Adelaide Team: (from left) Hidayat Soetiyono, Patrick Hoyao and Marc Lavenant

In addition to ESA’s big 15-metre ESTRACK dish at Perth, a much smaller one in Adelaide, Australia, has been preparing to track ATV Johannes Kepler.

Located at the Institute for Telecommunications Research (ITR), at the University of South Australia (UniSA), Mawson Lakes campus, 12 km north of Adelaide, it has a 3.0 m steerable antenna operating in the S-band frequency range. The facility is operated and owned by the institute (ITR), which is part of the University of South Australia (UniSA). It also supported the Ariane/ATV-1 launch in March 2008 – and will now track Ariane 5 v200 on 15 February.

Adelaide 3.0m Antenna in action

We received some photos from Hidayat Soetiyono of UniSA, taken at the Adelaide ground station facilities during the ATV launch rehearsal on the 9 February 2011.

“It has been a long night for us here throughout rehearsal, but it has been interesting and we’re looking forward for the launch on the 15 February,” writes Hidayat in his email.  “It has been a pleasure as well to host out a visiting kit operator from French Guiana, Patrick Hoyau [from CNES], who is also happened to be a celebrity – the winner of the trans-Atlantic rowing race Bouvet Rames Guyane in 2009.” (Scroll down for YouTube clip – Eds.)

From all of us here at the ATV blog: best wishes for a smooth tracking campaign next week!

Third person in the photos is Marc Lavenant, also from UniSA.

Patrick Hoyao operating the receiver

Marc Lavenant in the controls of the antenna

Adelaide 3.0m antenna on top of the Institute for Telecommunications Research building

Patrick Hoyau vainqueur de la bouvet rames guyane 2009 en 42 jours