Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands B.V. - P.O. Box 32070 - 2303 DB Leiden - The Netherlands



Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands B.V. is a supplier of high-tech products and services for the international aerospace industry. The Dutch company is fully owned by Airbus Defence and Space, and operating as a subsidiary within Airbus Defence and Space’ Business Division Subsystems and Equipments. Since its founding in 1968, then-called Fokker Space, later Dutch Space, today Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands, has build-up broad expertise in developing space technology for e.g. Earth observation, telecommunications, science and human space flight missions.


The portfolio of Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands includes solar arrays, launcher structures and instruments & systems. The Leiden based company, which employs more than 200 experienced professionals, has state-of-the-artcleanroom facilities where solar arrays, satellite subsystems, and rocket components are designed, assembled, tested, and finished.

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Solar arrays

Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands has a vast reputation in Europe and beyond with regard to its solar array capabilities. Together with the Airbus Defence and Space experts in Ottobrunn, the integrated solar array team produces turn-key solar arrays, for all environments and all applications, to order for commercial and institutional clients. Two thirds of all ESA satellites fly with solar arrays developed in Leiden; from comet hunter Rosetta and the ISS freight vessel ATV, to Sentinel earth observation missions and the satellites of the Galileo navigation system. For telecommunication satellites, the Eurostar 3000 solar array family developed in Ottobrunn represents the most advanced solar array built so far.



Launcher structures

Since the early days Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands is contributing to the success of the European launcher Ariane through a close involvement in the Ariane launcher development and production program. For Ariane 1 through 4, Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands was responsible for the design, analyses and manufacturing of different components and structures like the third engine frame. For Ariane 5, the responsibility covers the very complex and innovative large Engine Frame of the Vulcain motor, as well as the engine frame of the second stage.


The Dutch team is also involved in the European small launcher Vega, being responsible for development and production of the interstage 1/2.


Instruments & Systems

Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands develops satellite instruments of world repute; landmark instruments for worldwide atmospheric research to provide insights into the atmosphere and climate.


Together with national and international partners, the Leiden-based company has developed earth observation Tropomi, the only instrument on-board the Sentinel 5 Precursor satellite. Tropomi, which will be mapping trace gases such as carbon monoxide, methane, nitrogen dioxide and the ozone on a daily basis, is the successor to previous satellite instruments known as OMI onboard the NASA satellite EOS Aura (2004), and Sciamachy onboard the European environmental satellite called Envisat (2002).

The Dutch team also leads the way with their attitude & orbit control systems to achieve and hold the geometrical objectives of satellites and with verification and simulation services to try systems out prior to their mission in space. Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands has also delivered simulation systems for non-space application, including Training Simulators. In particular, the expertise in real-time simulation has been made accessible to the industry via the Eurosim software package.