The European Space Agency (ESA) which had provided crucial support to ISRO to monitor the Chandrayaan-3’s health, will also be supporting Aditya-L1, providing deep space communication services to the mission.
“ESA’s global network of deep space tracking stations and use of internationally recognised technical standards allows us to help our partners track, command and receive data from their spacecraft almost anywhere in the solar system,” said Ramesh Chellathurai, ESA service manager, and an ESA cross-support liaison officer for ISRO.
Mr. Chellathurai added that for the Aditya-L1 mission, ESA is providing support from all three of its 35-metre deep space antennas over Australia, Spain and Argentina, as well as support from the Kourou station in French Guiana and coordinated support from the Goonhilly Earth Station in the UK.
ESA said that it was the main provider of ground station services for Aditya-L1. ESA stations will support the mission from beginning to end: from the critical ‘Launch and Early Orbit Phase’, throughout the journey to L1, and then to send commands to and receive science data from Aditya-L1 for multiple hours per day over the next two years of routine operations.
The space agency added that from April to December 2022, ESA and ISRO teams had worked together intensively to evaluate ISRO’s strategy for operating the Aditya-L1 and challenge their new orbit determination software.
“With its experience flying and even rescuing missions at the Lagrange points, ESA was in the perfect position to help ISRO improve their new orbit determination software and demonstrate that it has the fidelity and accuracy that the organisation needs in order to operate a spacecraft at a Lagrange point for the first time,” said ESA flight dynamics expert Frank Budnik.