Articles for "satellite"

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Space | 06. July 2012

Into orbit as planned

Late in the evening, just as the launch window opened at 23:36 CEST, the Ariane 5ECA VA207 launched successfully with the EchoStar XVII and MSG-3 satellites on board. About 34 minutes later, the two payloads were injected into geostationary transfer orbits. This was the 49th successive successful launch of an Ariane 5, and the third one this year. read more

Other | 04. July 2012

Ariane 5 ready for launch in Kourou carrying one weather and one telecommunications satellite

It's that time again! Final preparations for the third Ariane 5 launch this year (VA207) are currently underway at Europe's spaceport in French Guiana. Following a successful launch readiness review on Tuesday and yesterday's roll out to the launch pad, no other formalities stand in the way of tonight's launch. The launch window opens at 23:36 CEST and closes 29 minutes later, that is, tomorrow at 00:05 CEST. The launch window opens at 23:36 CEST and closes 29 minutes later, that is, tomorrow at 00:05 CEST. Arianespace will be live streaming the launch here. read more

Space | 26. October 2011 | posted by Jan Wörner

Lessons from the end of the ROSAT mission

The German ROSAT research satellite was launched on 1 June 1990 on a Delta II launcher and successfully scanned space for X-ray sources for nine years. Its record of achievements extends from discovering countless X-ray sources to analysing galactic clusters, X-ray binary stars and black holes to discovering the reflection of the Sun's X-ray radiation by the Moon. The findings by the scientists involved in the mission have appeared in over 7000 publications. After orbiting Earth for 21 years, ROSAT re-entered the atmosphere over the Bay of Bengal. It is not known whether any parts reached the Earth's surface. read more

Space | 29. April 2011

AFF Completion of experiments

SSC (Swedish Space Corporation) performed a remarkable autonomous close approached to bring MANGO and TANGO to a distance of less than 15 m. The maneuvers needed for that approach were computed by their autonomous formation flying (AFF) software on-board of MANGO. During an experiment of 8 days duration SSC performed numerous formation keeping and formation configuration maneuvers to verify the handling of different formation scenarios. read more

Space | 05. April 2011

PRISMA – Mango and Tango in mission operations mode

On 14 March 2011, the German Space Operations Center (GSOC) took over operations of PRISMA. Despite my 20 years of service, I must say that even though every mission launch is special, the transfer of operations for an ongoing mission has a very new ‘feel’ about it. PRISMA has been different in many ways. The aim of this mission is to demonstrate various formation flying and rendezvous scenarios at separations of as little as a few metres with satellites Tango and Mango. read more

Space | 01. March 2011

Where and how does ice move in the ocean?

TanDEM-X has now begun routine operations, and is working with TerraSAR-X in bistatic mode and recording data for its global digital terrain model. In this post, I look back at an earlier phase of the mission, when this satellite pair orbited the Earth separated by a mere three seconds or 20 kilometres, and each sensor acquired images independently. read more

Transport | 28. January 2011

Traffic monitoring with the TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X satellite constellation

Traffic monitoring from space, day and night, from more than 500 kilometres up above; is that possible? Indeed it is! In fact, it has been demonstrated several times in the past – once with the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), and again with TerraSAR-X. The traffic processors used with SRTM and TerraSAR-X were and are still subject to considerable limitations. read more

Space | 19. October 2010

Baptism of fire for the satellite formation

Last Thursday, the two German radar satellites of the TanDEM-X formation finally reached their operational orbit configuration, with only a few hundred metres separating them. In this configuration, they act as a unique radar interferometer in space. The next day, on Friday evening, the instruments were switched on, after many careful checks, to acquire the world's first Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data using a free-flying bistatic Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite formation. That same night, the jointly acquired data were received and processed by our operational processing chain. read more

Space | 15. October 2010 | posted by Ralph Kahle

The satellites have 'eye contact'

This is the moment we have been anticipating for a long time; TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X finally have 'eye contact'. The final manoeuvre to adjust the close formation was performed on 13 October. Now, the two satellites are orbiting at a distance of less than 400 metres from one another. read more

Space | 27. August 2010

TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X 'chatting' for the first time


Even though the 'chit chat' between the satellites has so far consisted of no more than the exchange of synchronisation signals – "Hello, here I am!" – that is been all that was needed for the first simultaneous imagery to be captured by TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X. Since 22 July 2010, TerraSAR-X has been flying ahead of TanDEM-X at a distance of just 20 kilometres, in a formation defined for test purposes and which also affords scope for a special series of radar experiments. They have now completed the first ever experiment with bistatic radar involving two satellites flying together in formation. read more