On Thursday, October 14, OneWeb launched 36 additional, broadband internet satellites aboard a Soyuz launch vehicle from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia.
OneWeb is building a communications network with a constellation of LEO satellites that will deliver internet access around the world. This latest, successful launch brings OneWeb’s total, on-orbit constellation to 358 satellites, more than half of OneWeb’s entire 648 satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity.
As a key supplier to OneWeb’s manufacturing factory, Airbus OneWeb Satellites, RUAG Space built the satellite dispenser, which functions as an interface between the Soyuz rocket and satellites. The dispenser deposited the 36 satellites safely into space.
Airbus 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, and each dispenser has a 1.7 meter central cylinder structure and a height of 5.5 meters.
RUAG Space also manufactured 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.
In Austria, RUAG Space produced the multi-layer thermal insulation that protects the OneWeb satellites against 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 are climate-controlled.
“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 Program Launchers at RUAG Space.