Zurich, 16 August 2018. The European Space Agency’s (ESA) wind satellite, Aeolus, is set to launch in late August and will use a special laser to observe air currents and winds. RUAG Space, a leading supplier to the space industry and trusted partner of the European Space Agency, created the central computer (or “brain”) that is powering the satellite.
Aeolus is the first space mission to acquire profiles of the wind on a global scale. These near-realtime observations will improve the accuracy of numerical weather and climate prediction and advance our understanding of tropical dynamics and processes relevant to climate variability.
The RUAG Space site in Sweden designed and produced the Satellite Management Unit, which is the central computer for the Aeolus satellite. “We are proud to be creating the ‘brains’ behind numerous satellites currently in orbit. More than 350 of our On-Board Computers have been successfully launched into space, and we look forward to continuing to work with partners such as ESA for these important missions,” says Peter Guggenbach, CEO, RUAG Space.
RUAG Space also delivered structures and mechanisms for the satellite as well as the thermal insulation, which protects the Aeolus satellite from extreme heat and cold in space. RUAG Space is Europe's market leader in thermal insulation for satellites. The products have been delivered to the satellite builder and prime contractor Airbus Defence and Space.
Payload fairing and central computer for Vega rocket
Aeolus will be launched on a Vega rocket. The rocket will be equipped with a payload fairing produced by RUAG Space and – like the satellite – with a central computer or “brain” from RUAG Space.
About RUAG Space
RUAG Space is the leading supplier to the space industry in Europe, with a growing presence in the United States. With more than 1,400 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 defence for use on land, in the air and in space. 56% 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 USA and Asia-Pacific. RUAG generates sales of approximately CHF 1.96 billion and has over 9,200 employees – 400 of whom are trainees.
Photo captions and credits
Photo 1: The brain of the wind satellite Aeolus was developed by RUAG Space. Copyright: © ESA/ATG medialab. Download photo here.
Photo 2: “More than 350 of our On Board Computers have been successfully launched into space”, says Peter Guggenbach, CEO, RUAG Space. Copyright: © RUAG Space. Download photo here.
Photo 3: Aeolus observes air currents and winds. Copyright: ESA/ATG medialab. Download photo here.