Great missions with small satellites
19 May, 2021
Fredrik Sjöberg and Benoit Mathieu, OHB Sweden’s new management team duo, want to plot the space technology company’s future in a spirit of optimism and self-confidence.
Rocket Factory selected for the dedicated launch of a commercial mission
31 March, 2021
OHB Sweden AB, subsidiary of space and technology group OHB SE, signed a contract for a dedicated launch with Germany-based launch service provider, Rocket Factory Augsburg AG (RFA), for an upcoming mission scheduled for mid-2024.
“OHB Sweden and Rocket Factory share a common philosophy to provide the highest quality and reliability at the lowest possible prices. OHB Sweden with its extensive experience of over three decades in the design, development and testing of low-cost small satellite missions has found its counterpart in the launch service market.”, said Benoit Mathieu, Managing Director at OHB Sweden. “We are closely following the development activities of RFA from the very beginning. The team has shown an impressive track record over the last two years and we are confident that RFA will keep this pace for the upcoming milestones. Our intention with this contract is to secure a launch slot for one of our commercial customers. This agreement allows us to be able to offer a highly integrated and cost-effective solution to our customers.”
OHB Sweden is a Swedish provider of space systems and develops, builds, tests and operates satellites for different kinds of space missions within communications, earth observation, space research and exploration. From low-orbiting satellites via geostationary ones and all the way up to interplanetary missions. The company recently sealed the Arctic Weather Satellite (AWS) with ESA as the prime contractor, marking the beginning of OHB Sweden’s future towards small satellite constellations.
Rocket Factory, a start-up backed by the German satellite maker OHB as a strategic investor and Venture Capital firm Apollo Capital Partners, is currently developing a launcher system called RFA One for small satellites with a payload performance of up to 1300kg to low earth orbit (LEO). The first launch is scheduled for the end of 2022. The company recently qualified the upper stage tank system during cryogenic tests and currently is running a test campaign to hot-fire the main engine in Esrange, Sweden.
“Signing on with your first commercial customer is always something special,” said Jörn Spurmann, Chief Commercial Officer at RFA. “We are particularly proud that OHB Sweden selected our highly competitive launch service, which is a great demonstration that we achieve traction in the commercial market. Specifically, since OHB Sweden is at the forefront of NewSpace, with the quick turnaround time on the GMS-T mission launched in January, we believe that this will be the starting point of a great partnership.”
Dr Stefan Brieschenk, Chief Operating Officer at RFA, added, “We are truly excited to provide the outstanding capabilities of the RFA ONE launch service to OHB Sweden. This marks a major milestone for future European access to space in a new environment that allows for commercial solutions that are highly cost-effective with a strong customer focus. The orbital stage of the RFA ONE vehicle can position the payloads precisely where the customer wants them to go, while providing a new dimension of flexibility that traditional launch services and solutions do not cover.”
RFA is at the forefront of the global new-space launch vehicle development, with its state-of-the-art staged-combustion engine technology. This high-performance engine technology, coupled to lowest-possible-cost production techniques, is essentially new to Europe, and through the support of OHB, RFA managed to acquire key technologies and key talent that will propel the business case of the RFA One launch vehicle to allow it to compete on a global scale. Recent firing tests have demonstrated that RFA is on a winning path to resolve Europe’s most efficient and most powerful rocket engine technology. Recently, RFA won the first round of the German micro-launcher competition of the German Space Agency DLR, which granted RFA with a letter of support to receive 500.000 € of funding within ESA’s Boost! programme. In the next round of the competition, DLR and ESA will award a launch contract worth 11.000.000 € for institutional payloads.
OHB Sweden is a Swedish provider of space systems and develops, builds, tests and operates satellites for different kinds of space missions within communications, earth observation, space research and exploration. From low-orbiting satellites via geostationary ones and all the way up to interplanetary missions. OHB Sweden is a member of the OHB SE Group (ISIN: DE0005936124, Prime Standard) which currently employs over 2.900 people in its business units Space Systems, Aerospace and Digital. Within this array, OHB Sweden AB belongs to Space Systems.
Rocket Factory was founded in 2018 by Jörn Spurmann and Stefan Brieschenk, investor Hans Steininger and German aerospace company OHB SE. The start-up’s goal is to develop a launch vehicle prototype by the end of 2022 that can transport satellites to low-Earth orbits on a weekly basis at unrivalled prices. Rocket Factory is aiming for exponential growth in the booming New Space market. The start-up’s goal is to combine maximum performance with extremely cost-effective manufacturing processes and design principles. The experts plan the concept of the rocket from the perspective of the satellites and the customers: Rocket Factory will precisely launch satellites into the desired orbits using a unique orbital stage. The launcher will thus provide an end-to-end delivery service for the last mile. The launcher combines three key competitive advantages: a highly cost-effective architecture, precise in-orbit delivery and superior propulsion technology. The startup employs a team of 85 (as of February 2021) New Space experts from 25 different countries in Augsburg, Germany, who have previous experience in other launcher projects. For further information, please visit: www.rfa.space
Dr. Ibrahim Ata
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Tel.: +49 821 999576-21
European Space Agency selected OHB Sweden as prime contractor
9 March, 2021
OHB Sweden AB, a subsidiary of the space and technology group OHB SE, and the European Space Agency ESA, today signed a contract appointing OHB Sweden as the prime contractor for the development of the Arctic Weather Satellite (AWS) Programme. The contract includes the development of the satellite (including the instrument), the development of the ground segment and also the preparation activities for the AWS constellation. The AWS is a part of the ESA’s Earth Watch programme. The AWS consists of a single satellite which is the proto-flight model of a possible future constellation of AWS satellites. The satellite is equipped with a payload specifically designed to provide global measurements of the atmosphere to enhance weather predictions (in particular over the Arctic). The mission has received funding at the ESA ministerial conference (Space19+). The signed contract has a total value of 32.5 million euros.
The overall requirements for Arctic Weather Satellite (AWS) Mission are to provide global measurements of the atmosphere to be used as part of Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) and in Nowcasting (NWC). These measurements will also support climate research and applications. The main AWS measurements are humidity and temperature sounding of the atmosphere.
While the polar regions are well served by polar-orbiting satellites, the suitability of meteorological geostationary observations is limited by geometric constraints. In particular, atmospheric water vapour can change rapidly and would benefit greatly from more frequent observations. The revisit time requirements, identified by end-users can only be met with a constellation of satellites. Therefore, a constellation of polar-orbiting satellites providing passive microwave soundings of the atmosphere with frequent revisit times over the polar regions is proposed to address these issues.
AWS has a single Payload (cross-track scanning microwave radiometer) and the overall satellite design is significantly smaller compared to the existing polar-orbiting meteorological satellites. Streamlined Satellite and Payload design together with continuous manufacturing line production would enable affordable AWS satellite constellation.
The AWS Ground Segment includes a highly innovative Digital Beam Forming Network (DBFN) (Thales Alenia Space) in Svalbard, allowing several satellite to be tracked simultaneously from a single antenna array electronically without any moving parts. This technology is critical for the possible constellation phase of AWS to support the low latency needs of the constellation.
“…the AWS mission greatly benefits our increasing dependence
on reliable weather predictions in the Arctic and globally…”
Fredrik Sjöberg (deputy MD OHB Sweden)
The AWS (Proto-Flight Model) satellite launch is planned in 2024 and the AWS constellation implementation could start immediately after.
The industrial team led by OHB Sweden consists of three core-members. OHB Sweden as mission prime, platform provider and system integrator, Omnisys instruments AB as Instrument prime and Thales Alenia Space as Ground Segment (incl. operations) prime. The entire AWS industrial team includes 31 companies (including 14 SME’s) from 12 different countries.
OHB Sweden with its extensive experience of over three decades in the design, development and testing of low-cost small satellite missions will use its successful heritage InnoSat platform, demonstrating a cost-effective “new-space” approach within this program. The InnoSat platform will be slightly upgraded in such a way that it meets the possible constellation needs, serving as a versatile and flexible platform suitable for all constellation orbits.
“…that is the third mission relying on our Innosat platform.
With this contract, OHB Sweden’s InnoSat platform proves its
newspace character suitable for a cost-effective and reliable AWS constellation and beyond…”
Benoit Mathieu (MD OHB Sweden)
19 February, 2021
The Swedish-built scientific satellite Odin celebrates 20 years in orbit on Feb 20. The satellite was launched in 2001 and has now orbited the Earth more than 109000 times. Odin is combined astronomy and atmospheric research mission. It measures emission lines from molecules such as water vapor, molecular oxygen, ozone and carbon monoxide which are important for the study of atmospheric processes as well as for the study of astronomical objects.
Odin has proved to be extremely reliable and as it runs on solar power and is not depending in any consumables the satellite just continues to work. The satellite’s two years design life-time has now been exceeded by a factor of 10. Thereby Odin has provided atmospheric chemistry measurement for 20 years which is very valuable to monitor long term evolutions.
Odin was originally a collaboration between Sweden, Canada, France and Finland, and the project has since 2007 also been supported by ESA’s Third Party Mission programme. Atmospheric measurement data from Odin is still being downloaded, processed, and used by the scientific community. End-data users are widely spread and has been used by 275 different institutes in 31 countries.
In the beginning of this year Odin decided to take a short rest. The on-board computer re-booted for the first time and the satellite went autonomously into a safe mode where it waited for the Odin ground crew to put the satellite back in full operations. The satellite was configured to resume measurements and all software changes made during the past two decades were uploaded again. On Feb 3, the payload was switched on again and the atmospheric measurements could resume. It is ready again to serve scientists and mankind with useful data, hopefully for years to come.
Odin is operated by OHB Sweden on a contract from Swedish National Space Agency. The control centre is located at Esrange.
Read more from SNSA here.
8 January, 2021
As of 1 January 2021, Benoit Mathieu has succeeded Gierth Olsson as Managing Director/CEO of OHB Sweden. In this role, he assumes responsibility for the Operations and Programs domain whereas Fredrik Sjöberg has been appointed as the new Deputy Managing Director and Head of Business Development, Finance and IT.
The former Managing Director Gierth Olsson will remain with the new management of OHB Sweden as senior advisor. In his time as CEO Gierth led the significant development the company experienced in its first ten years after the founding in 2011. We thank Gierth for all his contributions and his enthusiasm for the past 9 years.
Benoit moves from OHB System (the German subsidiary of OHB SE), to Stockholm together with his family. At OHB System he has been responsible for the recent contract acquisitions in the Copernicus programme. Before being part of the OHB group he had worked around 10 years at the space branch of Airbus in various roles.
Fredrik has been responsible for Business Development and Sales at OHB Sweden since 2017 and has worked in the Swedish space industry for a long time before that in different roles, both at OHB Sweden and its predecessor SSC.
Benoit and Fredrik’s main tasks are to sustain the growth at OHB Sweden and further develop the company: “OHB Sweden has experienced enormous growth over the past ten years and has been able to establish itself as a recognised provider of small satellite missions and a leading supplier of propulsion and AOCS subsystems. These competences put OHB Sweden in an excellent position both in the New Space and commercial area, as well as in the institutional market.”
Fredrik (left) and Benoit
7 December, 2020
OHB Sweden is proud to announce that we have been selected by the Swiss company ClearSpace to be a key partner for their space debris removal mission, ClearSpace-1, providing the propulsion subsystem, and also being responsible for the complete satellite assembly, integration and test. OHB Sweden will perform the work in its premises in Kista, outside Stockholm.
Following a competitive process, an industrial team led by Swiss start-up ClearSpace SA was selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to undertake the deorbiting of a debris object.
Such a world-first achievement – the first rendezvous, capture and de-orbit of an uncooperative target – will demonstrate the technical ability and commercial capacity to safely remove such objects and significantly enhance the long-term sustainability of space flight.
ClearSpace SA plans to provide the novel service to ESA by building, launching and flying a new type of mission, dubbed ClearSpace-1, planned for launch in 2025. Flying the mission will help establish a new market for future in-orbit servicing as well as debris removal, expected to be crucial pillars of the future space economy.
The ClearSpace-1 mission will target a space debris object in space left in an approximately 800 km by 660 km altitude. The object is close in size to a small satellite, making it a suitable first goal, before progressing to larger, more challenging captures by follow-up missions.
The ClearSpace-1 ‘Space Robot’ will carry a capture system payload, developed by ESA in cooperation with European industry. After launch and a following drift phase, it will attain its target orbit for rendezvous and capture and perform an autonomous approach. The mission will demonstrate the ability to autonomously assess the target’s attitude and tumbling status using vision-based AI, proceeding to match its motion. Capture will take place through a quartet of robotic arms under ESA supervision. The combined chaser-plus-object will subsequently be safely deorbited, re-entering at the optimum angle to burn up in the atmosphere.
OHB Sweden is one of the leading European providers of propulsion systems and small cost-efficient satellites, including its novel Innosat micro-satellite platform. Through the two-satellite PRISMA technology mission launched in 2010 OHB Sweden is a pioneer in developing key technologies for autonomous rendezvous, and demonstrated successfully autonomous vision-based rendezvous in-orbit.
“We are proud to be part of this effort to help keeping space accessible to future climate-, weather-, and communications satellites. Space debris around the earth is becoming a problem that is putting at risk the future use of space, recognised as a critical concern by space agencies such as ESA”, says OHB Sweden CEO Mr. Gierth Olsson.”
“It is our generation’s responsibility to make sure future generation can continue exploring and benefiting from Space infrastructures and services,” says ClearSpace CEO Luc Piguet. “We are very excited to contribute to shaping new sustainable ways to operate in orbit.”
Further information can be found here:
Pictures are courtesy of ClearSapce
15 June, 2020
Mango and Tango have “danced” together from 2010 to 2014
Ten years ago, on June 15th, 2010, the Swedish satellite mission Prisma was launched into orbit. The mission consisted of two satellites, Mango and Tango, launched together and designed to autonomously “dance” together in formation flight, whilst demonstrating a suite of new technologies. OHB Sweden, a subsidiary of the space and technology group OHB SE, was the prime contractor for the project.
OHB Sweden designed, built, tested and operated the satellites to demonstrate formation flying and rendezvous manoeuvres, whilst also providing first flight opportunities for a number of new sensor and actuator technologies. Mango steered around Tango by means of different sensor technologies such as radio-frequency and vision based sensors as well as video systems, retreating from Tango (several kilometres apart) and then closing in again to up to a meter in proximity, taking several decisions autonomously in the process.
Funded by an international cooperation
Five years prior to the launch the Swedish National Space Agency (SNSA), along with the French space agency CNES (Centre national d’études spatiales) and the German DLR (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt), had taken the decision to lead and fund Prisma to create a new Swedish-led technology demonstration mission.
Experiments served to demonstrate autonomous satellite manoeuvring technologies
Mango (weighing 145 kg) was equipped with innovative propulsion systems providing full orbit control capability. Tango (weighing 40 kg) had a simplified control system and served as a “target” for all of Mango’s activities and capabilities. The two spacecraft, and a rather lean operations team, steadily marched through a tight mission and experiment timeline over the next years until the mission was completed in 2014. All experiments served to demonstrate autonomous satellite manoeuvring technologies that have many applications for astronomy, Earth observation, in-orbit satellite servicing, debris removal, etc. Also, new propulsion technologies like green propellant and micro-thrusters were tested in the mission.
In hindsight, Prisma became a large step forward from OHB Sweden’s national small satellite history and pushed the performance and functionality of the platforms to new levels. It showed that small satellite missions, and operations teams, can in fact tackle very demanding and complex mission concepts. Prisma paved the way for OHB Sweden’s roles in future small satellite programs.
6 February, 2020
Solar Orbiter is a satellite mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), with strong NASA participation, which is planned to be launched on the 9th /10th of February. Solar Orbiter will address important questions in Solar System science to help us understand how our star creates and controls the giant bubble of plasma that surrounds the whole Solar System and influences the planets within it.
OHB Sweden has co-engineered and built the Solar Orbiter on-board propulsion system. For Solar Orbiter to reach its position in orbit around the sun where the scientific measurements will take place, a large speed increase (delta-V) is needed. This delta-V cannot be achieved for practical and economic reasons with the on-board propulsion system only. Instead it is achieved mainly by so called swing-by or gravity assists from planets that the spacecraft passes on its way to the sun. Solar Orbiter does nine of these swing-by’s, eight around Venus and one around the earth during its two years journey to the sun. These orbit maneuvers and attitude control of the spacecraft requires great precision. This precision is made possible by the on-board propulsion system delivered by OHB Sweden.
OHB Sweden has designed and built the propulsion system in its premises in Kista, Stockholm, Sweden. Integration on the spacecraft was performed by OHB Sweden on site at Airbus DS, Stevenage UK. The system is a bi-propellant system (MMH and MON-3) with two identical tanks, one for propellant and one for the oxidant. Furthermore it consists of one helium pressurant tank for pressurization, a number of valves and regulators, eighteen thrusters and a complete thermal control system for the propulsion system. It consists of components from both European and US suppliers.
OHB Sweden has also contributed to the Attitude & Orbit Control System (AOCS) on SolO, especially on the specification and procurement of hardware equipment, software, and the fault detection system (FDIR).
OHB Sweden is proud to be part of this mission and we wish Solar Orbiter a good journey to the sun and subsequent successful and valuable scientific work, once there.
Further information can also be found here.
20 February, 2019
It’s time to celebrate! Happy Birthday, Odin! OHB Sweden satellite in service for 18 years!.
Please find further information here: Happy birthday Odin!
20 Juni, 2018
OHB Sweden was selected as prime contractor for the “PIST” (Polar Ice and Snow Topography) mission study with a contract volume of EUR 5 million.
Please find further information here: OHB Sweden awarded Copernicus studies
28 September, 2017
Eleven years ago the SMART-1 satellite was sent into a controlled impact with the lunar surface. The exact location of the impact site has never been found……until now.
Credit: P Stooke/B Foing et al 2017/ NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University
More information on the SMART-1 mission can be found here: SMART-1
13 February, 2017
OHB Sweden har fått i uppdrag av OHB System AG i Bremen att utveckla det elektriska raketmotorsystemet samt att detaljkonstruera och leverera mjukvaran till styrsystemet för “Electra”, en ny och helt elektrisk version av den geostationära satellitplattformen SmallGEO. Kontraktet är värt totalt 28,8 miljoner Euro. OHB System AG utvecklar Electra i partnerskap med ESA och satellitoperatören SES.
Med Electra kommer OHB-gruppen att få en avgörande konkurrensfördel i den kommersiellt attraktiva telekommunikationssektorn. Den betydande viktbesparing som elektrisk framdrivning ger genom att dra mycket mindre bränsle medför att den mängd nyttolast och elkraft som blir tillgängliga för kunden kommer att vara dubbelt så stor för Electra-satelliten! Även livslängden för satelliten och förmågan att manövrera till en annan position i omloppsbanan kommer att förbättras. Satelliten är också kompatibel med ESA: s nya ”Clean Space”-policy.
Illustration ac Electra (© OHB SE)
Kärnan i den nya plattformen är det elektriska raketmotorsystemet som utvecklas av OHB Sweden, där vi tillsammans med kvalificerade europeiska partners genomför ett betydande utvecklingsarbete gällande både ett kostnadseffektivt mekaniskt bränslesystem och en treaxlig mekanism (Thor Boom) för att minska antalet elektriska raketmotorer som krävs.
En Xenon-tank med en kapacitet på 440 liter kommer att upphandlas från MT Aerospace AG i Augsburg, Tyskland, som också är ett företag i OHB-gruppen. Thales från Belgien kommer att leverera högpresterande elektronik, medan elmotorerna på 5 kW kommer från SNECMA / SAFRAN i Frankrike. Olika mekaniska och termiska element som krävs för den treaxliga mekanismen tillhandahålls av RUAG från Österrike. Europeiska partnerskap som dessa är av avgörande betydelse för projekt inom viktiga strategiska marknader såsom telekommunikation.
De olika komponenterna kommer att konstrueras och testas fram till i början av 2019, varefter framdrivningsmodulen kommer att integreras och levereras till kunden under år 2020.
För OHB utgör kontraktet en viktig milstolpe i vidareutvecklingen av SmallGEO-plattformen. “Den modulära strukturen och flexibiliteten hos SmallGEO-plattformen kommer att öppna dörren till den globala kommersiella marknaden för oss. Detta sträcker sig längre än telekom-marknaden eftersom SmallGEO också är idealisk för jordobservationsprojekt och rymdforskningsuppdrag”, säger Marco Fuchs, VD för OHB System AG. “Det faktum att vi utvecklar de viktigaste komponenterna för nästa steg, nämligen den “elektriska revolutionen” i satellitmarknaden, är av stor strategisk betydelse för oss. Electra markerar ett paradigmskifte i den geostationära marknaden och med våra tekniskt viktiga komponenter kommer vi att vara en eftertraktad partner för kommande utveckling av satellitprojekt i andra viktklasser.”
“Vi är mycket glada för det förtroende som OHB System AG, ESA och SES har visat genom att anförtro oss detta avtal. OHB Sweden har byggt upp en stark kompetens inom framdrivningssystem under de senaste åren och företaget är idag en erkänd leverantör av elektriska, kemiska och kallgasbaserade framdrivningssystem för satelliter. Inom området styrsystem för attityd- och bankontroll har vi genom vårt arbete i Odin, SMART-1, PRISMA, SmallGEO och Solar Orbiter visat att vi är att betrakta som en skicklig och pålitlig leverantör och partner inom detta teknikområde.” säger Gierth Olsson, VD för OHB Sweden.
26 January, 2017
Tidigt på lördag morgon den 28 januari kl. 02:03 är det äntligen dags att skjuta upp den första telekommunikationssatelliten som byggts av företagsgruppen OHB. Satelliten, som benämns Hispasat 36W-1, skjuts upp med en Soyuz-raket från Franska Guyana och ska läggas i en bana på 36 000 km höjd. Hispasat 36W-1 kommer att nå den geostationära banan efter tolv dagar och kommer sedan att kalibreras och tas i drift under en period av fem veckor. Efter en resa på ytterligare nio dagar kommer satelliten att nå sin slutliga position över 36 grader longitud väst, där den kommer att tillhandahålla kommunikationstjänster för Europa, Kanarieöarna och Sydamerika till den spanska operatören Hispasats kunder under en period av mer än 15 år. Hispasat 36W-1 är baserad på SmallGEO, en flexibel geostationär satellitplattform som kan skräddarsys för olika uppdrag inom telekommunikation och jordobservation. OHB Sweden har levererat innovativa delsystem för elektrisk framdrivning och attityd- och bankontroll. Med sin modulära uppbyggnad kan SmallGEO enkelt modifieras för att möta specifika kundkrav. Kunderna kan välja mellan klassiska, hybrid- eller helt elektriska framdrivningssystem för satelliten. Beroende på typ väger satelliten mellan 2500 och 3500 kg, med en nyttolast mellan 450-900 kg. Mätande 3,7 x 1,9 x 2 meter, väger H36W-1 c:a 3200 kg. Small GEO-plattformen har utvecklats av OHB-gruppen som en del av European Space Agency’s ARTES-program (Advanced Research in Telecommunication Systems).
Telekommunikationsatelliten H36W-1 under test hos IABG (© OHB System AG)
Soyuz-raketen på väg till uppskjutningsrampen.
“”Vi är mycket glada över att H36W-1 äntligen är på väg upp i rymden. Den första satelliten i en serie är alltid ett stort steg, i synnerhet i fråga om en ny specialutvecklad plattform avsedd för ett så viktigt kundsegment som telekom-marknaden. De tekniskt avancerade delsystem som vi utvecklat och levererat, har sedan testats intensivt på satellitnivå under en elva månaders testkampanj. Vi är mycket säkra på att uppnå goda resultat från att satelliten tas i drift i slutet av mars.” säger Gierth Olsson, VD för OHB Sweden.
24 January, 2017
After almost a year of hard work, OHB Sweden has now finalised the integration of the Propulsion Qualification Model (PQM) for the European Service Module to NASA’s Orion space vehicle.
The PQM left OHB Sweden’s facilities in mid-January and is expected to arrive at the NASA White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico in mid-February, where final integration of some vital components like the Main Engine will take place. This will be followed by acceptance tests and finally hot-firing tests in May to June 2017.
The European Service Module (ESM) is built by Airbus Defence and Space in Bremen, Germany, on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA), and sits directly below Orion’s crew capsule. It provides propulsion, power, thermal control, and water and air for four astronauts. OHB Sweden has been contracted by Airbus Defence and Space to perform assembly, integration and test activities for the PQM.
A little over 5 m in diameter and 4 m high, the ESM weighs 13.5 tonnes. The 8.6 tonnes of propellant will power one Main Engine and 32 smaller thrusters. The solar array spans 19 m and provides enough energy to power two households.!
Artist’s impression of Orion. Copyright: NASA
Orion is lowered into its transport container. Copyright: OHB Sweden AB
The team. Copyright: OHB Sweden AB
“We at OHB Sweden are very happy and proud to have finalised this part of our work with the PQM in such a successful way, and to be able to contribute to the process of qualifying the European Service Module for its first flight. Our collaboration with Airbus Defence and Space has been excellent and we are now looking forward to performing the final integration and to participate during the hot firing tests out in the desert!” says Gierth Olsson, CEO of OHB Sweden.
19 February, 2016
The scientific satellite Odin continues to scan the Earth’s atmosphere during 15 revolutions per day and collect measurements. It was launched on February 20, 2001, and tomorrow it enters into its fifteenth year of service, far longer than planned.
The mission is regarded as a great success since scientists studying climate change depend upon long series of measurements. Because Odin measures the atmospheric content globally and at different heights, models for molecular transport can be built. Odin also study phenomena such as noctilucent clouds.
Odin in orbit (artist’s impression)
Odin is a satellite designed and built by OHB Sweden, at the time the Space Division at SSC, on behalf of the Swedish National Space Board. The operations are since 2007 also supported by ESA (European Space Agency). The researchers using Odin data are found all over the world. Here in Sweden we find users primarily at Chalmers, at Onsala Space Observatory, at MISU and astronomers at the Stockholm University.
17 February, 2016
OHB Sweden has been contracted by Airbus Defence and Space to perform assembly, integration and test activities for the Propulsion Qualification Model (PQM) for NASA’s Orion space vehicle’s European Service Module. The hands-on work at OHB Sweden will be performed between February and July 2016, after which the PQM will be transported to the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico, US, for hot-firing tests.
The European Service Module (ESM) is built by Airbus Defence and Space in Bremen, Germany, on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA), and sits directly below Orion’s crew capsule (see image). It provides propulsion, power, thermal control, and water and air for four astronauts.
A little over 5 m in diameter and 4 m high, the ESM weighs 13.5 tonnes. The 8.6 tonnes of propellant will power one main engine and 32 smaller thrusters. The solar array spans 19 m and provides enough energy to power two households.
Artist’s impression of Orion. Copyright: NASA
“OHB Sweden has in recent years built a strong expertise in assembly, integration and test of propulsion systems and the company is today a recognized supplier of electrical, chemical and cold gas propulsion systems for satellites. So now that Airbus Defence and Space entrust us with the task of integrating this large and important qualification model, as part of the preparations of a future NASA manned space vehicle, we are thrilled!”, says Gierth Olsson, CEO of OHB Sweden.
26 January, 2016
OHB Sweden has been appointed as supplier of both the chemical propulsion system as well as the fluidic part of the micro-propulsion system for the satellite EUCLID by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Thales Alenia Space in Italy. The total contract amount is approximately EUR 12 Million.
Scheduled for launch in 2020, Euclid will explore dark energy and dark matter, the essential but still mysterious ingredients in today’s “Standard Model’ of cosmology. In this model, the majority of matter in the universe is invisible (dark matter), and the universe is expanding at an increasing rate under the action of a still unknown energy source (dark energy).
“We are very happy for the confidence that Thales Alenia Space and ESA have shown by entrusting us this contract. OHB Sweden has built a strong expertise in propulsion systems in recent years and the company is today a recognized supplier of electrical, chemical and cold gas propulsion systems for satellites.” says Gierth Olsson, CEO of OHB Sweden.
The chemical rocket motors are mainly used for transfer correction manoeuvres and station keeping manoeuvres on the way to and around the Lagrange point 2, and the micro cold-gas thrusters for the fine attitude control during science pointing.