New Norcia Station


New Norcia Station
ESA’s solar-powered giant one year on.jpg
New Norcia Station antenna and solar power plant
Alternative namesDSA 1 Edit this on Wikidata
Named afterNew Norcia Edit this on Wikidata
Part ofESTRACK Edit this on Wikidata
Location(s)Western Australia, AUS
Coordinates31°02′54″S 116°11′28″E / 31.0482°S 116.191°E / -31.0482; 116.191Coordinates: 31°02′54″S 116°11′28″E / 31.0482°S 116.191°E / -31.0482; 116.191 Edit this at Wikidata
OrganizationEuropean Space Operations Centre Edit this on Wikidata
Altitude252 m (827 ft) Edit this at Wikidata
Telescope styleground station Edit this on Wikidata
Diameter35 m (114 ft 10 in) Edit this at Wikidata
ReplacedPerth Station Edit this on Wikidata Edit this at Wikidata
New Norcia Station is located in Australia
New Norcia Station
Location of New Norcia Station
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons
The main mirror, S-band mirror and S-band feed horn inside NNO-1.

New Norcia Station (also known as NNO) is an ESTRACK Earth station in Australia for communication with spacecraft after launch, in low earth orbit, in geostationary orbit and in deep space. It is located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south of the town of New Norcia, Western Australia.[1] It was the first ESA deep space ground station,[2] followed by Cebreros Station and Malargüe Station.

The station operates a 35-meter dish designated NNO-1[3] capable of two-way transmission in both S- and X-bands using 2 and 20-kilowatt transmitters. The antenna weighs over 600 tonnes and is 40 metres tall. Future upgrade plans include adding a Ka-band station to support international missions.[1]

Construction began in April 2000 and lasted until the end of the first half of 2002. Installation of electronics and communication equipment followed. The station was officially opened on 5 March 2003 by the Premier of Western Australia at the time, Dr Geoff Gallop. Total construction cost was €28 million.[2]

The 4.5-meter NNO-2 dish during its inauguration.

A new 4.5-metre dish designated NNO-2 was inaugurated on 11 February 2016.[4] NNO-2 acts as an acquisition aid for the 35-metre dish for fast-moving satellites and launch vehicles during their launch and early orbit stage.

The NNO-2 mount is capable of tracking at 20 degrees per second in azimuth and 10 degrees per second in elevation.

The 4.5-metre dish has a half-power beam width of 1.9 degrees at S-band and 0.5 degrees at X-band and can be used to communicate with spacecraft up to 100,000 kilometres in altitude. To help in signal acquisition when the spacecraft position is too uncertain, the 4.5-metre dish has a 0.75-metre dish piggy-backed onto it, with a half-power beam width of 3.5 degrees at X-band. There is no S-band capability on the 0.75m dish.

NNO-2 may also be operated independently of NNO-1, as it commonly does during support activities for launches of Ariane 5, Vega, and Soyuz rockets from the Guiana Space Centre.

New Norcia Station was one of the stations providing communications, tracking and data download from the Rosetta spacecraft.[5] It supports the BepiColombo mission.[1]

In December 2019, ESA announced plans to build a second 35m deep space antenna at New Norcia[6] to provide coverage for upcoming ESA missions, including Solar Orbiter, Hera, and Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer. This is expected to start operations in mid-2024.

Since June 2019, operational support and maintenance of the station has been the responsibility of CSIRO.


  1. ^ a b c "New Norcia - DSA 1". ESA. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b "ESA's first deep space ground station opens in Western Australia". ESA. 3 March 2003. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Find ESA tracking stations". ESA. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  4. ^ "New antenna ready for business". ESA. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  5. ^ "What's up with Rosetta?". ESA. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  6. ^ "ESA to Peer into Deep Space with New Antenna". Asgardia Space. 13 December 2019. Retrieved 2 January 2020.

External links

  • Media related to New Norcia Station at Wikimedia Commons
  • Talking to Satellites in Deep Space from New Norcia, chapter from ESA Bulletin, May 2003.
  • Europe’s Access to Deep Space: The Deep Space Ground Station in Australia