Santa Maria Island Station


Santa Maria Island Station (also known as SMA or Montes das Flores, Hill of Flowers) is an ESTRACK satellite ground station in Azores, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the town of Vila do Porto on the island of Santa Maria.[1]

Station currently operates 5.5m S-band antenna capable of receiving signals in 2200-2300 MHz range, the first one in ESTRACK network with launch tracking capability.[1] It covers a large portion of Atlantic ocean and during Ariane 5 launches it acquires signals until the upper stage engine cut-off. Future upgrade for SMA will include X-band antenna working in range of 8025-8400 MHz.[2]

Construction of the station was completed in January 2008 under Ariane Development Programme in agreement between ESA and Portuguese government. A reason for building additional station was tracking of the medium inclination Ariane 5 launches and upcoming Vega along with Soyuz from Guiana Space Centre. The first launch tracked by newly build site was Ariane 5 ES flight V-181 lifting Automated Transfer Vehicle Jules Verne in March 2008.[2]

When not used for launch tracking station is used in CleanSeaNet and MARISS service for Copernicus Programme[3]: 42 (7/8) 


  1. ^ a b "Santa Maria Station". ESA. Archived from the original on 12 November 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Boosting capability: Santa Maria station to join ESTRACK". ESA. 10 January 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  3. ^ Gerhard Billig; Boris Smeds; Pier Michele Roviera; J. Pedro V. Poiares Baptista. "Santa Maria Station, another element in a European Launcher Tracking Network" (PDF). ESA. Retrieved 16 August 2014.

Coordinates: 36°59′50.10″N 25°8′8.60″W / 36.9972500°N 25.1357222°W / 36.9972500; -25.1357222