Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Proba-3: ESA’s first step towards formation flying

09.08.2006
Proba-3 is the third in ESA’s series of missions for validating developments in space systems while carrying an ‘added value’ user payload which can directly benefit from the innovations under test.

Proba-3 will demonstrate the technologies required for formation flying of multiple spacecraft. An instrument to observe the solar corona is being used for the ongoing design phase.

During the ESA Council at Ministerial Level held in December 2005, new activities were proposed to cover the design, development and in-flight operation of a set of small satellites for the full-scale testing and validation of formation flying missions.

Formation flying technologies will make new types of missions possible and provide a leap in the performance of future science, Earth observation and application missions.

Mastering formation flying missions requires the development of specific technologies well beyond the present state-of-the-art in fields such as metrology and spacecraft guidance, navigation, and control.

Proba-3, currently in its preparatory study phase, will comprise two independent, three-axis stabilised spacecraft flying close to one another with the ability to accurately control the attitude and separation of the two craft.

Utilising either cold-gas or electrical thrusters for agile manoeuvring, and both radio-frequency and optical (laser-based) metrology techniques for accurate position measurement and control, the combined system is expected to achieve a relative positioning accuracy of the order of 100 microns over a separation range of 25 to 250 metres.

Other Proba spacecraft

Proba spacecraft are part of ESA’s technology demonstration initiatives, funded through the General Support Technology Programme (GSTP). They are series of small, low-cost satellites that are being used to validate new spacecraft technologies, research techniques and development approaches, while also carrying scientific payloads.

The first satellite in the series, Proba-1, was launched in October 2001. Its primary payload is an imaging spectrometer for Earth observation. This instrument exploits the spacecraft’s autonomy and high-performance attitude control and pointing capabilities. Originally designed for a two-year mission, Proba-1 is now in its fifth year of operations.

Proba-2 is currently under development and due for launch in September 2007. Seventeen new technological developments will be flown on Proba-2. Eight items form part of the spacecraft infrastructure, while the other nine are being carried as passenger technologies to gain flight heritage and experience before committing them to the infrastructure of other missions. Proba-2 will carry four experiments: two for solar observations and two for space weather measurements.

Frederic Teston | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/techresources/ESTEC-Article-fullArticle_par-28_1153128123382.html

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 >>>