The new OHB Space Center in Oberpfaffenhofen has been inaugurated and is one of the most modern centers for optical systems and science missions in the space industry.
In an official inauguration ceremony held on April 18, 2016, the new OHB “Optics and Science” Space Center was officially opened in the presence of Horst Seehofer, Prime Minister of the Free State of Bavaria, Martin Günthner, Bremen’s Senator for Economic Affairs, Labor and Ports, Prof. Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chief Executive Officer of the German Aerospace Center, and Alain Ratier, Director General of EUMETSAT.
With 360 employees, the OHB “Optics and Science” Space Center has been constructed in Oberpfaffenhofen in the direct vicinity of the German Space Agency DLR. The heart of the new clean-room complex is formed by two adjacent ISO5 halls each with a floor area of 150 square meters and an ISO8 measuring 300 square meters. This makes it possible to integrate even large optical space systems. The first occupants are the EnMAP* and MTG* projects.
The laboratory facilities are spread over a total of 1,000 square meters and accommodate all the development and testing equipment required for executing space system projects. This includes electronics laboratories, a mechanics laboratory, a thermal/vacuum laboratory for simulating thermal conditions in space, an inspection and preparation laboratory and a focal level laboratory. In addition, there are rooms for integrating systems for altitude research and planetary exploration. With its large windows, various communications islands and an attractive campus restaurant, the architecture creates pleasant and creative working conditions. Looking forward, plans for expanding the office space and laboratory and clean rooms have already been drafted.
Marco Fuchs, the Chief Executive Officer of OHB SE, welcomed his guests and the employees at the new Space Center in Oberpfaffenhofen: “I am very pleased that we have reached this important milestone in OHB’s history together. We have sent out a clear signal with our investment of over EUR 30 million in our new Bavarian site and additionally reinforced our roots in Bavaria. With the outstanding technical facilities of our clean rooms and laboratories together with our skilled and committed employees, we will be able to operate extremely competitively in Oberpfaffenhofen.
The Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer congratulated the OHB space experts on their new professional home and said, “Oberpfaffenhofen is where the heart of German aviation and aerospace engineering beats. With its ten scientific establishments and institutions, the DLR site is one of the largest and most renowned research centers in Germany. Now, OHB is pooling its skills and more than 30 years of experience in space technology in DLR’s direct vicinity. At this same time, this strengthens Bavaria’s renown as an outstanding location for aviation and space engineering. More than one third of the German space industry is based in Bavaria, with roughly 550 companies employing around 36,000 people. I am proud of these high-tech jobs with the promise that they hold for the future as well as the spirit of research turning dreams into reality. Looking forward, the space industry can continue to rely on the Bavarian state government as a strong partner.”
Martin Günthner, Senator of Economic Affairs, Labor and Ports, had come from Bremen especially for this event, and added, “OHB’s new space center in Oberpfaffenhofen reflects the close links between economics and science, which are providing the underpinnings of a promising new technology. Last week, work commenced on the construction of EcoMaT in Bremen, a research and development center for light-weight construction, which will drive innovations in many areas particularly aviation and space. We will continue to nurture the close ties between Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Bremen in space technology to combine our efforts to remain at the vanguard.
Prof. Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chief Executive Officer of the German Space Agency (DLR), said, “The business decision to combine science and capabilities in the development and construction of optical instruments and equipment is a clear reflection of where the company is headed at its new site. As well as this, it offers very good opportunities for forging partnerships with other companies including, of course, DLR.”
* OHB is implementing the national hyperspectral EnMAP earth observation satellite as the prime contractor. MTG entails optical instruments for the third-generation European weather satellite MTG (Meteosat Third Generation). The satellite buses for both projects are being completed by OHB in Bremen.