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RUAG Space builds onboard computer and heat protection for Space Data Highway satellite from ESA and Airbus

France: The European Data Relay System (EDRS), dubbed the “SpaceDataHighway”, uses innovative laser technology to dramatically cut the time needed for Earth observation satellites to deliver information to the ground. The second satellite to join the sister satellite already in orbit is due for launch on 6 August. The “brain” (onboard computer) of the latest satellite, called EDRS-C, was delivered from RUAG Space to the satellite builder OHB System AG. The onboard computer controls and monitors the payload of the satellite and many other subsystems. “Our high-quality computer products are designed to reliably fulfil their tasks in a very harsh environment,“ says Peter Guggenbach, CEO RUAG Space, Europe’s leading space supplier. The compact satellite management unit represents a highly integrated and efficient solution providing both the command and control of the spacecraft and the attitude and orbit control functions. Guggenbach says, “The equipment has been the basis for delivery of further central computers to a series of meteorological and telecommunication satellites.”

Heat Protection from RUAG Space

Thermal Insulation from RUAG Space protects the satellite from cold and heat in space. The insulation is made up of several layers of metal-evaporated polyimide film thinner than a human’s hair. Optical Solar Reflectors from RUAG Space deliver additional heat protection. The mirrors help to reject the excessive heat created by the spacecraft into space to keep the satellites payload at perfect operating temperatures. RUAG Space is Europe’s market leader in thermal insulation for satellites. Also the central tube for the satellite was produced by RUAG Space. “Our products are key to the success of the mission,” adds Guggenbach. EDRS is a public-private partnership between the European Space Agency ESA and Airbus. The data highway enables people to observe the Earth almost live, accelerating responses to emergency situations and spurring the development of new services and products.

Ariane 5 payload fairing from RUAG

The satellite EDRS-C will be launched from Kourou, French Guiana (South America), on board of a European Ariane 5 launcher. The top of the launcher, the payload fairing, was built by RUAG Space. The payload fairing protects the satellite during launch through the atmosphere. RUAG Space is the world’s leading supplier of composite technology payload fairings and has equipped every Ariane rocket with payload fairings since the very first launch in 1979. “Our payload fairings have been successfully in almost 300 rocket launches to date,” says Guggenbach.