RUAG Space has kicked off a new product line, thermal insulation for launch vehicles. “We have more than 25 years of experience in high-quality thermal insulation for satellites. Building upon this knowledge we enter a new market segment and produce thermal insulation for launchers,” says Peter Guggenbach, CEO RUAG Space.
For the new product, RUAG Space can build on its established processes and competencies in the area of thermal hardware. “During the journey from Earth to space the launcher engines have to withstand extreme heat from up to 1,500 degree Celsius for a few minutes. These temperatures are much higher than the typical -150 to +150 degree Celsius a thermal insulation for satellites has to withstand in orbit. But we can use a lot of the knowledge we gained in more than 50 satellite projects,” explains Guggenbach. The high-temperature insulation for launchers consists of glass and ceramic materials.
RUAG Space is delivering the thermal insulation for the new European rocket Ariane 6, built by ArianeGroup, on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA). ArianeGroup is lead contractor for Europe’s Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launcher families, responsible for both design and the entire production chain, up to and including marketing by its Arianespace subsidiary. The first launch of Ariane 6 is scheduled for 2020. In 2019, RUAG Space will complete the delivery of its thermal insulation for the Ariane 6 maiden flight.
RUAG Space will produce the new product line in a newly built clean room adjacent to its existing production facility in Austria, where the company currently produces multilayer insulation for satellites and non-space products. As a spin-off from its space activities RUAG Space is producing thermal insulation for medical applications, such as MRI scanners (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and for energy applications, e.g. thermal insulation for Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) tanks.
RUAG Space is the European market leader in the field of thermal insulation for satellites. Thermal insulation from RUAG Space protects almost every European satellite from extreme heat and cold in space, among those e.g. European-Japanese Mercury probe BepiColombo launched in October 2018 or ESA’s Solar Orbiter (scheduled to launch in 2020). Also many international and commercial customers rely on thermal insulation from RUAG Space, like e.g. telecommunications satellite constellations Iridium-NEXT and OneWeb.