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Cooperazione scientifica

 

Cooperazione scientifica

 

Progetto San Marco

With regard to scientific cooperation, the only Italian space centre outside Italian territory is located in Kenya, in the vicinity of Ngomeni Village (Malindi), on the Indian Ocean coast to the north of Mombasa. It is the Luigi Broglio Space Centre, formerly San Marco Base, active since 1964 and currently the subject of a 15-year bilateral agreement between Italy and Kenya signed in 1995 and in the process of further renewal.

The Centre, established thanks to the will and indefatigable commitment of Prof Broglio, the “Father of Italian Astronautics”, is currently run by the Italian Space Agency on the basis of Legislative Decree 128/03. It was conceived as a base for the launching of carrier rockets to position satellites on the equatorial orbit, making Italy the third country in the world in the 1960s to be endowed with the technical and scientific capacity for the same after the Soviet Union and the United States. The Centre today carries out its activities mainly in the sectors of provision of TT&C (Telemetry, Tracking and Control) services for satellite control and remote sensing, operating through multiple international collaboration agreements with the major space agencies in the world (NASA, ESA and CNES above all). In particular, the Centre’s satellite acquisition equipment is used for the Ariane carrier rocket launch support in the LEOP (Launch and Early Orbit Phase), for which the Base plays a fundamental role, being the first ground station to acquire the signals of carrier rockets just launched by the Kourou Space Centre in French Guyana.


The Centre is equipped with:
• two complete satellite acquisition chains (antennae, acquisition equipment, computerized distribution systems) and a third one in the process of completion;
• a remote sensing station/laboratory;
• redundant satellite communication systems that connect the Centre to Italy and from there to the whole world through the ASI network (ASINET);
• Internet connection through both the Italian Research Network (GARR) and the Kenyan Research Network (KENET) for the distribution of acquired scientific data.

The Broglio Space Centre is a strong indicator of Italian presence in Kenya and Africa and the strengthening of its activities in future will be able to form a foundation for developing our relations with the country in the scientific sector. The Centre’s strategic position on the Equator and the absence of other equatorial stations in the world that have the same potential in satellite control make the BSC one of the most important technological sites in the field of international space research and it is for this reason that the interests of third countries (China in the first place) have been focused repeatedly on the same Centre. Collaboration with China has been consolidated recently thanks to the important contribution made by the Centre in tracking activities in support of the launch of the Shenzhou space shuttles and in the context of the Tiangong Programme for the construction of the Chinese Space Station.



Progetto San Marco



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