ARTES 11 approved by ESA council of ministers conference on the basis of the OHB Lux specifications
EUR 61 million out of the planned EUR 100 million already committed
With around EUR 32 million, Germany to play the leading role
The results of the ESA council of ministers conference, which took place at the German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin on December 5 – 6, will unleash positive effects for the German space industry in general and for the OHB Technology Group in particular.
Thus, with a contribution of EUR 32 million so far, Germany will be assuming the lead role in the development of small geostationary satellites (small GEOs). The technical specifications for the new European small GEOs have their roots in the OHB-System AG proposal and are based on the national LUX project study sponsored by DLR for the development of a platform of small geostationary satellites with a launch weight of up to 1500 kg. Initiated by OHB, the development of a geostationary platform has been established as a separate component of the long-term ESA schedule under the program name ARTES-11. With the support of ESA, OHB is setting up operations with its European partners and expects to commence work on the ARTES 11 program mid next year.
Of the budget of EUR 100 million required for this project, a figure of EUR 61 million has already been committed by interested member states. “This is a solid basis and marks the commencement of the development and construction of small GEOs,” says OHB Technology AG CEO, Marco R. Fuchs, visibly satisfied. On the basis of market analyses, OHB projects demand for up to eight satellites per year, with the pioneer to commence operations as early as in 2009 at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers.
A further key decision made by the ministers concerns the first phase (2006-2008) of the joint ESA/EU GMES initiative (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security). With a contribution of 31 percent of EUR 62 million, Germany will be taking a lead role with this program as well.
The Bremen state government, OHB and EADS Space Transportation are planning to establish a GMES center in Bremen as a central unit for managing observation data.
The council of ministers conference also generated favorable signals for OHB subsidiary MT Aerospace AG, Augsburg. Thus, programs to further develop the ARIANE launcher were adopted to safeguard and extend independent European space access. European endeavors to develop the launcher system of the future are reflected in the resolution approving the Future Launcher Preparatory Program FLPP with a current volume of some EUR 280 million. Here as well, OHB Technology Group companies will be involved.
In addition, a decision was made in Berlin to resolutely continue activities to extend the International Space Station ISS to accommodate up to six astronauts. ESA expects the European laboratory Columbus to be launched in 2008, meaning that the systems developed and built by OHB will also be able to enter the operative phase.