About ESA Redu Centre
Last Update: 10 Jul 2012
The ESA Redu Centre has been tracking satellites since 1968. It occupies a land surface of 29,000 square meters, of which 3,000 is building surface.
Technical areas include control centres, technical equipment rooms and antenna bunkers.
The team of engineers and technicians at ESA Redu Centre have seen the number of antennas steadily increase over the years. Activities now encompass the tracking of telecommunications satellites (Artemis), Earth (Proba 1) and solar observation (Proba 2) and navigation (Galileo IOT). On 1 July 2007, ESA awarded a maintenance and operations service contract to Redu Space Services (RSS). This allows the ue of ESA facilities for commercial activities, optimising resources on site.
Close to 50 people work at ESA Redu Centre today. It is located about one km from the village of Redu in the Belgian province of Luxembourg. Redu is equipped with its own emergency electrical power generator system and is connected to the Belgian communication network via fully redundant fibre-optic cables. It is manned and fully secured 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
The Redu Centre provides S-band links for ESA’s network of ground stations, as well as in-orbit testing (IOT) for telecommunication and navigation satellites.
Antennas at ESA Redu Centre
The site hosts 43 steerable antennas operating in a variety of frequencies including S, Ku, Ka, L and C bands. The largest antennas are Galileo In-Orbit-Testing L Band (20 m), ESTRACK S band (15 m) and TMS-1M Ka band (13.5m). With the support of the Belgian authorities, large investments have been made, such as the installation of new power lines to bear the load of future projects and the station’s extension of around 10 000 sq metres. ESA is building a new plant to power the Galileo facilities and new customers.
The 20 m L-band, 4.5 m C-band and UHF antennas for Galileo IOT will be joined by other antennas moved from Luxembourg: 15 antennas of various sizes, including a 13 m Ku-band dish will be maintained by RSS as backup for the facilities of the satellite operator SES in Betzdorf.
In 2009, RSS signed its first Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) contract to modify the Ka-band IOT antenna at Redu.
IOT facilities including antennas, measurement and processing chains are now offered for telecommunication satellites in Ku and Ka-bands These are used by ESA programmes (Artemis) and European industry (Avanti, Eutelsat and, SES).
The increase in its activities led to the recognition of Redu as an official ESA Centre and its full integration into the ESA structure of establishment and centres in 2009.