SARah: new German reconnesaince satellites successfully launched

Source: OHB, Defence Industry Europe

The two reflector satellites of the SARah reconnaissance system were successfully launched on December 24 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, USA. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Launchpad SLC-4E at 14:11 CET and deployed its two passengers in space on schedule after a flight time of 25 minutes. Shortly afterwards, the first signals from the two satellites were received. This has kicked-off the so-called Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP), during which the satellites will be booted up system by system and checked for functionality. The satellites are also manoeuvred into their final orbits during this phase.


“It is a wonderful and relieving feeling to know that the two satellites are safely in orbit after all the hard work. The fact that we were able to experience this special moment today is a team effort and became possible thanks to the entire SARah team and the supporting colleagues from OHB,” said The OHB project manager responsible for SARah.



SARah is the successor mission to the SAR-Lupe system, which has been in service since 2007. As with SAR-Lupe, OHB System AG was commissioned as the prime contractor for its realisation. In cooperation with Airbus Defence and Space as subcontractor, a total of three radar satellites were developed and built for the mission: a phased array satellite (contributed by Airbus Defence and Space) and two identical reflector satellites, which are based on SAR-Lupe’s proven technology. By combining the two satellite types, the advantages of the individual technologies can be utilised for the overall system to provide the German Armed Forces with an improved global reconnaissance capability that is independent of the time of day and weather conditions.



The customer for SARah is the Federal Ministry of Defence (Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, BMVg), represented by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr, BAAINBw).

OHB System AG will also be responsible for operating the SARah satellites in cooperation with OHB Digital Connect GmbH and Airbus Defence and Space.



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