With parameters of 4.5 meters in diameter, this is a relatively small antenna in Australia, called NNO-2. She will be the first to be lucky to hear the signal from the satellite Aeolus, which they plan to launch in the near future. His main mission is to measure the terrestrial winds from space.
The launch is aimed at August 21, 2018 on the Vega rocket. As soon as the pair reaches the required orbital altitude (approximately 320 km), the satellite will separate from the carrier and enter free flight around the Earth. The first steps after separation will include the automatic unfolding of the solar “wings” and the turning of the antenna to Earth to send signals. Then the team will receive confirmation that everything is working fine. Since 2015, NNO-2 points to space, listening to signals from rockets and newly launched satellites, and also transmits commands from earthly engineers. This small and flexible dish is quickly and accurately fixed, and also keeps track of satellites during their critical first orbits. It functions as part of the ESA Estrack program and provides vital links between satellites in orbit and flight control teams in the ESA center (Darmstadt, Germany).