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Emergency support for Jules Verne ATV successfully given by Artemis

emergency-support-for-jules-verne-atv-successfully-given-by-artemis

Copyright ESA

Artemis, ESA’s data relay satellite, successfully answered the call for emergency services from the ATV Control Centre due to anticipated outages at the NASA Space Centre in Houston, Texas.

Artemis is operated from ESA’s facility at Redu, Belgium which houses the spacecraft’s mission control centre and a Ka-band ground terminal with a 13.5-metre dish antenna. The most recent task performed by Artemis was communicating with Jules Verne, Europe’s first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), a task it was sharing with NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS).

“On 11 September, we received notification that emergency support needed to be given to the ATV by Artemis,” explained Benoit Demelenne, Head of Redu’s TT&C and Spacecraft Operations Unit. “Hurricane Ike was approaching the Johnson Space Center in Houston, which had to be evacuated. The ATV Control Centre requested emergency support from Artemis as the communications with ATV via TDRSS would be interrupted.”

In addition, explained Kris Capelle, ATV Mission Director, a Debris Avoidance Manoeuvre or DAM needed to be performed because some space debris would come too close to the ATV.

“For these operations, we needed some extended visibilities to follow up ATV behaviour. Because both issues came exactly together, [...]

Another world first for Artemis a laser link with an aircraft

another-world-first-for-artemis-a-laser-link-with-an-aircraft

Copyright ESA

Artemis, the European Space Agency Advanced Relay and Technology Mission Satellite, successfully relayed optical laser links from an aircraft in early December. These airborne laser links, established over a distance of 40 000 km during two flights at altitudes of 6000 and 10 000 metres, represent a world first.

The relay was set up through six two-way optical links between a Mystère 20 equipped with the airborne laser optical link LOLA (Liaison Optique Laser Aéroportée) and the SILEX laser link payload on board ARTEMIS in its geostationary orbital position at 36 000 kilometres altitude: a feat equivalent to targeting a golf ball over the distance between Paris and Brussels.

These tests were made by Astrium SAS (France), the prime constructor for both LOLA and SILEX, as part of the airborne laser optical link programme conducted by the DGA (French MoD procurement agency) from its Flight Test Centre at Istres, in the south of France. The ESA ground station of Redu, Belgium, also contributed to this success by managing the Artemis SILEX payload operations.

This clearly demonstrates the feasibility of an optical link between an airborne carrier and a geostationary satellite.

Previously, in November 2001, Artemis made a world [...]