Space heat shield from Austria enables Internet in the Arctic
Tomorrow, Thursday, July 1, the next 36 of a total of around 600 small Internet satellites from the British-Indian company OneWeb will be launched into space. This brings the number of small satellites in space to 254, which will bring fast Internet to the Arctic and remote regions in Alaska, Greenland or parts of Canada by the end of the year. "Thermal protection from Austria protects the satellites from the extreme cold and heat in space of about minus 150°C to plus 150°C," emphasizes Andreas Buhl, Managing Director of RUAG Space Austria, Austria's largest space company. RUAG Space produced the thermal protection in Berndorf, Lower Austria. The insulation consists of several layers of metal-vaporized plastic foils. The OneWeb satellites will launch into space Thursday afternoon from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia. During final work on the satellites in Vostochny, some employees from RUAG Space's Austrian sites were also deployed at the Russian rocket launch site.
Internet connection in the Arctic is a major challenge
Stable communications as fast as possible is a major challenge in vast and remote regions like the Arctic. There is a lack of landlines, and connections to existing telecom satellites orbiting higher above the equator are poor. Add to this the unique atmospheric phenomena of the Arctic (such as the polar vortex). OneWeb's satellite Internet network, located in low Earth orbit, is designed to provide fast and stable Internet. In addition to providing communications solutions for military purposes, OneWeb's satellite Internet network is also useful for disaster relief in the Arctic, such as winter earthquakes, avalanches and extremely cold weather.
Satellite system for worldwide Internet
When completed, the OneWeb satellite system will provide cost-effective Internet access worldwide. In the first stage of expansion, it will comprise around 600 satellites orbiting the Earth in low-Earth orbit. A satellite weighs around 150 kilograms and is about the size of a washing machine.
RUAG Space Austria is Austria's largest space supplier
RUAG Space Austria, headquartered in Vienna-Meidling, is Austria's largest space technology company with around 250 employees. The high-tech company equips satellites worldwide with electronics, mechanics and thermal insulation and has an export quota of around 100 percent.
Almost every European satellite with heat protection from Austria
RUAG Space Austria is the European market leader in thermal insulation. Thermal insulation from Austria protects almost every European satellite from extreme heat and cold in space. More than 20 people are currently employed at the Berndorf site.