.2017 | The Optical Society

nachricht New ultra-thin diamond membrane is a radiobiologist's best friend
14.12.2017 | American Institute of Physics

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: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Guardians of the Gate

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>