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ESA Villafranca Satellite Tracking Station

ESA Villafranca Del Castillo
Satellite Tracking Station
Apartado - PO Box 50727
28080 Madrid
Spain

tel: +34 91 813 1100
fax: +34 91 813 1139

About the Villafranca Satellite Tracking Station

Villafranca station is located at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC), which lies in the Guadarrama Valley, 30 kilometres west of Madrid, Spain, in an area of evergreen oaks and poplars, surrounded by antennas and a castle dating from the 15th century.

Villafranca hosts the following antennas:

  • VIL-1: 15m-diameter dish antenna with reception and transmission in S-band and including an autotrack capability, a ranging system, a frequency and timing system, a monitoring and control system, and a communications system. The VIL-1 antenna is currently mothballed and waiting to be used for educational purposes under the CESAR programme.
  • VIL-2: 15m-diameter dish antenna with reception and transmission in S-band and including an autotrack capability, a ranging system, a frequency and timing system, a monitoring and control system, and a communications system

Both terminals provide facilities for tracking, telemetry, telecommand and radiometric measurements (ranging, Doppler, meteo).

The station has a frequency and timing system, a monitoring and control system and communications are enabled via the ESA Operations Network (OPSNET). The site is equipped with a no-break power plant.

The station is operated remotely from the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, and has been responsible for providing telemetry, tracking and command support to ESA as well as non-ESA satellites.

ESA satellites have included: the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE), Marecs, the first- and second- generation Meteosats, Hipparcos, ERS-1 and 2, the Infared Space Observatory (ISO) and SMART-1, ESA's mission to the Moon.

 


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