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Global MilSatCom 2018

Mission success: RUAG Space payload fairing protected U.S. Air Force satellites on United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V launch

(16 March 2018 - RUAG Space) A payload fairing by RUAG Space contributed to the success of ULA’s Atlas V launch, shielding two satellites used by the U.S. Air Force from pressure and temperature changes during their flight through Earth’s atmosphere.

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RUAG Space's fairing on the Atlas V launch vehicle prior to launch (courtesy: ULA)

The Atlas V-500 fairings supplied by RUAG Space are built in composite technology based on aluminum honeycomb cores with carbon fiber reinforced plastic face sheets. RUAG Space payload fairings come in flexible measurements to fit the respective launcher. For Atlas V-500, they have a diameter of 5.4m and have a height of up to 26.5 m. Payload fairings are designed to protect the launcher’s payload on its way into orbit – from outside temperature and pressure during the launch.

RUAG Space has been supplying Atlas V-500 fairings to United Launch Alliance for more than a decade. Having kicked off production at its Decatur, AL site in March 2018 after the manufacturing readiness review, RUAG Space is able to offer “Made in the USA” payload fairings going forward. The fairings will be produced in an out-of-autoclave process, which allows the production of an entire half-shell of the payload fairing in one piece, reducing production time and costs significantly.

A leading product supplier to the space industry, RUAG supplies a wide range of products for launcher customers. Besides fairings, the launcher portfolio includes interstage adapters, payload adapter and separation systems, dispensers, onboard electronics and a variety of other topics.

About RUAG Space

RUAG Space is a leading supplier to the space industry, with engineering and manufacturing capabilities in both the US and Europe. With close to 1,400 staff, it provides products for satellites and launch vehicles – playing a key role both in the commercial and institutional space market. Its portfolio comprises electronics for satellites and launchers, mechanical and thermal products for satellites, as well as launcher structures and separation systems. RUAG Space is a division of the international technology Group RUAG.