For constellations of hundreds or thousands of small satellites, products in high volumes, lower cost, on-time and on-quality delivery are needed. RUAG Space, a leading supplier to the space industry, has developed novel products and processes specifically meeting the needs of satellite constellations. “We can offer a unique mix of our vast experience in hundreds of space missions combined with our high volume production fostering lean operations and automated processes to our customers,” says Peter Guggenbach, Executive Vice President RUAG Space. The international space supplier with sites in six different countries and headquartered in Switzerland is offering new electronic and mechanical products for constellations.
“World leading navigation product fully embedded on the ‘brain’”
RUAG’s new onboard-computer for constellations (cOBC) is the “brain” of a satellite. The onboard computer controls and monitors the payload of the satellite and many other subsystems. For constellation onboard computing RUAG offers a combination of its cOBC and its constellation Interface Unit products (cIU). “For constellations we also offer our world leading navigation product fully embedded on the onboard-computer,” says Guggenbach. RUAG’s constellation Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver is offering a high quality and cost-effective solution for applications deployed in larger quantities. The receiver can precisely determine a satellite’s position in orbit and works with both GPS and Galileo signals. In total more than 20 navigation receivers from RUAG Space are currently in orbit and functioning flawlessly since 2006.
Direct technical interface for U.S. customers
For its entire electronics portfolio – from onboard-computers, navigation receivers to antennas and more – RUAG Space offers a direct technical interface in its office in Denver, Colorado – offering a customer service close to U.S. clients.
Mechanisms for constellations
RUAG Space also offers new mechanisms to its satellite constellations customers, for example mechanisms that point the small satellite’s engines. The electric propulsion is necessary to bring the satellite exactly into its position and to maintain this position over the lifetime of several years. In January RUAG’s electric propulsion pointing mechanisms have been successfully used for the Eutelsat KONNECT satellite. “Our pointing mechanisms are carefully designed to minimise mass, manage orbital temperature extremes and deliver exact pointing accuracy over many years of service lifetime,” explains Guggenbach. A low cost solar array drive mechanism from RUAG Space is also currently in qualification with completion end of 2020.
Dispenser, structures, thermal insulation and satellite handling equipment
Established products for constellations are RUAG’s dispensers, structures, thermal insulation and satellite handling equipment.
This announcement was made on 13 May 2020.