ESOC control room
Enabling & Support

European space operations experts at the Berlin Air and Space Show

31/05/2016 1242 views 12 likes
ESA / Enabling & Support / Operations

ESA will be exhibiting in the ‘Space for Earth’ pavilion (Hall 4) at ILA – one of the world’s largest aerospace trade shows – this week.

Mission control experts from ESA, DLR (the German Aerospace Center) and European industry will be on hand to help visitors ‘fly their own satellite’ using sophisticated simulator tools and to provide information on the challenges of operating spacecraft near Earth or deep in our Solar System.

In addition to comprehensive displays, models and information covering space exploration, human spaceflight, Earth observation and more, experts from ESOC, ESA’s European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany, will be on hand to present the latest developments in satellite control techniques and practices.

For almost 50 years, the European Space Operations Centre has been home to highly specialised teams that control and navigate spacecraft, manage ESA’s worldwide ground tracking station network, and build the complex ground systems that enable satellites to conduct their missions.

Sentinel-2A Deputy Spacecraft Operations Manager Michelle Collins
Sentinel-2A Deputy Spacecraft Operations Manager Michelle Collins

Mission control teams at ESOC operate spacecraft that enable us to better understand climate change, explore our Sun and Solar System and peer deep into the mysteries of time and space. Since January, the Centre has been developing under the leadership of ESA’s new director for Operations, Rolf Densing.

The Centre’s core abilities focus on real-time spacecraft control, flight dynamics, conducting critical post-launch operations, deep-space navigation, ground system engineering and ground station operations and development (Estrack).

ESOC is internationally recognised as a source for space debris research and warning services, the provision of ultra-precise navigation information and the development of innovative technologies related to space communication, robotics, control systems and software.

The centre is also home to ESA’s Space Situational Awareness Programme (SSA) and its developing space-hazard warning services.

In addition to offering the first-ever opportunity to fly their own satellite, visitors to the ILA Space Pavilion will learn how the ‘ground segment’ – the hardware, software and networks that link satellites in space to mission controllers on ground – is a crucial part of every space mission. 

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