AWARDS: Advanced microwave radiometers for deep space stations
Journal article, 2013

The objective of this study, named AWARDS (Advanced microWAve Radiometers in Deep space Stations), is the preliminary design of a transmission Media Calibration System (MCS) to be located at an ESA Deep Space Antenna (DSA) site. The crucial aspect is the capability to accurately retrieve the tropospheric path delay along the line-of-sight of the deep space probe in order to allow precise tropospheric calibration of deep space observables (range and range-rate) with particular reference to the BepiColombo spacecraft and its primary DSA at Cebreros (ES). The study focuses on two main aspects which lead to the preliminary design of the Mercury Orbiter Radioscience Experiment (MORE) MCS: the characterization of current microwave radiometers (MWRs) available at ESA/ESTEC and the atmospheric fluctuation effects on the MCS error budget, in terms of the Allan standard deviation (ASD). In the course of the study, further critical aspects have been identified (effects of Sun contamination, effects of ground noise emission), and mitigation strategies have been proposed. The final outcome is a preliminary design of the MWR (and the entire MCS) to be deployed at the ESA/ESTRACK (ESA Tracking station network) sites and being compliant with MORE requirements.

Microwave radiometer

troposphere calibration

deep space tracking


P. Tortora

University of Bologna

S. Crewell

University of Cologne

Gunnar Elgered

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Space Geodesy and Geodynamics

A. Graziani

University of Bologna

Per O. J. Jarlemark

SP Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut AB

U. Loehonert

University of Cologne

A. Martellucci

European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESA ESTEC)

M. Mercolino

European Space Operations Centre

T. Rose

Radiometer Physics GmbH

J. Schween

University of Cologne

Space Communications

0924-8625 (ISSN)

Vol. 22 2-4 159-170


Basic sciences

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