ESA Santa Maria Station
P-9580 – 471 Vila do Porto
About the Santa Maria Station
The Santa Maria S-band station, also known as 'Montes das Flores' (Hill of Flowers), is located 5 kms from the town of Vila do Porto on the Portuguese island of Santa Maria, in the Azores some 1500 km from Lisbon. Santa Maria is one of the first ESTRACK stations with launcher tracking capability and is used to receive real-time telemetry from launches originating from ESA's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
The station consists of a 5.5-m antenna hard-wired on a stable concrete platform; the station includes telecommunications equipment, a no-break power system, lightning protection and support infrastructure.
For Ariane 5 tracking, the station will receive signals in S-band, at 2200-2300 MHz; X-band capability will be added in the near future to receive scientific data from Earth observation satellites.
The station communicates with the Ariane ground station network, operated by the French space agency CNES from the Guiana Space Centre.
For launches from Kourou, Santa Maria station cooperates with other tracking stations, including the ESTRACK station in Kourou, the Ariane naval station (SNA - Station Navale Ariane; a mobile station located on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean, between Kourou and the Azores), Australia's Adelaide station (University of South Australia), a mobile station installed at Awarua, New Zealand, and the Dongara station, Australia.