On Thursday, May 27, OneWeb will launch an additional 36 broadband internet satellites aboard a Soyuz launch vehicle from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia. As a key supplier to OneWeb Satellites, RUAG Space built the satellite dispenser, which functions as an interface between the Soyuz rocket and satellites.
The dispenser will deposit the 36 satellites safely into space, bringing the constellation on-orbit from the current 182 to 218 in number.
OneWeb Satellites—a joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus—is OneWeb’s industrial partner and leads the design and manufacturing of OneWeb’s fleet of satellites. The RUAG Space dispensers for OneWeb are built in Linköping, Sweden. Each dispenser has a 1.7 meter central cylinder structure and a height of 5.5 metres.
RUAG Space also manufactures the OneWeb satellite back-bone (structure) in Titusville, Florida. The structures are manufactured using the Automated Potting Process, a production method that uses a pick and place machine to rapidly position special inserts filled with adhesive into the satellite structure’s sandwich panels.
RUAG Space produces the multi-layer thermal insulation that protects the OneWeb satellites from the cold and heat in space from approximately minus 150°C to plus 150°C (-238 degrees F to 302 degrees F). The insulation consists of several layers of metal-evaporated polyimide film.
RUAG Space in Austria also built handle equipment and transport containers. The high-tech, custom satellite containers are used to transport the assembled OneWeb satellites from Florida to the launch sites. The containers are equipped with a specifically designed damping system and climate-control.
“To deposit more than 200 OneWeb satellites in orbit is a big milestone. Our dispenser is super-light and includes state-of-the-art technology to safely place the satellites in orbit,” said Holger Wentscher, Senior Vice President Product Group Launchers at RUAG Space.