Beyond Gravity and APCO Technologies are involved in Sentinel-2 satellites

Zurich/Aigle VD – The two Swiss space companies Beyond Gravity and APCO Technologies have contributed technologies for two Sentinel-2 satellites. One of them is due to be launched into space in 2024. Both are part of Copernicus, the European program for monitoring the environment.

Two Sentinel-2 satellites, which also contain Swiss technology, are waiting in climate-controlled tents at Airbus to be brought to the launch pad. Sentinel-2-C and Sentinel-2-D are to replace the Sentinel-2-A and Sentinel-2-B satellites, which have been providing data from orbit since 2015 and 2017.

They are used as part of the European environmental monitoring program Copernicus. The data they collect monitors changes in land use, soil sealing, agriculture and forestry as well as natural disasters, coastal areas and glaciers. This open data is also used for humanitarian aid operations.

APCO Technologies supplied the structural and thermal control subsystem for the Sentinel-2 multispectral imager and the ground equipment for the platform. APCO Technologies, based in Aigle, has been one of the European market leaders in the development, manufacture, assembly, integration and testing of structural and thermal subsystems for satellites and instruments for 25 years.

Beyond Gravity, headquartered in Zurich, is responsible for the drive mechanism of the solar system and for the eddy current damper, which is part of the solar system blade. In 2022, the company changed its name from RUAG Space to Beyond Gravity. Over six decades, it has supplied products for hundreds of space missions, both for launch vehicles and satellites.

The launch of Sentinel-2C is planned for September 2024 from the Kourou space center. However, this could be delayed because the Vega-C launch vehicle intended for this purpose, which has been prone to failure since 2019, still has to undergo tests. The launch of Sentinel-2D is scheduled for 2025. ce/mm

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