MUNICH: August 05, 2019. The European Space Agency (ESA) is set to launch a satellite this week into geostationary orbit to transmit nearly real-time observation data from a network of low-Earth orbiting satellites.
The second satellite to join the constellation that forms the European Data Relay System (EDRS) arrived at its launch site in Kourou, French Guiana in June following delivery from Munich by an Antonov Airlines An-124-100.
EDRS-C is the second node of the Space Data Highway (EDRS) that is being realised in a public-private partnership between Airbus Defence and Space and ESA.
Manufactured in Germany by OHB System, the satellite uses laser technology to cut the time needed for Earth observation satellites to deliver information to the ground.
The EDRS-C joins its sister unit in a higher orbit to enable the constellation to maintain an almost constant connection with the low-Earth orbiting satellites that could otherwise only transmit their information when in direct line-of-sight with ground stations, producing delays of up to 90 minutes.
The resultant almost live feed from EDRS accelerates responses to emergency situations and spurs the development of new services and products, claims ESA.
Munich-based Kübler Spedition worked with Antonov to deliver the 70-tonne shipment to Cayenne Félix Eboué Airport, French Guiana.
“Transporting this kind of sensitive aerospace equipment has a range of challenging and specialised requirements, and our engineers worked in partnership with Kübler Spedition and OHB to provide a seamless transition of cargo from the test facilities near Munich, to aircraft, to launch site,” noted Martin Banns, Antonov UK Commercial manager.
Earlier this year the airline carried the second in a series of three satellites for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) with the third scheduled for delivery later this year.