• 04.10.2018
  • Space
  • Media release

RUAG Space and OHB seal contract for PLATO scientific mission

RUAG will be part of the core team for design and development of the satellite – providing its experiences in satellite structures for the success of ESA’s next major scientific mission. ...

Bremen, October 4th, 2018. At the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) currently taking place in Bremen, ESA Director General Johann-Dietrich Wörner and OHB Chief Executive Officer Marco Fuchs today signed a contract naming OHB System AG, a subsidiary of listed space and technology company OHB SE, the industrial principal contractor for PLATO (Planetary Transits and Oscillations of Stars), the next major scientific research mission. The European Space Agency (ESA) wants to launch the PLATO space observatory in 2026 to detect and study exoplanets that are orbiting other stars. 

The contract covers the delivery of the 2-tonne satellite – with RUAG Space being part of the consortium around OHB. The respective contract was also signed today. Supporting to design and develop the satellite, RUAG Space will contribute its experience in the field of satellite structures. Furthermore, the company will build the optical bench, which forms the “basis” for the integration of the optical payload, namely 26 roughly knee-high cameras, which are being developed and assembled by the PLATO Mission Consortium, a federation of various European research centers and institutes under the lead of the German Aerospace Center (DLR).  

As a sub-contractor to Thales Alenia Space, which will be a core team partner to OHB for avionics, RUAG Space will also provide its Electronics know-how for the PLATO mission. Precisely, RUAG will contribute to the development and production of the Data Handling system that controls the satellite, stores science data and handles all communication with the ground station.

Plans of core team were convincing

 “I am thrilled by the trust that has been placed in us”, says OHB Chief Executive Officer Marco Fuchs after signing the contract with ESA. “This is our first contract for the development and assembly of a complete research satellite for ESA. The plans that we worked on with our core team partners Thales and RUAG Space were evidently convincing. I am quite certain that we will also live up to expectations during the implementation phase particularly because our companies have been working together in a spirit of mutual trust for many years.”

Peter Guggenbach, CEO Division Space, said: “We are proud to be part of OHB’s core team for PLATO, and look forward to a successful mission. Teaming up at such an early stage will have a positive impact on many aspects of the industrial process – such as project planning, on-time delivery, as well as cost management. We are looking forward to contributing strongly with our experience both on the electronics and structures side.”


Image 1 and 2: Contract being signed at the OHB booth. From left to right: Andreas Lindenthal (COO OHB System AG), Thomas Henke (General Manager Structures, RUAG Space), Peter Guggenbach (CEO RUAG Space), Kurt Melching, CFO OHB System AG


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Bild 3: PLATO satellite in space (artist’s impression © OHB System AG)

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About RUAG Space

RUAG Space is the leading supplier to the space industry in Europe, with a growing presence in the United States. With around 1,300 staff across six countries, it develops and manufactures products for satellites and launch vehicles – playing a key role both in the institutional and commercial space market.

RUAG Space is a division of the international technology Group RUAG. RUAG develops and markets internationally sought-after technology applications in the fields of aerospace and defense for use on land, in the air and in space. 56 percent of RUAG's products and services are destined for the civil market and 44% for the military market. The Group is headquartered in Bern (Switzerland). It has production sites in Switzerland and in 15 other countries in Europe, the United States and Asia-Pacific. RUAG generates sales of approximately CHF 1.96 billion and has over 9,200 employees – 400 of whom are trainees.


Nike Möhle, VP Communications, RUAG Space


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