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RUAG Space is the Space Division of the Swiss technology group RUAG. At a total of fourteen sites in Switzerland (Zurich, Emmen and Nyon), Sweden (Gothenburg, Linköping), Finland (Tampere), Germany (Coswig), USA (Denver, Titusville, Santa Clara, Decatur) and Austria (Vienna, Berndorf). RUAG Space employs around 1,350 people and posted sales of 365 million Swiss Francs in 2017. As a supplier of Arianespace, RUAG Space is also a shareholder, with 0.82% of capital in 2018.
|CEO Peter Guggenbach|
Number of employees
|Footnotes / references|
RUAG Space is a division of the Swiss technology group RUAG, with locations in Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Germany, the USA and Austria.
The company began in the late 1970s as a subcontractor of Oerlikon Contraves (later named Oerlikon Space) carrying out final assembly of payload fairings for Ariane rockets. These activities took place at Emmen, Switzerland. Over the years RUAG Space has expanded primarily through acquisitions. First, the Swiss government owned company took over the companies Mecanex (Nyon) and HTS (Wallisellen). In 2008, RUAG acquired the Swedish SAAB Space and its subsidiary Austrian Aerospace. In 2009, RUAG finally bought Oerlikon Space AG, the largest Swiss space company at that time. With the acquiring of Oerlikon Space AG, the Space Division was founded under the name RUAG Space.
In the following years RUAG Space expanded further. In 2015 a site in Tampere, Finland was acquired. RUAG Space Finland has 40 employees. By 2015, RUAG Space USA had 4 sites in 4 different states. In 2018, 109 employees were working in the United States at sites in Decatur, Alabama; Titusville, Florida; Denver (Centennial), Colorado and Santa Clara, California. During 2016 the HTS GmbH in Coswig near Dresden was acquired as the first RUAG Space site in Germany. After a two year consolidation period, the name was changed to RUAG Space Germany GmbH.
The Swiss space activities are part of the RUAG Schweiz AG a subsidiary of the RUAG Holding AG. As of 2018, 517 employees were working at sites in Zurich, Emmen and Nyon.
In 2018, the Swedish branch of RUAG Space AB had 332 employees in Gothenburg and 120 employees in Linköping, with two subsidiaries in Austria and Finland. RUAG Space AB specializes in related equipment, for example on-board computer systems, antennas and microwave electronics for satellites and adapters and separation systems for launchers. The company headquarters is located in Gothenborg, Sweden and a division for mechanical systems is situated in Linköping, Sweden. In May 2015, the company had 415 employees. It was originally started as a joint venture between SAAB and Ericsson as Saab Ericsson Space until Ericsson sold its stake to SAAB together with Saab Microwave Systems in 2006.
In 2018, the Austrian RUAG Space GmbH had 251 employees in two sites in Vienna and Berndorf and RUAG Space Germany GmbH had 39 employees in Coswig.
As a result of its European origins, RUAG Space has been part of many European space missions, but is also building a US market presence. Notable scientific spacecraft to use RUAG Space components include the Herschel Space Observatory, Planck, Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity, BepiColombo, Galileo, Solar Orbiter, Automated Transfer Vehicle, Aeolus, and ICESat2. RUAG Space products also fly on the Ariane 5, Vega, Falcon 9, and Atlas launch vehicles.
RUAG Space focuses on the development and manufacturing of assemblies for satellites and launchers. RUAG Space - one of the five division of RUAG – is divided in three Product Groups. This Product Groups structure RUAG Space in its three main focus areas: Electronics, Launchers and Spacecraft.
The Product Group Electronics handles everything that RUAG Space does in the space electronic field, including flight computers for satellites and launch vehicle, GPS Navigation receiver and signal processors, power and drive electronics, and microwave electronics and antennas.
The Product Group Launchers produces the most recognizable parts of RUAG Space: the payload fairing. Besides the payload fairing RUAG Space is manufacturing the Payload Adapter Systems and also guidance computers for sounding rockets.
The Product Group Spacecraft contains all mechanical and thermal products, that are used on satellites. This include Satellite structures and mechanisms, the Mechanical Ground Support Equipment (MGSE), Slip Rings as well thermal systems like insulation (MLI - Multi Layer Insulation) and heaters.
Some specific products, such as slip rings or thermal insulation are offered also to non space customers.
Additionally to the Ariane Payload Fairing, RUAG Space is producing the Fairing of the Vega Rocket, that is launched since 2012 in Kourou as well.
The Atlas V500 of the United Launch Alliance is supplied with Payload Fairings, that can exceed 26 m.
A payload fairing consists of a sandwich-structure, with a core of aluminum honeycomb and topcoat of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Cured in the Autoclave at 50 to 250°C, it is plated with a cork plating and painted with its final lacquer.
A payload fairing protects the payload during launch from damage caused by the enormous noise, vibration and aerodynamic pressure. Once the atmosphere is getting thinner, and the point of highest pressure (max Q) is past, it gets separated via explosives while the engines are still burning, so that the payload (satellite, probe …) is exposed.
- Annual Report RUAG Holding AG, 2017 https://annualreport.ruag.com/sites/ar17/files/media_document/2018-03/RUAG_Annualreport_2017_full_EN.pdf
- "Company profile – Repartition of Arianespace capital". Arianespace. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
- Berg, Martin (2006-06-12). "Ericsson säljer Ericsson Microwave Systems till Saab" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 2008-11-09.[dead link]