Second area antenna in WA technique
A second 35-meter antenna is being built at the European Space Agency’s (ESA) New Norcia station in Western Australia with a budget of EUR 45 million (A $ 70 million) for procurement, construction, construction and service upgrades .
ESA and the Australian Space Agency have jointly announced the construction of the new antenna, which weighs 620 tons.
The new Deep Space Antenna 2 will use a cryogenically cooled antenna feed at just 10 Kelvin, or -263 degrees Celsius, to provide a 40 percent improvement in the high S and X band frequencies used for command and control systems on spacecraft become.
Thanks to the supercooled antenna feed, the new dish is so sensitive that it can pick up signals from a distance of up to 1.44 billion kilometers, which are much weaker than those from cell phones.
ESA’s ground stations communicate with the BepiColombo, Gaia, Mars Express and ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter missions.
A contractor from the ESA member nation will play a key role in the project, but ESA said a significant portion of the budget in Australia is being spent with local businesses.
“The new antenna is not only a positive step forward in the cooperation between the agency and ESA, but also an important contribution to the local economy, which will contribute to the growth of the Australian civil space industry,” said ASA boss Enrico Palermo.
Future space missions to Mars and Mercury are planned, and ESA plans to build more antennas around the world to communicate with the vehicle.
CSIRO operates the New Norcia site for ESA and the antenna will be the fourth for the agency, with one in Argentina and one in Spain complementing the Australian courts.