Optical Competence

Besides its extensive capabilities in the development of spacecraft missions and platforms, a second core capability of OHB System is the development of optical payloads.

Past and ongoing developments at OHB System AG, Munich site (formerly Kayser-Threde), cover the entire electromagnetic spectrum from X-ray to long wave infrared – and each of these systems has represented a challenge to the status quo and a realization of previously unavailable performance capabilities.

Some of the most prominent examples of OHB System’s experience include:

Current Developments

  • Meteosat Third Generation – Infrared Sounder: First-of a kind instrument to measure, among others, the three-dimensional movement of water vapor in the Earth’s atmosphere‎. Development of this large European spectrometer is lead by prime contractor OHB System.
  • Meteosat Third Generation – Flexible Combined Imager: Providing high resolution imagery of the Earth for improved weather forecasts. OHB System responsible for overall telescope assembly.
  • EnMAP: Hyperspectral instrument covering an impressive spectral range from 420 nm to ‎‎2450 ‎nm‎ in more than 200 individual ‎channels with a high ground resolution.‎ Both instrument and spacecraft are developed by OHB System.
  • MERLIN: French-German mission for space-based measurement of methane in the Earth’s atmosphere. OHB System is responsible for key optical elements.
  • EUCLID: Investigation of geometry and nature of the universe. OHB System is responsible for the near-infrared spectrometer and photometer optical assembly.
  • MERTIS: Imaging spectrometer for the analysis of Mercury on ESA’s Bepi Colombo mission. OHB System is industrial prime contractor for the telescope assembly.
  • PLATO: Recently selected ESA mission to search for exoplanets. OHB System works closely together with the leading scientists and manages the development of the instrument.

Past Developments

  • Herschel PACS: Cryogenic far-infrared instrument for the European Herschel mission, operating at ‑269 °C. Developed by prime contractor OHB System.
  • ORFEUS: Free-flying ultraviolet observatory, deployed and retrieved by Space Shuttle.
    OHB System AG responsible for development and realization of the main telescope
  • XMM mirror modules: Highly challenging X-ray mirrors designed, manufactured and qualified by OHB System.
  • ANITA: Instrument for interferometric analysis of the air quality on the ISS, developed by OHB System.

Terrestrial Developments

  • SOFIA: Infrared telescope performing astronomy missions aboard a specially mod modified Boeing 747 aircraft. Primary mirror assembly developed by OHB System.
  • Sunrise: This balloon-borne telescope performs high-resolution ‎observations of the sun’s atmosphere‎. OHB System developed the primary mirror assembly for this instrument.
  • JET Endoscope: Structural health monitoring of the Joint European Torus fusion reactor’s divertor, developed by OHB System as industrial prime contractor.
  • Wendelstein telescope: Ground-based 2 m class observatory on mount Wendelstein near Munich, Germany. Developed and realized by prime contractor OHB System.

Download Brochures

Optical Systems
The Hyperspectral Earth Observation Satellite
Meteosat Third Generation - Next generation weather satellites