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Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Flies RUAG Space’s New Generation Navigation Receiver

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
November 23, 2020
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Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will map up to 95% of Earth’s ice-free ocean every 10 days in order to monitor sea level variability. (Credit: ESA/ATG medialab)

BERN, Switzerland (RUAG Space PR) — With Saturday’s launch of ocean monitoring satellite Sentinel-6, two new Precise Orbit Determination Receivers (PODRIX) from RUAG Space made their maiden flight.

PODRIX achieves a very high, real-time in-orbit accuracy of the satellite’s position in orbit from below one meter to a few centimeters utilizing on-ground post-processing. The high accuracy is achieved through simultaneously processing of multi-frequency signals from the U.S. GPS and European Galileo satellites.  

“Important step towards gaining flight heritage”

PODRIX GNSS receivers are the latest addition to RUAG’s GNSS receiver product family that already includes LEORIX (navigation receiver for Low Earth Orbit) and GEORIX (navigation receiver for Geostationary Earth Orbit). “They are all based on the European Space Agency’s latest GNSS processing technology”, says Anders Linder, Senior Vice President Electronics at RUAG Space.

“This launch is a remarkable milestone for our GNSS receiver family, which include the most precise receiver on the market.” Kurt Kober, General Manager Product Unit Navigation & Payload Processors, adds: “This maiden flight is an important step towards gaining flight heritage for our new PODRIX receivers.”

70 receivers of the latest receiver generation ordered

PODRIX receivers are built on the experience of the 23 GPS-only receivers of the RUAG Space legacy receiver generation that are currently working flawlessly in orbit. In total, more than 70 receivers of the latest receiver generation (LEORIX, GEORIX and PODRIX) have been ordered by customers in Asia, Europe, Middle East and the USA so far. They will be launched for different Low- and Geostationary Earth Orbit missions within the next few months or years.  

Complete package

“One key success factor for us is the ability to provide our customers with a complete package, consisting of both, GNSS receivers and antennas”, says Linder. For its entire electronics portfolio RUAG Space offers a direct technical interface to U.S. clients in its office in Denver, Colorado.

About RUAG Space: RUAG Space is the leading supplier to the space industry in Europe and has a growing presence in the United States. In total, RUAG Space has about 1,300 employees across six countries. RUAG Space develops and manufactures products for satellites and launch vehicles—playing a key role both in the institutional and commercial space market.

About RUAG International: RUAG International is a Swiss technology group focusing on the aerospace industry. Based in Zurich (Switzerland) and with production sites in 14 countries, the company is divided into four areas: Space, Aerostructures, MRO International and Ammotec. With its strategic focus on aerospace, the company will consist of segments, Aerostructures and Space, in the medium term. RUAG Space is Europe’s leading supplier of products used in the aerospace industry. RUAG Aerostructures is a global first-tier supplier in aircraft structure construction. RUAG International employs around 6,000 people.

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