Stuhr, 24th February 2016

On February 16th 2016, the Sentinel-3A satellite, part of the European Copernicus program and designed to perform Earth Observation, took-off from Plesetsk (Russia) on board Eurockot's Rockot launcher. Sentinel-3A will now be monitoring our planet with the help of a sophisticated sensor payload, including a Temperature Radiometer an Ocean and Land Color Instrument, a SAR Altimeter and a Doppler Orbitograph and Radiopositioning sensor. In order to gather even more data and to acquire this data over an extended period of time (beyond typical spacecraft lifetime) three more Sentinel-3 type spacecrafts will be launched in the coming years.

On February 18th, the European Space Agency confirmed the correct activation of the 2 Ball Latch Valves (BLV) designed and manufactured by Omnidea-RTG and the consequent priming of the propulsion sub-system with N2H4 propellant. The BLV component already had a flight heritage since the launch of the 5 SAR-Lupe satellites (10 units in total), albeit on a slightly different configuration to the one flown in Sentinel 3A. Specifically, the ESA qualified and ITAR free valves now flown in Sentinel-3A are designed for slow actuation in order to dramatically reduce waterhammer events on sensitive equipments, such as thrusters. The BLV's main advantage over classical (pyrotechnically activated) isolation valves is its capability of repeated opening and closing, without performance degradation, throughout the entire lifetime of the spacecraft.

As a small space SME, Omnidea-RTG is deeply committed in producing quality equipment for its customers. We congratulate the European Space Agency and Thales Alenia Space on the successful launch and thank them for the continued trust they have shown in our capabilities.

Please allow our team to keep you up-to-date during this thrilling and intense year as two further BLV’s are to be flown on board Gökturk a Turkish satellite scheduled for launch on Q4 2016. Now, more than ever, we would like to thank our clients for their continued support and we reaffirm our availability for future business endeavors.