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SMi MilSatCom USA 2020  Satellite Communications Technology

SENER will develop the devices for assembly of the Biomass satellite structure

(9 May 2018 - SENER) SENER will design, manufacture and test devices for assembly of the Biomass satellite. This is a mission from the European Space Agency (ESA) under the Earth Explorer program, which objective is to find answers to the most important scientific questions about the environment of our planet.

In Biomass, SENER will develop all the devices for assembly of the satellite structure, including vertical transport equipment, assembly and disassembly of satellite panels, assembly and disassembly of the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), which is the main research instrument, and the container for transporting the radar. The devices for assembly of the radar constitute the main challenge of the contract, because it contains a large antenna with a diameter of 12 meters. The whole satellite will weigh 1,170 kg and have a dimension of 10 x 12 x 20 m.

Assembly equipment is one of SENER’s specialties. Recently, the company delivered thirteen MGSE devices (Mechanical Ground Support Equipment) for Euclid, a satellite weighing 2.3 tons.

The Biomass mission is aimed at finding data on changes in forest biomass and on the scale of deforestation that remain inaccurate. Reliable data will enable to better understand carbon cycle in the environment and global warming processes. This data will also form basis for UN initiatives intended to reduce carbon emissions resulting from deforestation in developing countries. Biomass will enable creation of 3D forest maps in 200 m resolution (1 pixel = 200 m). Start of the mission is planned for 2021 and it will last at least 5 years.

SENER has more than 50 years of activity and is a key player. To date, SENER has successfully handed more than 275 systems and equipment for satellites and space vehicles for space agencies in the US (NASA), Europe (ESA), Japan (JAXA) and Russia (Roscosmos). SENER is one of the leading companies in the European Space Agency's science programs through its engineering contributions; SENER has taken part in more than half of these missions.