The Zurich-based space company RUAG Space has developed a new jettison system for payload fairings. The fairings protect satellites and other payloads from aerodynamic and thermal loads during flight. After passing through dense atmospheric layers and as soon as the satellite is no longer at risk, the payload fairing is separated from the launch vehicle.
The new payload fairing promises lower shock and significantly less noise, according to a statement from RUAG Space. “This new solution enables a quieter journey to space,” commented Peter Guggenbach, CEO of RUAG Space. A further advantage of the separation and jettison system is its modular design, which reduces development costs, as parts can be improved or replaced without affecting the entire system.
RUAG Space has successfully tested the system in Emmen, where the Zurich company has been producing payload fairings for European launchers since the 1970s. The latest development is also part of the Future Launchers Preparatory Programme (FLPP) of the European Space Agency (ESA).