28. October 2021
Darmstadt / Cannes / Wiesbaden, June 24, 2021 – The European Alliance for Deep Space Antennas (E-DSA²), formed by mtex antenna technology, Thales Alenia Space and Schwartz-Hautmont, has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to supply a fourth deep space antenna for the New Norcia ground station near Perth, Australia. This latest-generation 35-meter antenna will enable ESA to increase its communications capabilities in the X, K and Ka bands and complete its antenna network for tracking spacecraft and collecting scientific data from missions in the solar system, such as Exomars TGO, currently in orbit around the Red Planet, and BepiColombo, en route for Mercury, as well as upcoming missions including the Euclid astronomical observatory or the Juice mission to Jupiter, both set to launch in 2022. New Norcia is part of ESA’s ESTRACK global network of ground stations.
mtex is responsible designing the antenna, suppling the antenna control system, the subreflector and the precise main reflector surface panels. The antenna is scheduled to be operational in 2024. The challenge of this antenna is to pick up very weak signals and then amplify them significantly for transmission to and from deep space objects to enable the reception of scientific data and uploading of commands to space probes.
“In mtex we do have excellent skills to provide the required competences, strength and a lot of experience with large international projects for designing this new deep space antenna structure. The E-DSA² consortium with Thales Alenia Space, Schwartz Hautmont and mtex is a perfect synergy and a complementary setup to resolve the leading-edge technical challenge”, explains mtex Project Manager Dr. Rainer Krause.
“Building a consortium with a strong European presence to achieve excellence in the cutting-edge field of deep 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 for the long term in the institutional market and beyond,” also adds Marc-Henri Serre, Thales Alenia Space Executive Vice-President, Telecommunications.
The high-power New Norcia ground station consists of an antenna weighing more than 600 tons and employing state-of-the-art technologies, including 20-kW high-power amplifiers (HPA) and low-noise amplifiers (LNA) cryogenically cooled to -260°C. Optical efficiency of more than 90% and pointing precision of 6 milli grades in all weather conditions are targeted.
Fr. Ligita Zilyte
mtex antenna technology gmbh
Phone: +49 6122 7044 00
About the E-DSA² Consortium
The European Alliance for Deep Space Antennas (E-DSA²) is formed by Thales Alenia Space, Schwartz-Hautmont and mtex antenna technology.
Thales Alenia Space provides solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science, and orbital infrastructures, and is the consortium partner responsible for the overall performance of the antenna. It will also be responsible for the antenna’s systems engineering, overall system and equipment (RF, power, cooling, etc.).
Schwartz-Hautmont is a Spanish company specializing in the manufacture and assembly of very large metal structures. It has already built nine such 34-meter deep-space antennas for NASA and installed them around the globe.
About mtex antenna technology gmbh
mtex antenna technology gmbh, based in Wiesbaden, Germany, develops and manufactures telescopes for astronomy and geodesy, as well as special antennas for demanding applications. It also supplies antenna systems and ground stations for satellites or spacecraft communications for industry, research, ministries and government agencies. In addition to the product ranges, this also includes comprehensive services such as engineering services, installation, maintenance, upgrades and after-sales services.
Further information is available at https://www.mtex-at.com/
mtex antenna technology gmbh is a portfolio company of SCHAUENBURG Ventures GmbH, itself part of the SCHAUENBURG International Group.
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