OHB System AG expertise covers technological areas which are required for executing satellite missions. It also engages in new technologies and innovative applications of relevance for future missions.
The TET-1 technology testing vehicle was the core element of the national on-orbit verification program (OOV) for demonstrating and verifying new technologies in space. Eleven technological experiments from Germany underwent successful testing during a one-year mission campaign. One of the payloads, an infrared camera, has been used by DLR since 2013 for global fire observation. The testing of new technologies in space is growing in importance. For this reason, OHB System AG is working on a TET small satellite series for OOV applications.
Research institutes in Germany play a leading global role in robotic technologies. Robotics bridge the gap between mechanics and electronics (mechatronics) and software. Robotic technologies are a key element of on-orbit servicing, the disposal of decommissioned satellites and unmanned missions across the solar system. OHB System AG is working closely with leading robotics specialists in Germany in this area. Examples testifying to the company’s skills include the successful robotics demonstration program ROKVISS on the International Space Station as well as various studies (extended life cycle of geostationary satellites, de-orbiting of decommissioned satellites, lunar vehicles and mechanisms). At its Munich offices, OHB System is developing a sample preparation and distribution system (SPDS) for the Rover as part of ESA’s ExoMars mission. SPDS is designed to crush and prepare core samples (taken from a depth of up to 2 m) and pass them on to various instruments within the Rover for both physical and chemical analyses.
One of OHB System’s core skills is in telescopes and optical systems. More information on this can be found under Optical Systems for exploring the universe and the earth. One application-oriented example is the integrated online camera system OCAM. OCAM not only delivers spectacular images from space but also provides new insights into the phenomena occurring during launches. OCAM allows the release of a satellite or the execution of an experiment to be documented. The autonomous camera system has its own power supply and data compression system with additional optional interfaces to experiments. It is extremely versatile thanks to the experience which the company has amassed over many decades with sounding rocket missions. In 2014, for example, OCAM was fitted with GNSS receivers and recorded the ascent of an Ariane-5 launcher for the first time satellite-based.
An example of the successful transfer of space technology for use in established products and services in industry is the company’s Process Control System (PCS) industrial segment. The origins of the PCS go back to the ground operating systems for high-altitude research rockets and experiments in space. PCS has been offering an end-to-end range of products for automating and coordinating rail electricity supplies for several decades now. Its customer is DB Energie GmbH, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn AG.