HENSOLDT is a key European industrial supplier of space equipment for leading-edge optical, optoelectronic and electrical payloads. HENSOLDT’s customers value its outstanding ability to dovetail design and systems engineering with manufacturing, integration, alignment and verification processes. Among its on-site assets are class-100 clean rooms, thermal vacuum chambers with optical access, vibration and electromagnetic testing facilities and environmental test chambers.
HENSOLDT‘s space heritage dates back more than half a century. With a camera on board the Apollo 11 lunar module recording the very first steps of mankind on the moon, HENSOLDT had its optics in space for the first time in 1969 – The German sensor solutions provider strengthens its space domain by combining its legacy of innovative space optics with high-end space-borne radar instruments. Since the 1990s, HENSOLDT’s space electronics team has supplied key technologies and core electronics for synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites. In the space business, where low volume and high quality intersect, know-how and skill-set make all the difference.
HENSOLDT’s space solutions are designed to operate reliably under the most adverse environmental conditions, and are tough enough to withstand the rigors of protracted space missions. HENSOLDT’s SAR solutions have been in operation for more than 20 years without mission critical failure. Below are some areas that we will highlight.
There are many thousands of objects in orbit around the Earth, all of them travelling at significant orbital velocity. Not only do they pose a significant risk to the safety of space assets, but collision between these objects can instigate a chain reaction, if the density of objects is sufficient. While collision of space debris poses a natural threat to active satellites, space warfare is also a lingering concern. Ranging from denying other space powers their ability to operate in and from space to physically devastating their equipment, some nations actively seek to disrupt, sabotage and destroy space-based systems with anti-satellite weapons (ASAT) – from the ground up, airborne and exo-atmospheric in space.
In addition, the jamming of up and downlinks to and from satellites is an ever-increasing threat. HENSOLDT’s laser warning technology can be used for space asset protection to detect and protect from space warfare. Electronically controlled antennas make it possible to track detected objects and simultaneously search space for more.
PLANETARY AND SPACE OBSERVATION
With its multispectral imaging radiometer METImage, HENSOLDT contributes to German Aerospace Center DLR’s EUMETSAT Polar System – Second Generation (EPS-SG) MetOp weather satellites. They are set to start in 2022. METImage will provide meteorological data for 30 years after launch , helping to improve weather forecasts and monitoring, civil protection and climate research. The 140 gigabytes of meteorological data gathered daily will improve the reliability of weather forecasts and climate predictions substantially. HENSOLDT has contributed the cryogenic mechanisms and the diffractive optics to the Mid-Infrared Imager (MIRI) and the Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) which are key elements of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.
HENSOLDT’s legacy in optical engineering provides the background to meet any challenge in optical space instrumentation which involves the relay optics and optical filters for MetImage’s infrared detection channels. To qualify optics and filters, HENSOLDT designed and implemented a proprietary test facility, which provides for cycling of optical equipment to extreme temperatures.
With its wide product and technological range, HENSOLDT provides cutting edge sensor solutions throughout the whole chain of space-borne RADAR electronics and enables its governmental, commercial and scientific customers to maintain superiority in the provision of high resolution imagery and target detection, 24/7 in all weather conditions. HENSOLDT solutions are deployed on various space platforms.
Since the 1990’s, HENSOLDT‘s space electronics teams in Friedrichshafen and Ulm supply key technologies and core electronics for the Synthetic Aperture RADAR (SAR) Space Missions SRTM, TerraSAR-X, Tandem-X, PAZ (Spain), Next Generation Synthetic Aperture Radar (NGSAR) and Kompsat-6 (South-Korea). These key technologies have proven excellent performance and successful operation in space and comprise: They include transmit/receive modules, digital control electronics and radio frequency electronics. The upcoming next generation of space-borne radar missions.
Nowadays, HENSOLDT’s digital electronics have proven excellent performance, with a flight time of more than 20 years on TerraSAR-X, Tandem-X and PAZ (Spain). The upcoming next generation of space-borne radar missions requires the highest performance in digital signal processing. Similarly as approached and proven previously, HENSOLDT is already mastering today’s state-of-the-art chips and FPGAs for various terrestrial applications and is now prepared to serve the upcoming generation of space applications. now prepared to serve the upcoming generation of space applications.