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European network of operations centres takes shape
by Staff Writers
Darmstadt, Germany (SPX) Oct 28, 2019

File panorama of the Main Control Room at ESOC, ESA's European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany. Full size image here

ESA and the French space agency CNES have signed an important agreement that will see the two agencies improve interoperability between their mission control facilities on ground, enhancing the abilities of each organisation in space.

The European 'Network of Operations Centres' will enable opportunities for joint action, knowledge sharing and technical interchange, and allow engineers and other professionals to benefit from crossed exchanges and mobility.

It will generate savings for European taxpayers through avoidance of duplication, and through optimisation of existing capabilities and capacity on a wider European scale.

The role of any mission control centre is to operate spacecraft in orbit, sending commands and downloading status information on the health and functioning of the satellite as well as the vital science data gathered by the craft's instruments.

Training teams and building, operating and improving the mission control systems and ground stations needed to fly any mission is a complex process. Under the Network of Operations Centres initiative, Europe's institutional control centres are joining forces, with each benefitting from the expertise and capabilities available at the other while reducing risk and increasing synergies for all missions.

"By sharing our knowledge, ground infrastructure and technologies, we can drive innovation across all of our agencies for the benefit of Europe,'' says Rolf Densing, ESA's Director of Operations.

"Joining forces means we can achieve together more than we could on our own, as we increase coordination, share operational tools and infrastructure and maximise the return on investment in ground systems and operations for Europe."

"This Memorandum of Cooperation marks a cornerstone for our agencies, as we develop our complementarity and face the challenges that lie ahead, together" says Frederic Pradeilles, Director of Digital, Ground segments and Operations.

ESA's main mission control centre is located in Darmstadt, Germany, while CNES's is in Toulouse, France.

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Launch of the European AGILE 4.0 research project
Hamburg, Germany (SPX) Oct 17, 2019
The project 'AGILE 4.0: Towards cyber-physical collaborative aircraft development' has now been launched as part of the EU's Horizon 2020 programme with the aim of conducting research into future aircraft designs. To kick off the project, some 45 participants from partner organisations in Europe, Canada, Brazil and Russia attended the first meeting, held from 17 to 19 September 2019 in Hamburg at the DLR Institute of System Architectures in Aeronautics. AGILE 4.0 is investigating new methods ... read more

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