THALES: ALENIA SPACE AND PARTNERS SELECTED BY THE EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY TO DELIVER DEEP SPACE ANTENNAS FOR THE NEW NORCIA GROUND STATION IN AUSTRALIA
Cannes- The European Alliance for Deep Space Antennas (E-DSA-2) by Thales Alenia Space, Schwartz-Hautmont and mtex Antennentechnologie was supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) with the delivery of a fourth deep space antenna for the New Norcia ground station in near Perth, Australia. This new generation 35 meter antenna will allow ESA to increase its communication capacity in the X, K and Ka bands and use its antenna network to track spacecraft and collect scientific data from solar system missions such as Exomars TGO, which are currently underway in orbit around the red planet and BepiColombo on the way to Mercury as well as upcoming missions such as the astronomical observatory Euclid or the Juice mission to Jupiter, both of which are scheduled to start in 2022. New Norcia is part of ESA’s global ESTRACK ground station network.
Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), is the consortium partner responsible for the overall performance of the antenna, which is scheduled to go into operation in 2024. It will also be responsible for the systems engineering of the antenna, the overall system and equipment (RF, power, cooling, etc.). The construction of this space antenna is a first for Thales Alenia Space. The challenge is to pick up very weak signals and then amplify them significantly for transmission to and from objects in space to enable the reception of science data and the uploading of commands to space probes.
Thales Alenia Space will rely on the expertise of Thales in Australia to finalize the terms of the civil engineering contract and monitor its execution, as well as the experience of Telespazio, the joint venture of Leonardo (67%) and Thales (33%). Responsible for the maintenance of one of the three ESA antennas for space communication in Malargue, Argentina.
“We are very proud to have been selected by ESA for this project, which represents a new challenge for Thales Alenia Space,” said Marc-Henri Serre, Executive Vice-President, Telecommunications, Thales Alenia Space. ‘Building a consortium with a strong European presence to achieve excellence in the top tier of space antennas was key to winning this contract. With this first success for the E-DSA2 consortium, we can look forward to positioning this alliance in the institutional market and beyond in the long term. ‘
The New Norcia high-performance ground station consists of an antenna that weighs more than 600 tons and uses the latest technologies such as 20 kW high-power amplifiers (HPA) and low-noise amplifiers (LNA) that cryogenically down to -260 ° C be cooled. It aims for an optical efficiency of more than 90% and a pointing accuracy of 6 milli-degrees in all weather conditions.
Artistic view Thales Alenia Space
Via the E-DSA-2 consortium
The European Alliance for Deep Space Antennas (E-DSA-2) is formed by Thales Alenia Space, Schwartz-Hautmont and mtex Antennentechnologie.
Schwartz-Hautmont is a Spanish company that specializes in the manufacture and assembly of very large metal structures. Previously, it built and installed nine 34-meter deep space antennas of this type for NASA around the globe.
Mtex Antennentechnik is a medium-sized German company with expertise in mechanical design as well as the installation and testing of space antennas and telescopes.
For the cryogenically cooled LNAs, the E-DSA-2 consortium relies on the proven products and the renowned know-how of Callisto France, a medium-sized company in Villefranche de Lauragais, and for the HPAs on Rheinmetall Italy.
Further information on the ESTRACK antenna network can be found here. Access EstrackNOW to follow the activities of the ground station in real time.
ABOUT THALES ALENIA SPACE
With over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and the private sector alike rely on Thales Alenia Space to develop satellite-based systems that enable connectivity and positioning anytime, anywhere, monitor our planet, improve the management of its resources, and explore our solar system and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon that helps build a better and more sustainable life on earth. As a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also founds the Space Alliance of parent companies with Telespazio, which offers a full range of services. Thales Alenia Space achieved consolidated sales of around EUR 1.850 billion in 2020 and employs around 7,700 people at 18 locations in 11 countries across Europe and one plant in the USA. www.thalesaleniaspace.com
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