The researchers at Fraunhofer FHR are currently developing an innovative radar system on behalf of the Space Administration of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). On completion, the system will allow 24/7 observation of near-Earth space. When put into operation at the German Aerospace Center in mid-2019, GESTRA will supply space object-related data that was previously not available – a milestone in space observation in Germany. Learn more about the new system at ILA Berlin from 25-29 April 2018.
Due to its many years of experience in the area of space observation with radar, Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques FHR is a renowned expert in this field. With its radar system TIRA, the institute offers capabilities that are not available anywhere else in the world.
Complex, leading-edge technology in GESTRA: 40 subsystems on 8 enormous circuit boards (130 cm x 55 cm) are mounted directly on the aluminum antenna plate with cooling circuit.
At the beginning of April, Fraunhofer FHR provided the last images of the Chinese space station Tiangong-1. These images went around the world. The scientists are, however, working hard to extend these capabilities. With the new radar system GESTRA (German Experimental Space Surveillance and Tracking Radar), round-the-clock observation of active satellites and space debris will be possible for the first time in Germany. This will pave the way for the creation of an orbital data catalog which will be instrumental in preventing collisions.
Radar warns of space debris
The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space debris resulting, for example, from burned-out rocket stages and fragments of exploded space objects. These are gradually transforming the orbit into a junkyard. Approximately 20,000 objects with a minimum diameter of ten centimeters are presently orbiting the Earth at an average speed of 25,000 kilometers per hour. Added to this are 700,000 smaller objects with a diameter greater than one centimeter. Due to their enormous speed, these small debris particles can also damage or destroy active satellites.
Collisions between space debris and satellites can be prevented by means of evasive maneuvers. Maneuvers of this kind are, however, time consuming and tie up valuable resources and are therefore only required by operators when the satellite is in real danger. Comprehensive cataloging of the space objects and high-precision orbit determination of the potential collision objects are essential to assess this risk. Radar systems can carry out both of these tasks.
GESTRA: Wide-range space surveillance with leading-edge technology
Seamless and continuous space surveillance can only be achieved with phased array radars. The electronically controlled array antennas are capable of conducting large-scale space surveillance in near-Earth space around the clock. The new space surveillance radar GESTRA, which is currently being developed by Fraunhofer FHR for the Space Administration of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), is equipped with an electronically steerable antenna which is able to scan large areas of the sky within milliseconds due to the integration of the latest semiconductor technology.
The sensor consists of a transmit and receive module, each of which is integrated into an 18 m x 4 m x 4 m shelter. Due to its compact design, GESTRA is a mobile system which can be transported to any required location.
When put into operation for the German Space Situational Awareness Center of the German Armed Forces in 2019, wide-range surveillance of the debris population in near-Earth space (orbital heights of 300 km to 3,000 km) will be possible from German territory for the first time. GESTRA will then operate continuously to create a catalog of the debris in near-Earth space. This new data basis will have a great influence on the further development and operation of the space infrastructure of Germany and Europe.
Learn more about the new GESTRA system
On Monday 23.04.2018 at 10 a.m., Fraunhofer FHR will present the space surveillance radar GESTRA and its innovative and complex techniques in a film which can be viewed at www.fhr.fraunhofer.de/gestra.
Visit us at the ILA Berlin from 25-29 April 2018. Information on GESTRA will be available at three exhibition stands: Hall 4, Stand 202 (Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft), Hall 3, Stand 302 (German Space Situational Awareness Center of the German Armed Forces) and Hall 2, Stand 203 (Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy).
https://www.fhr.fraunhofer.de/en/press-media/press-releases/gestra-new-space-sur... Printable images and the press release
Jens Fiege | Fraunhofer-Institut für Hochfrequenzphysik und Radartechnik FHR
Levitating objects with light
19.03.2019 | California Institute of Technology
19.03.2019 | Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...
New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum
For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...
Physicists in the EPic Lab at University of Sussex make crucial development in global race to develop a portable atomic clock
Scientists in the Emergent Photonics Lab (EPic Lab) at the University of Sussex have made a breakthrough to a crucial element of an atomic clock - devices...
11.03.2019 | Event News
01.03.2019 | Event News
28.02.2019 | Event News
20.03.2019 | Life Sciences
20.03.2019 | Life Sciences
20.03.2019 | Trade Fair News