Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space secures the future of its Lampoldshausen space site

• Airbus Defence and Space is investing EUR 7 million to expand the Lampoldshausen production center

• The number of highly qualified employees at Airbus Defence and Space's Lampoldshausen Airbus Defence and Space site has doubled to 350 over the past five years

• Airbus Defence and Space celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Lampoldshausen site


Lampoldshausen, May 17, 2013For the past 50 years, Airbus Defence and Space has been developing, producing, and testing propulsion systems for space flight in Lampoldshausen, and the company is set to keep this success story going. By 2014, Airbus Defence and Space plans to spend 7 million euros on the expansion of the site. The company's aim is to meet the growing worldwide demand for satellite propulsion systems. Dr. Nils Schmid, Baden-Wurttemberg’s minister of finance and economic affairs, inaugurated the first phase of the expansion project at today's anniversary event. Once completed, the project will increase the center's surface area from approximately 2,500 square meters to about 3,500 square meters. Today, some 350 highly qualified employees work at the Airbus Defence and Space site in Lampoldshausen, which is the European competence center for propulsion systems.

Indeed, such systems are the main focus of the Airbus Defence and Space site in Lampoldshausen, where production and testing facilities are among the most modern in Europe. The site was founded in 1963 when the entrepreneur Ludwig Bölkow sent six employees to Lampoldshausen to build the first-ever test bench with vacuum chamber in cooperation with the German Aerospace Center (DLR). This laid the foundations for the development of rocket and propulsion systems.

"We intend to keep the Airbus Defence and Space success story in Lampoldshausen going, and these extraordinary milestones are a source of inspiration for the future," said Josef Köcher, Head of Site in Lampoldshausen and Vice President Orbital Propulsion. "Over the past five years, the number of employees in Lampoldshausen has doubled, and our investment in the site's buildings and facilities reflects this development. Our site activities are based on a broad product portfolio, which ranges from chemical to electrical propulsion systems for space travel. Lampoldshausen is where we have pooled our expertise in the realm of propulsion systems. Thanks to this know-how, we continue to be well-positioned both within the company and in global markets."

The vast majority of European satellites are equipped with engines and propulsion systems made in Lampoldshausen. When it comes to propulsion systems for space flight, Airbus Defence and Space offers customized solutions. These range from individual system components such as thrusters to full propulsion systems for telecommunications and research satellites. These systems enable satellites and probes to reach and maintain their final trajectory. Over 230 of the satellites currently in orbit maneuver with the support of Airbus Defence and Space in Lampoldshausen. The product portfolio also includes propulsion solutions for launcher control systems, such as the upper stage of Ariane 5, and for spacecraft such as the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). The next unmanned ATV resupply spacecraft is set to deliver supplies, fuels, and equipment to the ISS around the beginning of June 2013. As these examples show, the company serves the entire value chain, from development, manufacturing, integration, engine and system tests, to services such as satellite refueling.

The smallest thrusters from Lampoldshausen develop a thrust of just 0.015 Newton – a barely noticeable sputter in outer space. High-performance apogee motors are at the other end of the Airbus Defence and Space site's product spectrum: despite their compact size, such motors can develop a thrust of up to 500 Newton. This is comparable to the performance of a Formula 1 car.
In order to achieve a maximum satellite life cycle of up to 15 years, and to make satellites as lightweight as possible, engineers at the Lampoldshausen engine workshop developed the Unified Propulsion System (UPS). UPS is a fully pre-integrated propulsion system that is equipped with up to 16 10-Newton thrusters for trajectory and position control. It also features a 400-Newton apogee motor that fuels the thrusters from two fuel tanks. The system has been successfully installed on a number of major European communication satellites.

In addition to chemical propulsion systems, Airbus Defence and Space produces electric motors in Lampoldshausen. Airbus Defence and Space engineers have created another efficient way to operate satellites and probes in outer space with their Radiofrequency Ion Thruster Assembly (RITA), which requires a minimum of fuel to deliver very specific thrusts.

Airbus Defence and Space's Lampoldshausen site is also taking part in the Ariane program. The AESTUS upper-stage rocket engine is tested in Lampoldshausen, and the SCA launcher control system for the Ariane 5 was produced here. The launcher control system for the upper stage of the VEGA carrier rocket is also part of Airbus Defence and Space Lampoldshausen's product portfolio.


Über Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space ist das führende europäische Unternehmen für Weltraumsysteme und -technik und die Nummer drei weltweit. Als einziges Unternehmen auf der Welt deckt Airbus Defence and Space die gesamte Palette von zivilen und militärischen Raumfahrtsystemen, Ausrüstungen und Dienstleistungen ab.

Im Jahr 2012 erreichte Airbus Defence and Space einen Umsatz von mehr als 5,8 Mrd. € und beschäftigte weltweit 18.000 Mitarbeiter.

Das Kerngeschäft gliedert sich in drei Bereiche: Airbus Defence and Space, der europäische Hauptauftragnehmer für Trägerraketen, orbitale Systeme und Weltraumexploration; Airbus Defence and Space, ein führender Anbieter von satellitenbasierten Systemlösungen einschließlich Satelliten, Bodensegmenten, Nutzlasten und Ausrüstungen; Airbus Defence and Space, der Partner für Weltraumdienstleistungen, liefert umfassende stationäre und mobile Lösungen für sichere und kommerzielle Satellitenkommunikation und Netzwerke sowie maßgeschneiderte Produkte und Services im Bereich Geo-Informationsdienste weltweit.

Airbus Defence and Space ist eine hundertprozentige Tochtergesellschaft von AIRBUS Group, einem weltweit führenden Unternehmen der Luft- und Raumfahrt, im Verteidigungsgeschäft und den dazugehörigen Dienstleistungen mit einem Umsatz von 56,5 Mrd. € im Jahr 2012 und mehr als 140.000 Mitarbeitern. Zu AIRBUS Group gehören die Divisionen Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, Cassidian und Eurocopter.


Ralph Heinrich (Airbus Defence and Space D)                                                        Tel.: +49 (0) 89 607 33971

Gregory Gavroy (Airbus Defence and Space FR)                                                    Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32

Jeremy Close (Airbus Defence and Space UK)                                                       Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 3872

Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP)                                                 Tel.: +34 91 586 37 41

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