Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Smooth deployment for second MARSIS antenna boom

17.06.2005


Artist’s impression of Boom 2 deployed


The second 20-metre antenna boom of the MARSIS instrument on board Mars Express was successfully – and smoothly – deployed, confirmed today by the ground team at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre.

The command to deploy the second MARSIS boom was given to the spacecraft at 13:30 CEST on 14 June 2005. Shortly before the deployment started, Mars Express was set into a slow rotation to last 30 minutes during and after the boom extension. This rotation allowed all the boom’s hinges to be properly heated by the Sun.

Just after, an autonomous manoeuvre oriented the spacecraft towards the Sun, to have the spacecraft recharge its batteries and for a further heating of the hinges.



A first positive sign reached ground in the afternoon of 14 June, at 16:20 CEST, when Mars Express was able to properly re-orient itself and point towards Earth to transmit data.

The data received in the following hours confirmed that the initial spacecraft behaviour was consistent with two fully and correctly deployed booms and that the deployment had not induced disturbance frequencies that may have been dangerous for the spacecraft.

A series of tests during the following 48 hours was necessary to verify that the long boom was successfully locked and that the deployment did not affect the integrity of the spacecraft systems.

The complete success of the operation was announced today at 14:00 CEST, when the ground team had completed all tests on the spacecraft systems. This confirmed that the spacecraft is in optimal shape and under control, with the second MARSIS boom straight and locked into the correct position.

With the two MARSIS 20-metre radar booms fully deployed, Mars Express is already in principle capable of ‘looking’ beneath the Martian surface, and also studying its ionosphere (the upper atmosphere). The third 7-metre ‘monopole’ boom, to be deployed perpendicularly to the first two booms, will be used to correct some surface roughness effects on the radio waves emitted by MARSIS and reflected by the surface.

The third boom deployment, not considered critical because of its orientation and shorter length, will take place on 17 June 2005. It will be followed by further tests on the spacecraft and the MARSIS instrument for a few more days.

The radar, with its long booms, will allow Mars Express to continue its search for water on Mars. By night, it will be used to make soundings for water below the surface. By day, it will probe the structure of the ionosphere.

Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, said: "This is a great success following some tense moments and careful judgements. The result shows the power of the teamwork between ESA, European industry and ESA’s partners in the scientific community in Europe and elsewhere."


For more information:

Fred Jansen
ESA Mars Express Mission Manager
fjansen @ rssd.esa.int

Fred Jansen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/SEMT1T1DU8E_0.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond
23.11.2017 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

nachricht Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy
22.11.2017 | Lomonosov Moscow State University

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: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>