15-metre S-band antennas

These two 15-metre antennas of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are used for communicating with satellites in geostationary and low Earth orbit. Both antennas function in the same way but differ slightly in terms of their technical equipment. They are operated in a Cassegrain system and can be aligned using an electrical elevation/azimuth system equipped with automatic target tracking. As the antennas are mainly used for satellites in low Earth orbit, the propulsion system is designed for high rotational velocities of up to 15 degrees per second.

Data from spacecraft can be received and processed in the S-band frequency range (2200–2300 megahertz). One of the two antennas is also equipped for receiving X-band frequencies (8400–8500 megahertz), and commands are sent to the spacecraft in S-band frequencies (2025–2110 megahertz). In addition, the antennas can be used to determine the orbit of a spacecraft.


Volker Speelmann

Head of Research Infrastructures
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Executive Board department for Innovation, Transfer and Research Infrastructure
Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne

Rolf Kozlowski

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Space Operations and Astronaut Training
Communications and Ground Stations
Münchener Straße 20, 82234 Oberpfaffenhofen-Wessling