Under the watchful eye of Minister Verhagen, Dutch Space signed two large space contracts this afternoon, together worth more than 50 million euro. For the supply of solar panels for 14 satellites of the European navigation system Galileo, Dutch Space signed an agreement amounting to more than 20 million euro with the German prime contractor OHB-System; as prime contractor of the Dutch space instrument TROPOMI, Dutch Space signed a contract worth more than 30 million euro with the European Space Agency ESA for development activities that Dutch Space shall realise together with foreign suppliers. This contract is a milestone in the realisation of the TROPOMI instrument and comes over and above the Dutch government's previously budgeted contribution to TROPOMI, a project being realised in a close collaboration between industry (Dutch Space, SME), knowledge institutes (TNO) and science (KNMI, SRON).
"We are extremely proud that our solar panels will provide the European flagship programme Galileo with the necessary energy, especially because this is the result of a fierce competition with other strong, global players" says Bart Reijnen, chief executive officer of Dutch Space. "TROPOMI is a leading space project that has emerged from the Dutch capability in observing the atmosphere from space. Over the next few years, the new instrument will not only provide high-value employment but also a wealth of relevant data about the state of the atmosphere and our climate. The international reputation of the Netherlands in the area is based on the many years of intensive and successful collaboration within the triangle science/knowledge institutes, industry and government."
From left to right: President and CEO of OHB-System Mr. Smutny, ESA's Director General Mr. Dordain, CEO of Dutch Space Mr. Reijnen, Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation Mr. Verhagen and ESA's Director of Earth Observation Mr. Liebig at the signing of the contracts for the Galileo solar panels and for the space instrument TROPOMI.
"We are counting and trusting on the performance of Dutch Space on board the Galileo project as a key supplier. This cooperation with Dutch Space as well-known solar array provider is a strategic element for the success of the programme" said Berry Smutny, President and CEO of OHB-System AG. OHB-System is the prime contractor for the fabrication of the 14 Galileo satellites, including full responsibility for developing the satellite bus and integration of the satellites.
"ESA is pleased that the Netherlands provides this magnificent Dutch earth observation instrument which forms the central part of the Sentinel-5 Precursor instrumentation. It is a next important step in a successful series of trace gas detection instruments from the Netherlands", says Mr. Liebig, ESA's Director of Earth Observation.
Refined observation with TROPOMI
With the signing of the contract for the Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) ESA has given the go-ahead for the manufacture of important components of the instrument, under the principle contractorship of Dutch Space. From space, TROPOMI will map the global air quality and the distribution of greenhouse gases. The earth observation instrument will therefore provide crucial data for monitoring air pollution and climate change on earth. TROPOMI is a successor to previously launched earth observation instruments, OMI on the NASA satellite EOS-AURA and SCIAMACHY on ESA satellite Envisat, both of which were largely manufactured by the Netherlands. The new instrument provides a technological jump forwards thanks to the high resolution and larger viewing angle.
TROPOMI is a joint project between Dutch Space, KNMI, SRON, TNO and the Netherlands Space Office (NSO), which is largely being financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, the Ministry of Education Culture and Science and the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. ESA is financing the remaining foreign contribution and will ensure that the measurement instrument is launched in 2014 onboard the Sentinel-5-Precursor satellite.
For 14 satellites from Galileo - the European satellite navigation system - Dutch Space will develop solar panels on behalf of the prime contractor OHB-System. The Galileo navigation system is being procured by ESA on behalf of the European Commission. Thanks to an optimal coverage and the use of new atomic clocks to more accurately determine the time, the satellite constellation will give a highly accurate positioning at any location in the world. The first two sets of solar panels will be delivered in December 2011, and then delivery will take place every three months until mid-2013. Each set of solar panels consists of two wings, and each wing has two panels with a surface area of 2.75 m2. Dutch Space previously delivered solar panels for GIOVE-A, one of the two test satellites, as well as for the first 4 satellites for the Galileo In-Orbit Validation phase.
For the development of the Galileo solar panels, Dutch Space is working closely with Dutch SMEs; almost half of the project turnover is going to partners. For example, Airborne Composites is supplying the composite panels; Tecnovia and Brandt are providing the parts for the mechanisms and Hymec the parts for the unfolding mechanism.
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