Satellite Multi-Layer Insulation

RUAG Space is the competence center for the research and development, design, manufacturing and integration of all Thermal Control elements for space applications like e.g. Multi-Layer Insulations....

RUAG Space Multi-Layer Insulation

Since 1991 the company has established significant know-how in the design, development, manufacturing and integration of

  • Multi Layer Insulation (MLI)
  • Optical Solar Reflectors (OSR)
  • Interfillers
  • Sensors
  • Heaters

Our quality approach to Thermal Hardware is supported by our proven track record of supply into the space industry since the beginning of our activities.

If you are interested in Thermal Insulations for non-space we are also offering Cryogenic Insulations for other areas.

SUCCESS STORY: Thermal insulation for all Galileo satellites

Galileo FOC satellites. Image: ESA

SUCCESS STORY: Thermal insulation for all Galileo satellites

Since the start of the Galileo program RUAG Space has produced every thermal insulation for the whole Galileo satellite constellation. The Galileo satellites are ‘wrapped up’ almost entirely in a special thermal insulation blanket to ensure that the sensitive onboard electronics are not damaged by the extreme temperature fluctuations encountered by the satellites in space.

What is Multi-Layer Insulation or MLI?

Multi-Layer Insulation, or MLI, is a thermal insulation consisting of multiple layers of thin sheets. Multi-Layer Insulation is used for satellites in space as well as in other areas like medicine, e.g. for MRI scanners (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). In space Multi-Layered Insulation protects the satellite or other spacecraft against the extreme cold and heat.

Why do some satellites look like wrapped in gold foil?

Some satellites indeed look like pralines wrapped in gold foil. That is because of the Multi-Layer Thermal Insulation which protects them against extreme temperatures in space. But the Thermal Insulation does not always have to be gold-colored. Depending on the route of the satellite the color can also be white, like the Thermal Protection for the BepiColombo-Mission.

The BepiColombo spacecraft, a joint project between the European and Japanese space agencies ESA and Jaxa, will explore Mercury. The spacecraft is protected by white thermal insulation from RUAG Space. The outside surface consists of high-temperature insulation made of ceramic fibers. The insulation will also serve as protection against micrometeorites. Mercury is the planet closest to the sun, so the spacecraft will have to withstand extreme heat of over 450 degrees Celsius.