Navigation Links
GOCE's electric ion propulsion engine switched on
Date:4/6/2009

GOCE's sophisticated electric ion propulsion system has been switched on and confirmed to be operating normally, marking another crucial milestone in the satellite's post-launch commissioning phase.

The success of GOCE's ultra-sensitive gravity measurements depends on finely controlling the satellite's orbit and speed. The push from the thruster must be just enough to compensate for the tiny amount of drag generated by the few wisps of atmosphere at GOCE's orbital height. No normal jet engine could do this, but GOCE's sophisticated electric ion propulsion system can.

This cutting-edge system does not burn fuel like a regular rocket motor. Instead, it is supplied with xenon from a 40-kg tank, which is converted to fast-moving ions - naked xenon atoms that have had some of their electrons stripped away by an electric discharge generated from solar energy. The ions are ejected toward the rear, giving a very gentle, steady and smooth thrust.

The electric ion propulsion system comprises two redundant thruster units mounted externally on the last panel of the satellite. The thrusters can be throttled between 1 and 20 millinewtons (mN), which will be set automatically, depending on the actual real time drag that the satellite experiences once GOCE is in routine operations.

This is a fantastically small force - a thrust of a few mN is similar to the weight of a few drops of water on Earth. Yet, by thrusting continuously during GOCE's routine operations, it is sufficient to maintain a 'freefall' orbit.

"On Tuesday last week, we fired the B-unit of the electric ion propulsion, stepping it through 1, 3 and 8.3 mNs of thrust. On Thursday, we fired the A-unit. Both are performing nominally," said Spacecraft Operations Manager Juan Pieiro, speaking at, ESA's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany.

"Next comes the 'wake up' for the instruments, which puts us in the position to start operating
'/>"/>

Contact: Robert Meisner
robert.meisner@esa.int
39-069-418-0874
European Space Agency
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Clemson physicist addresses international forum on thermoelectric energy
2. Portable electricity, life-like prosthetics on the way
3. CSIC and UAB will build the most advanced superconductor cable for electricity network
4. Penn engineers create carbon nanopipettes that are smaller than cells and measure electric current
5. U of Minnesota researchers discover key for converting waste to electricity
6. Carnegie Mellon researchers urge development of low carbon electricity
7. Cow power could generate electricity for millions
8. Coating improves electrical stimulation therapy used for Parkinsons, depression, chronic pain
9. Greenhouse gas auction revenues can help cut Md. electric use significantly, says study
10. California study shows shade trees reduce summertime electricity use
11. UCLA stem cells scientists make electrically active motor neurons from iPS cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/17/2014)... R.I. [Brown University] After decades of decline, grasses ... saltmarshes. To the eye, the marsh in those places ... that a key service of the marsh coastal ... back but the ecosystem function hasn,t come back," said ... senior author of the study in the journal ...
(Date:9/17/2014)... been growing significantly faster since the 1960s. The typical ... but they have accelerated -- by as much as ... carried out by scientists from Technische Universitt Mnchen based ... been continuously observed since 1870. Their findings were published ... ago, "forest dieback" was a hot topic, with the ...
(Date:9/17/2014)... United Kingdom forms a new crime unit designed to ... last year over horse meat being passed off as ... for detecting meat adulteration. They describe their approach, which ... Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry . , ... a major global economic problem. But they also say ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Cape Cod saltmarsh recovery looks good, falls short 2Cape Cod saltmarsh recovery looks good, falls short 3Global change: Trees continue to grow at a faster rate 2Global change: Trees continue to grow at a faster rate 3
... University of Delaware have developed a "smart" hydrogel that can ... Over the past few decades, smart hydrogels have been created ... "The idea of a smart hydrogel that can release ... professor of materials science and engineering and biomedical engineering. "What,s ...
... Living organisms have adapted to the day-night cycle and, in ... are not completely known yet but its functioning has been ... of normal circadian rhythms can have deleterious effects on health; ... the time of feeding was shown to affect the ability ...
... of the white-throated sparrow has identified a biological pathway connecting ... wild to variation in their genome. The Proceedings ... is publishing the results of the experiments, conducted by the ... Psychology. The research, which comprised behavioral observations ...
Cached Biology News:UD-developed smart gels deliver medicine on demand 2The internal clock and feeding rhythm set the pace of the liver 2Wild sparrow study traces social behaviors in the field to specific gene 2Wild sparrow study traces social behaviors in the field to specific gene 3Wild sparrow study traces social behaviors in the field to specific gene 4
(Date:9/17/2014)... /PRNewswire/ - SQI Diagnostics Inc. (TSX-V: SQD) (OTCQX: SQIDF), ... technologies and products for advanced microarray diagnostics, today announced ... in the United States on ... on September 17, 2014 on the OTCQX under the ... the TSX Venture Exchange under its existing symbol SQD. ...
(Date:9/17/2014)... September 17, 2014 Escape Alert, LLC . ... which will alert owners if their pet has escaped and ... an implanted microchip in the pet’s body. This is the ... for pets have been around for many years, they are passive ... able to track a pet’s location or alert the owner that ...
(Date:9/16/2014)... 16, 2014 “Nature has developed, very ... that we desire in optical design,” said Joseph Shaw, ... University. “As we explore surfaces and structures at the ... were presented in San Diego in August during a ... Nature ” chaired by Shaw and Rongguang Liang of ...
(Date:9/16/2014)... phones to cars and flashlights, batteries play an ... companies constantly are seeking ways to improve battery ... using a water-based solution, researchers at the University ... efficient nuclear battery that could be used for ... in automobiles and also in complicated applications such ...
Breaking Biology Technology:SQI Diagnostics to begin Trading on the OTCQX Marketplace in the United States 2SQI Diagnostics to begin Trading on the OTCQX Marketplace in the United States 3Implantable Microchip for Pets with GPS Tracking - Patent Filed by Escape Alert, LLC. 2Implantable Microchip for Pets with GPS Tracking - Patent Filed by Escape Alert, LLC. 3Nature’s designs inspire research into new light-based technologies 2Nature’s designs inspire research into new light-based technologies 3Nature’s designs inspire research into new light-based technologies 4Nature’s designs inspire research into new light-based technologies 5
... Global Products, BASINGSTOKE, England, October 8 ... global specialty biopharmaceutical,company, announces that it has agreed ... Almirall for a cash consideration of $213m. The ... sodium),and VANIQA(R) (eflornithine hydrochloride), and six other non-promoted,products1 ...
... about the origins of quantum dot blinking, researchers ... Laboratory, the University of Chicago and the California ... characterize it on faster time scales than have ... also known as quantum dots, are being intensively ...
... to Vice President, Research Operations ... Non-Profit Foundation, CARLSBAD, Calif., Oct. 5 ... focused on the discovery and,development of small-molecule therapeutics ... diseases, today announced changes to its,research management. Dr. ...
Cached Biology Technology:Shire Divests Non-Core Product Portfolio to Almirall 2Shire Divests Non-Core Product Portfolio to Almirall 3Argonne researcher studies what makes quantum dots blink 2Ardea Biosciences Announces Changes to Research Management 2Ardea Biosciences Announces Changes to Research Management 3
... Anti-Natural Killer Cell Receptor-P1, ... Immunogen: Hybridoma produced ... from BALB/c mice immunized (BALB/c ... (LAK) cells and mouse myeloma ...
... Yersinia pestis This antibody is ... Immunogen: Purified F1 ... vaccine strain EV76. Specificity: ... capsular antigen. There is no cross-reactivity ...
Rabbit polyclonal to ZFP200 ( Abpromise for all tested applications). Antigen: Synthetic peptide: CGKSFNHKTNLNKHER (Human) Entrez Gene ID: 7752 Swiss Protein ID: P98182...
Anti-human C3a/C3a des-Arg (neo-epitope), Clone 2991, Monoclonal Antibody...
Biology Products: