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RUAG Space delivers weather satellite structure for MetOp Second Generation

(6 May 2021 - RUAG Space) RUAG Space has supplyied the second of six flight models for the second generation of weather satellites (Second Generation; Meteorological Operational Satellite), which provide weather images and films for weather forecasts day after day.

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MetOp Second Generation satellite structure is loaded into the transport container in Zurich Seebach (courtesy: UAG Space)

The six-metre high and 1000-kilogram "light" basic structure was developed by RUAG Space in Zurich and assembled from over 24,000 parts. These not only have to withstand hard loads during launch, but are also exposed to extreme temperatures and temperature fluctuations as well as vacuum conditions in space. But the structures also have to be as light as possible to save fuel. The structures owe their lightness to their construction as a "sandwich" with a core of aluminum honeycomb bonded to cover layers of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic.

Early in the morning of the 6th May 2012, the second of six airworthy basic structures was delivered by special transport to the customer, Airbus Defence & Space, in Friedrichshafen. The air-conditioned transport container weighs over 16 tonnes and protects the satellite structure from contamination and vibrations during the journey.

The launch of the satellite named MetOp-SG 1B is planned for 2025.

Metop-SG is a cooperation programme between the European Space Agency ESA and EUMETSAT, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites. Members of EUMETSAT are MeteoSwiss and numerous European meteorological organisations. The main contractor for the creation of the satellites is the company Airbus Defence & Space.

RUAG Space, headquartered in Zurich, is the leading aerospace supplier in Europe with a growing presence in the USA. Around 1300 employees in six countries (Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Germany, USA and Finland) develop and manufacture products for satellites and launch vehicles - for both the institutional and commercial space markets. RUAG Space is part of RUAG International, a Swiss technology group with production sites in 14 countries, which is divided into four divisions: Space, Aerostructures, MRO International and Ammotec. RUAG International employs around 6,000 people, of whom around two thirds work outside Switzerland.

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