In the coming years, tens of thousands of small satellites will be fired into outer space worldwide. Isar Aerospace, a start-up formed at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), has developed a small, low-cost launch vehicle specifically designed to carry small satellites into orbit. Manufacturing is now set to begin in Ottobrunn, just outside Munich and a short distance away from TUM’s Department of Aerospace and Geodesy. The production halls were officially opened today with the Bavarian Minister President Dr. Markus Söder and TUM President Prof. Dr. Thomas F. Hofmann in attendance.
In contrast to traditional satellites, which weigh several tons, modern small satellites top out at 500 kilograms or less. This is possible thanks to efficient electric drive motors and the miniaturization of electronic components. The production costs are lower, too, making it feasible to send entire swarms of satellites into orbit, for example to improve internet connectivity or generate earth observation data.These small satellites are placed in low orbits at around 500 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. This permits the rapid transmission of data to the ground. But how can tens of thousands of small satellites be launched into orbit as efficiently, cost-effectively and cleanly as possible? “Most launch vehicles are poorly suited to this task,” says Daniel Metzler, one of the co-founders of the Isar Aerospace start-up.
Source: “Quick and clean satellite launches”, TUM News