OneWeb Satellistes launch 4 – the revolution in space

OneWeb Satellites is about to launch the next 36 small satellites for the mega constellation, aiming at affordable global internet. Today, 18. December 2020, the lift of is scheduled for 13:26 p.m. (German time) from Vostochny Cosmodrome.
OneWeb Satellites is a joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus to manufacture low-cost, ultra- high performing satellites at high-volumes – a revolution in the space industry where in the past most satellites where one-offs and the manufacturing of some ten satellites over several years was a “high volume production”. The challenging mission of a small satellite mega constellation with about 600 satellites is becoming more and more reality. With this 4th launch there will be 110 OneWeb satellites placed in low Earth orbit.

Follow the launch: OneWeb Launch#4 Watch Party

SpaceTech OneWeb satellites CFRP boom deployment mechanism

SpaceTech’s part in the project

We are excited being part of this revolutionary project that is pioneering new value propositions in space. With S/N 1000 of the SpaceTech/CarboSpaceTech light-weight CFRP booms for the solar array deployment mechanisms, being used in the OneWeb satellites, at STI we are reaching an internal milestone of our production facilities. These CFRP booms offer maximum reliability at low-cost for small satellites, being the perfect match for OneWeb Satellites.


Sentinel 6 (Jason CS) launch with SpaceTech solar arrays

Spacetech solar arrays sentinel 6 satellite launchThe US-European Sentinel-6 radar altimeter mission for ocean surface topography study aims to monitor sea-level rising because of climate change. Sentinel-6 is part of the Copernicus program.

SpaceTech development

SpaceTech manufactured and delivered the solar arrays (PVA by Leonardo, panels by Airborne) for the two Sentinel 6 (Jason CS) satellites. Each satellite set consist of two body mounted and two deployable panels combined in two solar array wings.
Being four of the biggest solar arrays produced at STI, each panel measures 3.6 m length by 1.1-1.2 m width.

Sentinel-6 satellite artist image (source: NASA)

Spacetech solar arrays sentinel 6 satellite launch preparedSentinel-6 launch

After almost 1.5 years of spacecraft preparation it is time to launch!
The first satellite is scheduled for launch this Saturday at 18:17 (German time) with the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg, California, US.

Follow the launch here:

Find more mission progress information here:

Sentinel-6 team celebrating: Ready to fly (source: NASA)


SpaceTech PVA for ESA mission PLATO

The PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars mission (PLATO) is the third medium-class mission in ESA's Cosmic Vision program. The mission goal is to find and study a large number of extrasolar planetary systems, with emphasis on the properties of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone around solar-like stars.

SpaceTech PVA PLATOSpaceTech photovoltaic assembly for PLATO

After being selected as provider of the EUCLID sunshield, PLATO is the next ESA science mission with STI involvement. STI will provide the photovoltaic assembly of PLATO.

PLATO mission launch

PLATO launch is planned for 2026.

               PLATO mission logo (source: ESA)


STI contracted for LISA Laser EM development

The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission, will be the first space-based gravitational wave observatory. Based on fundamental theories of gravitation, it will detect and observe gravitational waves that are emitted when powerful events in the universe happen.

SpaceTech LISA laser triangle of satellitesSpaceTech’s LISA laser development

In a consortium of SpaceTech, Ferdinand Braun Institute Berlin, Fraunhofer ILT, Airbus Defence & Space, DELOS and DLR Bremen, STI demonstrated the required laser head performance in the laboratory on breadboard units. 

After successful completion of phase 1, ESA selected the consortium under STI to develop the Engineering Model (EM) of the LISA laser head. Instead of the ECDL seed laser applied in phase 1, the seed laser concept of LISA pathfinder was selected by ESA for the continuation of the development due to schedule and development risk considerations.

We welcome TESAT within our consortium!

Artist's impression of the three LISA satellites, triangle laser beams
(source: AEI/MM/exozet/NASA/Henze)


SpaceTech selected to deliver ICU for ROSE-L & CESS for CRISTAL

On July 1st 2020 ESA approved the procurement of the 6 upcoming “High priority candidate missions (HPCM)” of the ESA Copernicus program. Within their HPCM proposal Airbus selected STI to develop and build the Instrument Control Unit (ICU) for the Radar Observing System for Europe mission ROSE-L as well as the Coarse Earth Sun Sensor (CESS) for Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter mission CRISTAL.

SpaceTech CESS ESA CHRYSTALSTI electronics for space

The ICU development will be SpaceTech’s first “stand-alone” electronics unit to fly on an ESA mission and is an important milestone for STI electronics equipment. STI electronics are already regularly included in our various payload activities.
It also marks the second use of the advanced CESS, providing significantly improved performance over the original CESS, which is in orbit on more than 15 missions.





Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter mission CRISTAL (source: ESA)