Arianespace to launch Germany’s Heinrich Hertz technology demonstrator satellite on an Ariane 5 rock


The DLR German Aerospace Center, OHB SE and Arianespace have announced the signing of a launch contract for Germany’s Heinrich Hertz (H2Sat) technology demonstrator satellite built by OHB System AG. The satellite will be orbited by an Ariane 5 heavy-lift launcher from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, between mid-2021 and the end of 2022. As a technology demonstrator for the German national space program, the H2Sat mission is designed to support the development and testing of new space communications technologies and transmission schemes. Heinrich Hertz’s communications payload showcases technology that can make satellites more adaptable to changing needs on the ground. The satellite is named after German physicist Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, who proved the existence of electromagnetic waves, which includes radio waves. H2Sat will be used to test or flight-qualify some 20 different components or subassemblies, new technologies and transmission schemes developed by German industry and the scientific community. It also will carry a military communications system to be used by the Bundeswehr (the federal armed forces of Germany). Built by OHB System AG in Bremen, H2Sat is based on the company’s SmallGEO platform, developed through the European Space Agency’s ARTES 11 program. It will weigh 3,450 kg and will be launched on an Ariane 5. The satellite will be transferred to a geostationary orbit. Commenting on this latest contract, Arianespace Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Israël said: “With this new contract for Ariane 5, we are honored by the trust placed in us by the DLR. With the H2Sat mission, which features the most advanced satellite technologies, Arianespace is proud to serve the space program ambitions of Germany – a key country in the Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 programs. It also is with great satisfaction that we extend our partnership with OHB SE through this contract. We also are proud to participate, along with H2Sat, in the realization of the results from ESA’s ARTES 11 program, which aims at placing Europe at the top of innovative space telecommunication systems.”

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