Computer from RUAG Space controls environmental satellite Sentinel-6
by Staff Writers
Zurich, Switzerland (SPX) Oct 30, 2020
Over the last five years the global ocean has risen, on average, 4.8 mm a year. With millions of people around the world at risk from rising seas, it is essential to continue measuring the changing height of the sea surface. Crucial data will be delivered by the Sentinel-6 environmental satellite, which will measure sea level heights.
The launch is scheduled for November 10, 2020 from the Vandenberg launchsite in California, USA, aboard a Falcon-9 rocket. "Key products from us make this important climate mission possible", says Luis De Leon Chardel, Executive Vice President a.i. RUAG Space. Once the satellite is in space, a computer from RUAG Space will take over control.
"Our computer is the brain of the satellite", explains Anders Linder, Senior Vice President Electronics at RUAG Space. The computer e.g. controls the satellites' on-board power distribution, temperatures and critical actions such as the release of locking mechanisms and thruster operations.
Precise determination of a satellite's position
In addition, thermal insulation from RUAG Space protects the satellite from the heat and cold of plus/minus 200 degrees Celsius in space. The thermal insulation consists of several layers of wafer-thin metallized polyimide film.
Sea level rise under observation
For this purpose, Copernicus Sentinel-6 carries a radar altimeter as main sensor. The instrument is best suited to observe sea level and ice thickness in the polar regions. In addition, the satellite carries several instruments for navigation and observation of water vapor.
Sentinel-6 will map up to 95% of the earth's oceans every 10 days. To date, global sea level measurements have been performed by a fleet of satellites that includes the Franco-American Topex Poseidon and Jason missions, previous ESA missions such as the ERS satellites, Envisat and CryoSat, and the Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite.
Sentinel-6: a joint project
NASA and NOAA will contribute the microwave radiometer, laser retro-reflector and GNSS Radio Occultation receiver. Airbus is the system and satellite prime, managing 32 companies from European industries. The satellite was named after Michael H. Freilich, who led NASA's work in Earth science as the director of NASA's Earth Sciences Division for more than 12 years and passed away in August 2020.
SPAINSAT NG program completes Preliminary Design Review
Madrid, Spain (SPX) Oct 23, 2020
The SPAINSAT NG programme, owned and operated by Hisdesat, has successfully passed the preliminary design review (PDR) of the payload and the full satellite, including PDR of Pacis 3 (PPP) elements. SPAINSAT NG is being manufactured by a consortium of four co-primes from Airbus in Spain and France, and Thales Alenia Space in Spain and France. This important milestone confirms the soundness of the preliminary design and technical capabilities of the SPAINSAT NG satellite system. Despite Covid ... read more
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