ESA Will Become One of the “World’s Most Technologically Advanced Space Organizations” Next Week

Author: Usman Zafar Paracha
Published: December 14, 2012 at 9:50 am

European Space Agency (ESA) will become one of the “world’s most technologically advanced space organizations” after the completion of the set of three deep-space stations i.e. after the formal start of the operation of a new satellite tracking station at Malargüe, Argentina, on Tuesday. It will be the part of European Space Tracking (ESTRACK) network.

"The site offers all the features that are required for a long-term ground segment investment. We are very pleased that we could pave the way for promising space missions with the support of the Argentine authorities," Gaele Winters, ESA Director of Operations and Infrastructure, said in a statement.

The new station has the huge radio reflector dish. It is 40m in height and has a moving antenna of 610 tonnes.

A 20kW amplifier allows the transmission of signals hundreds of millions of kilometers into space while the low-noise amplifiers chilled to –258 degrees Celsius allow the reception of ultra-weak signals even from beyond Jupiter. It is millions of times potent than the signals Malargüe can receive.

“Malargüe station receives X- and Ka-band radio signals, significantly boosting its ability to receive large amounts of data from very far away,” ESA’s Roberto Maddè, station project manager, said in a statement. “It’s a marvellous piece of engineering, and years of design and development work at the Agency will come to fruition next week.”

It has the ability to track missions at Mars and Venus and to conduct radio science experiments to study the matter through which the spacecraft–ground communication signals move.

“We were helped a lot by our Argentinian partners in the making of the station and this collaboration shows how good is the relationship between ESA and CONAE (National Commission on Space Activities).” Roberto added.

Malargüe is also the home of southern site of the Pierre Auger Observatory to study ultra-high energy cosmic rays.

(Credit: ESA/S. Marti)


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Article Author: Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha has been blogging in science and technology for more than 6 years. He is CEO of Email: Twitter: @jeepakistan

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