50 years in Space
1967.-Rocket Launch Tower in Kiruna (Sweden)
SENER designed and built this facility for the European Space Research Organisation (the former European Space Agency). The success of the project is shown by the fact that the tower remains in service today.
The tower was the company’s first contract in the space sector and heralded the beginning of a successful program that will celebrate 50 years of operations in 2017.More info
1977.-ISEE-2 (International Sun-Earth Explorer 2)
ISEE-2 is the first satellite with on-board SENER equipment and was launched in 1977 to study the Earth’s magnetic fields.
In this joint NASA (North American National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and ESA (European Space Agency mission), SENER provided a deployable cable for one of the satellite’s antennas.
For the ELA 1 launch platform, SENER was responsible for the assembly and integration of the umbilical tower, a metal structure that supports the cables and pipes that supply energy and fuel to the rocket.
The first Ariane rocket was launched from this platform in 1979.
Spacelab was a microgravity facility transported on board the Columbia space shuttle on its space missions.
The facility was SENER’s first large-scale contract for flight equipment, delivered in partnership with the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Agency) through the ESA (European Space Agency). The company contributed 165 Earth-based support devices for the mission and led a consortium of European companies. Launched in 1983, Spacelab was the first European space facility and SENER was responsible for the mechanisms, equipment and systems for the handling, integration and transport of the artifact.
Ulysses is an unmanned space probe designed to study the sun at all its latitudes.
The program was a joint mission between the ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Agency), in which SENER was supplier and main contractor for the probe mechanisms system. The system includes wire antennas to evaluate solar wind and reduce the rotation speed of the probe, as well as the boom that holds the instruments.
1990.-Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble space telescope is one of the most powerful scientific instruments ever designed and captures images from space from its orbit of the Earth to avoid the distortion caused by the atmosphere.
SENER was responsible for developing the refocusing mechanism for the Faint Object Camera (FOC), the filter wheels and the small light-splitting mechanisms.
1992.-EURECA (European Retrievable Carrier)-SPACELAB
SENER was involved in the construction of the first European Spacelab, launched in 1992, specifically the EURECA retrievable carrier module, for which it developed the launch-locking devices for the inter-orbital communications (IOC) experiment, two deployable and retractable booms for remote-control and telecommunications TT&C antennas and various pieces of electronic equipment.
In 1994, SENER provided a biological sample freezer for the MIR space station, followed by an integrated video service controller in 1995.
SENER supplied several articulations and panel hold-down systems for the HELIOS I photographic/optical military reconnaissance satellite.
The two Helios I satellites constituted the first generation of the French reconnaissance satellite program and were notable for the lack of color images, increasing image storage capacity.
1995.-SOHO (Solar heliospheric observatory)
The SOHO space probe, launched in 1995, is a joint ESA and NASA project for which SENER developed the high-gain antenna pointing mechanism.
In its studies of the Sun, SOHO has discovered more than 3,000 comets and also contributes to space weather forecasting and avoiding dangerous solar storms.
Launched in 1997, MiniSat was the first in a series of mini-satellites promoted by the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) and was the first satellite to be fully developed in Spain by local companies.
SENER developed the attitude control system, which ensures the satellite is positioned correctly.
1998.-SPOT-4 Earth observation satellite
The SPOT-4 satellite is part of the second generation of SPOT satellites, developed by the National Center for Space Studies (CNES) for the observation of the Earth. This new generation featured the “Vegetation” instrument, with four spectral bands that permitted continuous and worldwide crop monitoring. This information is useful for environmental and crop-forecasting studies.
SENER was responsible for the design, development, manufacture and testing of the terminal’s LEO (Low Earth Orbit) high-resistance LLDs (Launch Locking Devices).
This operation is part of SENER’s contribution to the SILEX (Semi-conductor Inter-satellite Link EXperiment) mission, which uses a laser beam for transmission between the SPOT-4 LEO terminal and a GEO (Geostationary Orbit) terminal installed on the Artemis satellite.
1999.-XMM-Newton (X-ray Multi-mirror Mission - Newton)
The XMM-Newton observatory, whose scientific operations are based at the ESAC (European Space Astronomy Centre) in Madrid (Spain), is one of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) most successful missions. The open x-ray astronomy observatory satellite has been operating since the start of 2000, with significant scientific results.
The XMM-Newton focuses its research on cosmic phenomena involving energy processes, such as supernova explosions, interactive binary stars, active galactic nuclei (AGN) and galaxy clusters. Another of its areas of interest is neutron stars. The XMM was the first observatory to detect the influence of a neutron star’s gravitational field on the light that it transmits.
2000.-Hispasat communications satellite
SENER participated in the development of the Hispasat 1C and Hispasat 1D communication satellites for the Spanish operator Hispasat.
In both satellites, SENER was responsible for the design and manufacture of the APME electronic unit, the electronic control unit that operates the deployment and pointing of the high-gain antenna.
The APME unit of Hispasat 1D, which will control the satellite’s antenna deployment mechanism, was designed to remain operational in geostationary orbit for the satellite’s envisaged service life of 15 years.
SENER was responsible for supplying two arms for the deployment of antennas and their instruments on each satellite for the Cluster mission, which is conducting a 3D study of the Earth’s magnetosphere, where solar wind is deflected.
2001.-Artemis (Advanced Relay TEchnology MISsion)
Artemis is a European Space Agency (ESA) experimental European communications satellite whose mission is to test new communications technologies for improving all areas of navigation, mobile communications and satellite-to-satellite communications.
The satellite’s data transmission systems include a sophisticated SILEX (Semi-conductor Inter-satellite Link EXperiment) laser and SKDR (S/Ka band Data Relay) payloads, allowing Earth observation data from other satellites (e.g. the French SPOT-4 and the ESA Envisat) to be transmitted at much higher speeds via Artemis to the corresponding land stations.
In the SILEX system, SENER was responsible for the design, development, manufacture and testing of the high-rigidity/high-resistance LLD (Launch Locking Devices) for the LEO (Low Earth Orbit) terminals in the SPOT-4 satellite and the GEO (Geostationary Orbit) in Artemis.
2002.-INTEGRAL (INTErnational Gamma Ray Astrophysics Laboratory)
INTEGRAL is a high-performance astronomy observatory developed by the ESA (European Space Agency) in collaboration with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Agency) and Roskosmos (Russian Federal Space Agency) for detecting energetic radiation originating in space.
2002.-Meteosat Second-Generation (MSG)
The Meteosat satellites observe the weather in the regions of Europe and Africa. The MSG (Meteostat Second Generation) included the SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager) instrument, and improved weather coverage and short-term forecasting capacity.
For SEVIRI, SENER was responsible for the design, manufacture, verification, testing and delivery of the calibration unit of the infrared channels, the ejectable cooling system cover, the visual field optical screen and its ejectable cover.
It also integrated the equipment used for the design, analysis, verification and testing of the Drive Unit (DU).
Envisat (environmental satellite) was a platform for observation and studying the Earth’s environment, built by the ESA (European Space Agency) and launched on March 1, 2002, on an Ariane 5 rocket.
The project ran until the final loss of communication on April 8, 2012, and SENER was responsible for developing the deployment arm and the attachments for the communications antenna, the deployment and the locking attachments for the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR), as well as the electronics for controlling the GOMOS and MIPAS instruments.
The Helios II project includes the Helios 2A and Helios 2B satellites, both of which are European observation satellites used by France, Belgium, Spain and Greece.
For this mission, SENER was responsible for the satellite instruments protection panel deployment joints.
The Rosetta space probe was launched by the ESA on March 2, 2004, to conduct a detailed study of the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet near Jupiter.
SENER supplied the 15 active thermal control louvres for the mission, comprising 16 slats, whose purpose was to guarantee the thermal stability of the probe. It also supplied two folding booms for instruments to position them beyond the electromagnetic disturbance caused by the satellite in orbit.More info
The Spainsat and Xtar-EUR satellites were launched in 2005 and provide communications services to governmental agencies and institutions.
SENER was responsible for the detailed engineering, manufacture, integration and testing of the ten antenna deployment and positioning mechanisms for the Spainsat and Xtar-Eur satellites, all of them mission-critical elements.
The MetOp polar-orbiting European weather satellites are the first generation of non-geostationary orbit satellites. This satellite’s mission is to provide data to improve weather forecasts.
SENER is responsible for the design, manufacture and testing of the electronic unit that controls the line-of-sight scanning mirror of the main instrument, the IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer). SENER also designed, manufactured and tested the docking and release system for the ASCAT antennas, which measure wind speed and direction on the open sea, as well as the docking, release and deployment system for the Gava antenna of the GRAS instrument, which produces temperature and atmospheric humidity profiles.
The COLUMBUS European Space Laboratory is an International Space Station (ISS) module and was assembled on 13 February 2008. This module comprises the following scientific laboratories: Biolab, European Drawer Rack, European Physiology Modules Facility, Material Science Laboratory Electromagnetic Levitator and Fluid Science Laboratory.
SENER worked on various structural components for the module, including the design, development, assembly, qualification testing and delivery of the subsystem rack structures.
2009.-Herschel and Planck
SENER supplied the full guidance, navigation and control system (AOCS/GNC) for the Planck space telescope. This is one of the most critical systems for the operation of the satellite and is responsible for moving the satellite to the desired locations, ensuring it retains the correct pointing profiles and carrying out the required orbit and re-pointing maneuvers.
The Planck space telescope, launched in 2009, together with the Herschel device, has produced the most detailed map to date of the cosmic microwave background – fossilized radiation from the Big Bang – and revealed inexplicable features of the formation of the universe that require scientists to develop new theories of physics.More info
2010.-Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System (MARES)
MARES is an ESA (European Space Agency) equipment for researching the effects of weightlessness on human muscles. This system is integrated in the Columbus module of the International Space Station (ISS) and is part of the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Agency) Human Research Facility.
As main contractor, SENER has been responsible for project management, the overall design of the system, the software, all the control, power and supervision electronics, and the mechanical and structural parts.More info
SENER supplied the pointing mechanism for the high-gain antenna that allows two-way communication between the Curiosity rover and tracking stations on Earth. This mechanism is SENER’s first device on an astronomical body other than Earth, marking a new milestone in SENER’s work in the space industry.
The Curiosity rover is currently on Mars, exploring the surface of the red planet as part of the Mars Science Laboratory mission.More info
Pleiades is a system comprising two very high-resolution optical satellites for observing the Earth. The satellites were launched in 2011 and 2012 to capture images of the Earth’s surface for defense and civil security purposes.
SENER supplied the shutter mechanism for the high-resolution instrument used by this mission. The mechanism opens and closes the diaphragm at the exit of the telescope to prevent the entry of too much sunlight and to prevent the sensitive detection equipment from overheating.
The Gaia satellite observes and catalogs billions of stars to create a 3D map of our galaxy, providing valuable astronomical and cosmological information.
SENER developed the positioning subsystem for the secondary mirrors of the telescopes, which allows them to focus and includes a precision mechanism and the control electronics. The company was also responsible for designing, manufacturing and verifying the sunshield that conserves the temperature of the instruments and ensures the thermal stability of the optical components.More info
The Spanish OPTOS project, of the National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA) is a set of nanosatellites with a mass of barely 3 kg used in carrying out magnetic, optical and radiation experiments. OPTOS is the first picosatellite used as a technological demonstrator.
SENER is responsible for the development and supply of the Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) and, in turn, has provided support in supplying ADCS hardware to the INTA.
The Sentinel missions mark a new era in Earth observation. Each mission comprises a constellation of two satellites whose objective is to meet the revisit and coverage requirements to provide a data set for the Copernicus program.
Sentinel-1 provides daytime and nocturnal radar images in all weather conditions. SENER is responsible for the deployment mechanisms of the four panels of the antenna of the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for the two Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B satellites.More info
2015.-IXV: Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle
The IXV is the European Space Agency's (ESA) first atmosphere reentry mission. Its aim is to develop and test the technology and critical systems to provide Europe with the capacity to bring low-orbit missions back to Earth with autonomous, controlled reentry to the atmosphere.
SENER is responsible for the Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) system, which controls the correct reentry of the vehicle into the atmosphere through a narrow corridor with no margin of error. The mission’s success depends on this critical manoeuver.More info
2015.-Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) Pathfinder
The LISA Pathfinder is a technology demonstration mission run by the ESA in partnership with NASA. The mission aims to lay the foundations for the future LISA gravitational wave observatory, which will make it possible to “listen” to the sound of the universe by detecting and observing these waves. This means LISA will be able to confirm part of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.
SENER is responsible for designing, developing, manufacturing, integrating and verifying the Data Diagnostics System (DDS) of the LISA Technology Package (LTP), which includes the Data Management Unit (DMU) of the mission’s European payload. SENER has also supplied the temperature sensors, magnetometers and radiation monitor for the DDS.More info
Sentinel-2 is a high-resolution polar-orbit multispectral mission designed to monitor the Earth’s surface, studying plant coverage, the use of land and waters, navigable water courses and coastal zones. It will also capture data for emergency services and the prevention of natural disasters.More info
For ExoMars 2016, the ESA’s (European Space Agency) Mars exploration program, SENER is responsible for the Surface Platform Structures and Separation Mechanism of the module that will land on Mars and the Front Shield Separation Mechanism. It is also involved with the responsibility for the software quality activities for the NOMAD (Nadir and Occultation for Mars iscovery) instrument that studies the atmospheric components of the red planet. It also designed and built the Special Checkout Equipment for the Guidance, Navigation and Control subsystem for the Schiaparelli descent module for ExoMars 2016.
SENER has developed the Calibration and Shutter Mechanism for the high-resolution optical MultiSpectral Instrument to allow the correct calibration of the satellites’ innovative multispectral camera.
Sentinel-3 transports various instruments to measure the elevation, temperature and color of land and oceans with a high level of precision and reliability. The mission represents a major contribution to maritime forecasting services and the monitoring of the climate and the environment.
SENER has developed the mirror selector mechanism of the Flip Mirror Device (FMD) for the Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR).More info
2017.-Meteosat Third Generation (MTG)
Meteosat Third Generation is a mission by the ESA (European Space Agency), whose main objective is to expand the capacity of the Meteosat Second Generation program, which provides global and regional weather forecasting and atmospheric monitoring.
SENER is responsible for two critical subsystem elements: the scanning mechanism and the calibration and shutter mechanism, as well as for developing, integrating and supplying verification equipment for the Attitude and Orbit Control Subsystem (AOCS) Special Checkout Equipment (SCOE).More info
The Sentinel missions mark a new era in Earth observation. The main objective of the Sentinel-5 mission is the study of the atmosphere via a payload that will monitor the atmosphere from a polar orbit on board a MetOp Second Generation satellite.
For Sentinel-5, SENER is responsible for the optical bench of the UVNS SWIR (Ultra-violet, Visible and Near-infrared Sounder Short Wave Infrared ) subsystem (ultraviolet and infrared ranges), which includes a high dimensional stability structure and the screening and attachment of optical components.More info
The SEOSat/Ingenio Earth observation satellite captures high-resolution, wide-swath multispectral images and has also been designed to systematically capture images of Spanish territory with a minimum revisit time.
In the project’s payload, SENER has been main contractor for the design, manufacture, integration, alignment and verification of this high-resolution optical instrument.More info
Future.-Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE)
JUICE is the ESA’s (European Space Agency) most important mission to explore the Jovian system, a program aimed at expanding our knowledge of the complex interactions between Jupiter and its icy moons.
SENER is responsible for the magnetometer boom, the purpose of which is to position some of the instruments for scientific experiments away from the magnetic interference of the spacecraft, and the full system for the medium-gain antenna, which will reinforce the main antenna of the satellite to guarantee communication between JUICE and the Earth.More info
Future.-Solar Orbiter (SOLO) scientific mission
The Solar Orbiter mission, developed by the ESA (European Space Agency) in partnership with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Agency), is focused on studying the sun and the magnetic activity of the heliosphere and will be able to capture information to help understand how the star works and even predict its behavior.
The mission is the largest award in the history of SENER’s Space division, which is working in parallel on five different contracts: the antenna subsystem, the feed-through subsystem, the boom instrument and the EPD (Energetic Particle Detector) and SO-PHI (Solar Orbiter Polarimetric and Helioseismic Imager) scientific instruments.More info
SENER is responsible for the medium-gain and high-gain antennas for this ESA (European Space Agency) mission to Mercury, which is scheduled for launch in 2018 and planned to land in 2024.More info
MetOp is a group of satellites for studying the climate for which SENER has developed the control electronics for the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI), the attachment for attaching and releasing antennas for the ASCAT (Advanced Scatterometer) instrument for measuring wind speed and the attachment and deployment for the GAVA (GRAS Anti-Velocity Antenna) antenna.
ExoMars 2020 is the ESA’s (European Space Agency) Mars exploration program which will launch an explorer vehicle or rover on the planet’s surface. SENER is providing technology for both missions.
For ExoMars 2020, SENER is responsible for three of the Rover drilling devices, which will drill up to 2 m below the planet’s surface, and the attachment and deployment mechanisms for the vehicle’s solar panels. It is also developing the Special Checkout Equipment (SCOE) for the Attitude and Orbit Control and Guidance, Navigation and Control subsystem (AOC/GNC).More info
Future.-Euclid Scientific Space Probe
Euclid is an ESA (European Space Agency) cosmology mission to study the nature of the dark universe. Its objective is to investigate the evolution of cosmic structures by measuring the shapes and redshift of light from distant galaxies with information dating back as far as 10 billion years.
SENER’s involvement in the mission includes its role as main contractor for the satellite’s Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS/GNC).More info
Future.-Optical Space Component (CSO)
The Optical Space Component (CSO from its acronym in French), forms part of the multinational MUSIS (Multinational Space-based Imaging System) project. CSO is a French military Earth observation program that seeks to replace the Helios 2 satellites, making use of use technology from other satellites like Pleiades.
In this mission, SENER is responsible for the calibration of the SOCRI instrument.
The ESA (European Space Agency) Proba-3 mission aims to demonstrate high-precision formation flying technology in orbit. It is a technologically and programmatically complex mission that requires the participation of various companies in the space sector from more than ten countries.
SENER is the main contractor for this mission, with primary responsibility for its development, which will conclude with verification of the system in orbit.More info