Decision announced on award of satellite projects
Project for defining the follow-up generation for SAR-Lupe awarded – DLR supporting OHB with LITTLE GEO Project
SWARM concept not selected
The German Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement has awarded OHB-System AG a project for the completion of a study on “global space-based reconnaissance” (WERA). This entails definitions of the next generation of SAR-Lupe. Upon being implemented next year, the SAR-Lupe system will provide the German Federal Armed Forces with space-based reconnaissance for a period of ten years. The Armed Forces are attaching importance to a seamless migration to the follow-up system upon the expiry of this period. In the WERA study, OHB will be defining a system characterized by such elements as heightened performance, even greater resolution and shorter image delivery times. As well as this, it will be determining whether the next-generation satellites will also be able to supply infrared images and other types of information from areas of interest in addition to radar images.
The LUX model for small geostationary satellites developed by Bremenbased space-technology company OHB-System AG has found acceptance. The German Space Agency (DLR) is supporting the OHB program for “little GEOs” by awarding a project in this area. With this initiative, OHB-System AG is pursuing the aim of placing inexpensive satellites with a relatively small mass and volume in geostationary orbits.
Under its LUX project, OHB started developing a highly efficient multipurpose satellite platform for communications, security and research at the beginning of 2004. The support being shown by the German Space Agency (DLR) testify to the merits of both the idea and the technical approach developed by OHB.
“In Germany, no geostationary satellites have been developed and built for more than ten years,” states OHB project manager Dominik Lang. “As a result, we face the risk of losing the necessary system skills in this country,” he adds, explaining the reasons for the LUX program.
In contrast to conventional geostationary satellites, LITTLE GEOs are far smaller and less expensive. As a result, they are ideal for performing special tasks, which can be modified according to the customer’s wishes. The first satellite is scheduled to be placed in its geostationary orbit in 2009.
The European Space Agency ESA has announced its decision with respect to the SWARM satellite project. The OHB team comprising strong small to mid-size European partners failed to gain the project. „ESA has evidently not yet accepted our innovative concept, which goes new ways,” explains Prof. Manfred Fuchs, CEO of OHB-System AG.