Antenna Test for JUICE RIME with Helicopter

2017 09 29 JUICE RIME Antenna Test Heiligenberg02

The RIME Antenna, SpaceTech's contribution to the ESA JUICE mission, was tested on a glider airfield in Heiligenberg, not far from SpaceTech premises. RIME (Radar for Icy Moons Exploration) is an instrument which will investigate the geophysical structure of Jupiter's three largest icy moons – Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. The instrument is part of the JUICE satellite (short for JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) which is currently built by Airbus DS and will begin its journey to Jupiter in 2022, arriving there in 2029. Scientific goal of this mission is to search for liquid water below the ice sheets which cover the surfaces of the moons. Liquid water is considered the basis of life in the universe.

The highly sensitive RIME antenna, designed and built by SpaceTech, will enable the RIME Radar to penetrate the surface to a depth of up to 9 kilometers. It is made of ultralight CFRP material and will be folded multiple times to fit under the fairing of the launch vehicle. Once released in space, the antenna will unfold and assume its final length of approximately 16.6 meters. Thanks to SpaceTech’s innovative technological solution for the deployment mechanism, the total antenna mass amounts to less than 2 kg. Low mass is particularly important to save propellant on the long flight to Jupiter.

Before the flight to Jupiter, the antenna performance was now tested thoroughly on ground. The radar characteristics were measured during several helicopter flights, with a JUICE satellite mock-up including RIME Antenna suspended from a rope of 120 meters in lenght. For the measurements the antenna had to be held accurately in position, 150 meters above ground - not easy considering shear winds and the payload behaving like a large pendulum, But the experienced pilots mastered it perfectly and all measurements were completed as planned.

The video of the test campaign can be found in the Airbus Newsroom.

More information about the JUICE mission can be gathered on the ESA web site: http://sci.esa.int/juice/

2017 09 29 JUICE RIME Antenna Test Heiligenberg032017 09 29 JUICE RIME Antenna Test Heiligenberg01

FORMOSAT-5 - Successful launch

Formosat 5 SatellitNSPO       Formosat 5 SatellitNSPO        Formosat 5 SatellitNSPO

left to right: N.Beller and B. Doll (STI) in front of FORMOSAT-5 [Source:NSPO] / FORMOSAT-5 [Source:NSPO] / FORMOSAT-5 Launch [Source:SpaceX]

Yesterday, at 20:51 MEST, FORMOSAT-5 was launched from Air Force Base Vandenburg (California,USA) onboard of a Falcon 9 from SpaceX. 82 minutes and 56 seconds after launch, Svalbard station acquired a healthy signal from FORMOSAT-5. NSPO mission team will now monitor an configure the satellite in the coming days.

FORMOSAT-5 is the first space program for which Taiwan’s National Space Organization (NSPO) has taken full responsibility for the design, development and system integration.

FORMOSAT-5 will operate in a sun synchronous orbit at 720-km altitude with 98.28-degree inclination angle. The primary payload is the optical Remote Sensing Instrument (RSI) with a 2-m resolution panchromatic (PAN, black & white) and 4-m resolution multi-spectral (MS, color) images. It consists of one PAN band with 12,000 pixels and four MS bands with 6000 pixels each. Further scientific instruments as secondary payload are under investigation and evalution. FORMOSAT-5 also hosts a secondary scientific payload, an Advanced Ionospheric Probe (AIP), developed by Taiwan’s National Central University.

Under contract to NSPO, SpaceTech signed responsible for

  • satellite system engineering support to NSPO
  • hardware development support to NSPO and domestic industry
  • world-wide procurement of the major portion of the satellite hardware.

And in addition to the system design support and equipment procurement, STI manufactured and delivered:

  • the solar arrays
  • the sun sensors
  • the satellite structure
  • and the cold gas propulsion system

SpaceTech congratulates NSPO for this success and is proud to have been part of the FORMOSAT-5 Satellite development. We considers the experience and flight heritage gained in this mission a major milestone on our way to become an established small satellite provide, delivering smart, highly cost efficient, reliable and robust space systems.

The satellite launch can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4u3ZN2g_MI

Further news on the satellite can be found at: http://www.nspo.narl.org.tw/en2016/info/news_list.shtml

ICARUS - Ready for Flight

2017 08 09 ICARUS ready for flight

The ICARUS Flight Model was declared ready for flight by the Russian cooperation partner RSC Energia, after two weeks of intensive functional testing with the fully representative Mock-up of the Russian Part of the International Space Station ISS. The tests took place between 10th and 21st July at RSC Energia premises in Korolev, near Moscow. Following the declaration of flight readiness the ICARUS Flight Model was officially handed over in Moscow to the end customer, the Max-Planck Institute for Ornithology. The first parts of the ICARUS Instrument are planned to be launched from Baikonur to the ISS in October this year.

The ICARUS Instrument consists of an antenna which will be mounted on the outside of the Russian ISS modules and a processing unit accommodated inside the ISS. During routine operation, the Antenna will receive data from transmitters attached to animals which will allow scientists to better understand animal behavior. SpaceTech GmbH has developed, built and tested the ICARUS Instrument over the last 4 years as leader of a team of German SMEs. The ICARUS Space Project was commissioned by the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and is funded by the German Space Agency DLR.

ICARUS Flight Hardware Ready for Shipment to Russia

2017 06 06 ICARUS antenna team

Last week the ICARUS Flight Hardware was declared ready for hand-over to the ICARUS Project Cooperation Partners in Russia. After a series of thorough tests and inspections, Russian specialists from RSC Energia gave the go-ahead last Friday for transportation of the ICARUS Flight Hardware to their company test facilities in Korolev, near Moscow. There the ICARUS Flight Hardware will undergo further functional testing in mid July together with a fully representative Ground Model of the Russian part of the International Space Station. Upon successful completion of the joint test program, the ICARUS Flight Equipment will be transported to Baikonur for a launch planned in October 2017.

The ICARUS Instrument consists of an antenna which will be mounted on the outside of the Russian ISS module and a processing unit accommodated inside the ISS. During routine operation, the Antenna will receive data from transmitters attached to animals which will allow scientists to better study animal behavior. SpaceTech GmbH has developed, built and tested the ICARUS Instrument over the last 4 years as leader of a team of German SMEs.

The ICARUS Space Project was commissioned by the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and is funded by the German Space Agency DLR.

JUICE RIME Antenna – Successful PDR

2017 05 24 JUICE RIME Antenna DeploymentTest

The ESA/Airbus DS Review Board has declared the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) of JUICE RIME Antenna successful, just one year after project start. The Review Board has highly appreciated the effort made for the breadboard test activities, the excellent cooperation and good design provided for the review.

In the very next step, the first flight representative RF test antennas will be delivered to Airbus DS. One of these test antennas will be RF tested by Airbus DS under a helicopter over Heiligenberg glider airfield in August 2017.

The deployable boom antenna of the Radar for Icy Moon Exploration (RIME) is part of the Jupiter Icy moons Explorer (JUICE) first large-class mission in ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Programme. Planned for launch in 2022 and arrival at Jupiter in 2030, the spacecraft will spend at least three years making detailed observations of the giant gaseous planet Jupiter and three of its largest moons, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.

STI is the design and manufacture authority, supported by CarboSpaceTech (CST), Frentech Aerospace (FTC) and LKE, located in Czech Republic.

More information about the JUICE mission can be gathered on the ESA web site : http://sci.esa.int/juice/