PARIS — Dutch Space BV on Dec. 13 signed two contracts valued at more than 50 million euros ($67 million) to build solar arrays for Europe’s Galileo navigation system and to be prime contractor for a satellite atmospheric monitoring instrument.
The Leiden, Netherlands-based company, which is owned by Astrium Satellites, will build solar arrays for the 14 Galileo satellites being manufactured by a contracting team led by OHB Technology of Germany.
Dutch Space Chief Executive Bart Reijnen said in a statement that the contract, valued at more than 20 million euros, was won only after “a fierce competition with other strong, global players.”
In the second contract, with the European Space Agency (), Dutch Space will build the Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument, Tropomi, to fly on ESA’s Sentinel-5 Precursor low-orbiting Earth observation satellite, scheduled for launch in 2014. That contract is valued at more than 30 million euros.
Tropomi will succeed similar instruments onboard NASA’s EOS-Aura and ESA’s Envisat satellites and assure scientists with data continuity while they wait for the Sentinel-5 suite of sensors to be launched into polar low Earth orbit around 2019 by Europe’s Eumetsat meteorological satellite organization.
Dutch companies were key in the manufacture of both the OMI instrument on EOS-Aura and the Sciamachy instrument on Europe’s Envisat.
Dutch Space said Tropomi will have a higher resolution and wider viewing angle than the predecessor instruments.
The Dutch government is the principal financial backer for Tropomi.