Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Today for the first time in history, sound signals from Mars were received on Earth and gave an idea on how the Red Planet sounds like. This, as well as having the opportunity to look at photos of Mars’ surface, are only possi- ble through technology made by TESAT in Baden-Wuerttemberg.
The responsible technology are so called travelling wave tube amplifier (TWTA) that, simply put, amplify an outgoing radio frequency signal to make it receivable in far distances. Without these devices, signals from far away spacecraft would not be powerful enough to reach Earth.
In context of the current Mars mission, several spacecraft make use of this specific TESAT technology. Just a few days ago, right before the touchdown of Mars rover Perseverance, a TWTA on the Sky Crane was responsible to send the essential te- lemetry data to confirm the safe and soft lowering.
“TESAT technology helps connecting people and to overcome borders all over the world – and beyond! Our products suspend the boundaries of the final frontier and help to make the un- known concrete. As TESAT we are proud to be part in so im- portant missions!”
Dr. Marc Steckling, CEO, TESAT
As Perseverance itself is not powerful enough to send data directly to Earth, it uses both current Mars orbiters as relay stations: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), whose own purpose is the exploration and investigation of the planet Mars, and MAVEN, which investigates Mars’ atmosphere. Both orbiter have several amplifying devices from TESAT on board to send their collected data to Earth – now including data from Perseverance.
At TESAT in Backnang, around 1,000 employees develop, manufacture and distrib- ute systems and equipment for telecommunications via satellite. The product range
spans from smallest space-specific components to modules, entire assemblies or pay- loads. As world's only provider and technology leader of in-orbit-verified optical
terminals for data transmission via laser (LCTs), TESAT has a focus on commercial and institutional space programs.
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