Astroscale Cuts the Ribbon on its First Ground Station
Japanese space debris-removal company Astroscale has established its first ground station in Totsuka, Yokohama, the company announced July 6. The ground station will provide data transmission and reception services in support of its first space debris removal demonstration satellite, ELSA-d, developed and built by Astroscale and its simulated space debris satellite by Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL), and is scheduled to launch in late 2019. The ground station will also allocate S-band and X-band transmission services to support other Low-Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites.
The Astroscale ground station employs a hexapod antenna, which eliminates angle limitations and restricts the operation of conventional, two-axis controlled system antennas and enable stable communications with satellites traveling in LEO at speeds of approximately 28,000 kilometers per hour.
Astroscale’s space debris removal mission was recognized by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and a joint research agreement was signed in September 2017.