Satnews Daily
December 17th, 2011

RUAG Space... In A Commanding Position (Satellite)

[SatNews] Early in the morning of December 17th, the second Soyuz mission takes off....

....from Kourou in French Guyana to deliver the French Earth observation satellite Pleiades-1 in orbit. Pleiades will be equipped with an on-board command and data handling system from RUAG Space. Pleiades is a new generation optical Earth Observation satellite capable of delivering sub-meter images of the Earth. The satellites are small and agile and will be able to re-visit, daily, the same spot on Earth. Scheduling of observation tasks is performed three times a day and can be made up to two hours before a passage. The second Pleiades satellite will be launched early 2013. The Pleiades satellites have been developed by Astrium in Toulouse on behalf of the French Space Agency, CNES, with Thales Alenia Space responsible for the optical instrument.

RUAG Space in Sweden and Austria have jointly developed the on-board command and data handling system. This product is called OBMU (On-Board Management Unit). The OBMU will handle communication with ground control stations and thus receive commands to control the satellite and deliver health status information to ground from the different units in the satellite. The Pleiades OBMU represents a step forward in space computers. The ESA laser radar mission Aeolus benefits from reusing a similar product. RUAG Space has delivered two fully redundant Flight Models, one Engineering Model and two Software Development Models to Astrium. RUAG Space in Austria has developed two boards for diverse satellite interfaces.

Artistic rendition of the very high resolution panchromatic and multispectral Earth observation satellite, Pleiades-1. Image courtesy of CNES.