NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat-2) successfully launched Saturday, September 15 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The Earth observation satellite was assisted by RUAG Space Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Receivers that will help to determine the satellite’s position in orbit. The satellite was connected to the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket with a RUAG Space Payload Adapter.
The RUAG Space GNSS navigation receivers allows ICESat-2 to maintain its position down to a critical few centimeters, giving the satellite’s multi-beam laser system the ability to precisely measure the thickness of ice layers. The mission of ICESat-2 is to measure how glaciers, ice sheets, and sea ice are changing, and how those changes impact people and their environments around the globe.
“As the market leader for satellite electronics, RUAG Space was proud to supply these crucial products for this important NASA Earth observation project,” said Peter Guggenbach, CEO of RUAG Space. “We look forward to being a significant part of another NASA mission as RUAG Space continues to engage in new opportunities to expand our footprint in the U.S. space market.”
Besides the navigation receivers and other electronics parts, RUAG Space also built the adapter between the satellite and the launcher. The RUAG Space payload adapter system ensured that the payload—in this case ICESat-2—was safely connected to the rocket during launch, and then successfully separated from the launcher. ICESat-2 launched on ULA’s Delta II rocket built in Decatur, Alabama.
RUAG Space produced the navigation system and payload adapter for Northrop Grumman, who developed and built ICESat-2 for NASA.
About RUAG Space: RUAG Space is the leading supplier to the space industry in Europe, and has a growing presence in the United States with already five production and engineering facilities. In total, the RUAG Space has about 1,300 employees across six countries. RUAG Space 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.
About Northrop Grumman:  Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, space, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide. Please visit and follow us on Twitter, @NGCNews, for more information.
Photo attached: As the leading space supplier, RUAG Space produced navigation receivers and payload adapter for NASA’s satellite ICESat-2. Copyright: NASA.