The European space telescope CHEOPS will launch on 17 December from the European spaceport Kourou in French Guiana, South America, on top of a Soyuz rocket. The telescope will study exoplanets near Earth. RUAG Space technology is also on board: the space company supplied electronics for the optical sensor in the CHEOPS telescope. One of the final tests of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) research satellite took place last summer at RUAG Space’s test facility in Zurich, Switzerland.

RUAG Space developed the electronics for the high-precision and stable voltage supply of the optical sensor in the CHEOPS telescope and the heating elements required to stabilize its temperature. Together with the data processing electronics developed and built by the Graz Institute for Space Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, it forms the so-called back-end electronics. 

The tests performed on CHEOPS are important to confirm the robustness of the complete satellite. “The launch of the rocket triggers strong vibrations and the journey into space can also become turbulent. These tests are essential for the satellite to survive its journey through the atmosphere undamaged,” says Peter Guggenbach, CEO RUAG Space. CHEOPS was the first complete satellite for a test in Switzerland.

CHEOPS investigates exoplanets

The European research satellite CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanets Satellite) was developed under the direction of the University of Bern and the ESA. The CHEOPS mission is dedicated to the characterization of exoplanet transits. The telescope will observe how planets pass in front of their mother star in other solar systems and support the search for potentially life-friendly planets.

About RUAG Space

RUAG Space is the leading supplier to the space industry in Europe, with a growing presence in the United States. With more than 1,300 staff across six countries, it develops and manufactures products for satellites and launch vehicles – playing a key role both in the institutional and commercial space market.

RUAG Space is a division of the international technology Group RUAG. RUAG develops and markets internationally sought-after technology applications in the fields of aerospace and defense for use on land, in the air and in space. RUAG generates sales of approximately CHF 2 billion and has over 9,100 employees – 400 of whom are trainees.