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 Hamburg and Kiel researchers observe spontaneous occurrence of skyrmions in atomically thin cobalt films
23.08.2019 | Universität Hamburg

nachricht Building an atomic-scale vacuum trap for spin-polarized electrons
23.08.2019 | University of Hamburg Sonderforschungsbereich 668

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: Hamburg and Kiel researchers observe spontaneous occurrence of skyrmions in atomically thin cobalt films

Since their experimental discovery, magnetic skyrmions - tiny magnetic knots - have moved into the focus of research. Scientists from Hamburg and Kiel have now been able to show that individual magnetic skyrmions with a diameter of only a few nanometres can be stabilised in magnetic metal films even without an external magnetic field. They report on their discovery in the journal Nature Communications.

The existence of magnetic skyrmions as particle-like objects was predicted 30 years ago by theoretical physicists, but could only be proven experimentally in...

Im Focus: Physicists create world's smallest engine

Theoretical physicists at Trinity College Dublin are among an international collaboration that has built the world's smallest engine - which, as a single calcium ion, is approximately ten billion times smaller than a car engine.

Work performed by Professor John Goold's QuSys group in Trinity's School of Physics describes the science behind this tiny motor.

Im Focus: Quantum computers to become portable

Together with the University of Innsbruck, the ETH Zurich and Interactive Fully Electrical Vehicles SRL, Infineon Austria is researching specific questions on the commercial use of quantum computers. With new innovations in design and manufacturing, the partners from universities and industry want to develop affordable components for quantum computers.

Ion traps have proven to be a very successful technology for the control and manipulation of quantum particles. Today, they form the heart of the first...

Im Focus: Towards an 'orrery' for quantum gauge theory

Experimental progress towards engineering quantized gauge fields coupled to ultracold matter promises a versatile platform to tackle problems ranging from condensed-matter to high-energy physics

The interaction between fields and matter is a recurring theme throughout physics. Classical cases such as the trajectories of one celestial body moving in the...

Im Focus: A miniature stretchable pump for the next generation of soft robots

Soft robots have a distinct advantage over their rigid forebears: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber or other stretchable polymers, they are ideal for use in rehabilitation exoskeletons and robotic clothing. Soft bio-inspired robots could one day be deployed to explore remote or dangerous environments.

Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines' moving parts. Because they are connected to these bulky pumps by tubes,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The power of thought – the key to success: CYBATHLON BCI Series 2019

16.08.2019 | Event News

4th Hybrid Materials and Structures 2020 28 - 29 April 2020, Karlsruhe, Germany

14.08.2019 | Event News

What will the digital city of the future look like? City Science Summit on 1st and 2nd October 2019 in Hamburg

12.08.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making small intestine endoscopy faster with a pill-sized high-tech camera

23.08.2019 | Medical Engineering

More reliable operation offshore wind farms

23.08.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tracing the evolution of vision

23.08.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>