RUAG space won the contract to supply the power system for the prototype arctic weather satellite (AWS) radiometer instrument. Mission objective: to enable accurate and short-term weather forecasts also in the Arctic.
The contract includes an option for 16 additional flight models for the planned AWS constellation. The prototype of the Arctic Weather Satellite (AWS) mission under development by ESA with OHB Sweden because Mission prime is the forerunner of a potential constellation of satellites that would provide an almost constant stream of temperature and humidity data from anywhere on Earth. This would make it possible for the first time to make very short-term weather forecasts – known as “now casting” – in the Arctic and allow better forecasting of storms or extreme weather conditions. OHB Sweden leads the industrial consortium for the AWS mission. Omnisys Instruments in Sweden is the prime contractor for the instrument from which RUAG Space has now been awarded a contract for the supply of the prototype radiometer instrument power system, including design, manufacture, testing and delivery.
“New Space” approach with agile and profitable production methods
With this mission, ESA is adopting the New Space approach. Anders Linder, Electronics Product Group Manager at RUAG Space, comments: “What sets AWS apart as a project from ESA is that it embraces the New Space way of working. This means that cost effective automotive grade components will be used and agile development methods applied. Our team is determined to show what can be achieved by taking a cutting edge approach here. We are delighted to move forward with our client Omnisys Instrument Sweden and to work with the entire AWS consortium for a successful mission. “
RUAG Space’s Power System is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2022. The launch of the prototype satellite weighing around 120 kilograms is expected to take place in 2024. The prototype now on order is expected to be followed by a constellation of 16 AWS satellites. Subject to a follow-up decision after the prototype, the constellation would be implemented with the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites EUMETSAT according to the cooperation model established with the Meteosat and MetOp satellites.