25.04.2017

Visit to the Deep Space Antenna of Malargüe

Agustin Campero was part of the delegation which travelled to the station of the European Space Agency in order to explore future instances for international cooperation

Visit to the Deep Space Antenna of Malargüe

Visit to the Deep Space Antenna of Malargüe

The secretary of Scientific and Technological Articulation, Agustin Campero, visited the premises of the Earth Station for Study Missions concerning the Deep Space - Deep Space 3 (DS3) located in Malargüe, Mendoza; where the antenna for observation and control of interplanetary missions of the ESA is located, which may be used by the Argentine scientific community for radio astronomy research purposes. The director of Operations of ESA, Rolf Densing; the governor of the province of Mendoza, Alfredo Cornejo; the deputy secretary of Planning for the Ministry of Communications, Hugo Miguel; the secretary general for CONAE, Felix Menicocci, and other governmental officers both at the municipal and provincial levels were present, among other guests.

“The agreement between CONAE and ESA, which allowed the European Agency to complete its deep space infrastructure with the installation of the DS3 Antenna in Malargüe, falls within the strategy of our country to make improvements in terms of space technology and knowledge through its local development, as well as by making alliances with the main space agencies around the world”, affirmed Campero. “Through the CONAE, scientists from our country can gain access to 10% of the use time of the DS3 Antenna for specific research projects, and to train specialists in various fields of knowledge related to the space activity”, he added.

Through a cooperation agreement signed between CONAE and ESA, various cooperation actions are carried out in different areas of the space activity. In said agreement, it has been established that Argentina is to be provided with up to a 10% use time in connection with the antenna, per year. These activities are carried out through scientific institutions such as the Technology in Detection and Astro Particles Institute (ITeDA Mendoza), the Astronomy and Space Physics Institute (IAFE), the Astronomical Observatory of La Plata, the Argentine Institute of Radio Astronomy (IAR) and CONAE.

To have these facilities installed in our country means having access to the use of state-of-the-art technology for scientific purposes, taking into account that the Malargüe station is the most modern among the Deep Space Network of ESA. To date, the first applications have been developed in terms of radio astronomical researches, in a joint effort with ITeDA Mendoza and IAR. Likewise, CONAE has participated in an observation work leaded by NASA. Additionally, the antenna was used to train human resources, and to develop thesis at the graduate and doctorate levels, among other uses.

The Deep Space project contemplated the installation of support systems for interplanetary missions of the European Space Agency and also for exploration of the deep space. The antenna has a dimension of 35 meters of diameter and several premises associated with its operation. Its location, within the Department of Malargüe, was decided on the basis of technical studies developed during 2008 and 2009, and it turned out to be chosen among 20 places in America which had been proposed to that end. Studies conducted highlighted the existing facilities, the geological conditions of the field and the cleanliness of the radio electrical space in the zone.

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  • Visit to the Deep Space Antenna of Malargüe
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