Antwerp Space completes integration of the communications subsystem of the Jupiter probe JUICE

Antwerp, 15 December 2020 - After more than four years of work, the development of the communications subsystem for ESA's Jupiter probe JUICE (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer) has reached the home stretch: Antwerp Space has not only finalized designing and qualifying the entire system, but now also as last step the integration of the finalized system into the primary structure of the probe's flight model.

The complex integration has been carried out by Antwerp Space on behalf of the main contractor Airbus D&S in its clean room in Friedrichshafen. It was one of the first activities to be initiated after completion of the primary structure, as accessibility is the key, for a smooth integration of the Radio Frequency Distribution Assembly (RFDA) which extends over the entire primary structure of the probe.

The integration required very skilled personnel due to the rigidity of the waveguides, which are required for signal transmission and are redundantly implemented, as well as due to the large number of existing interfaces. Especially the interface to the radiation vault, which is designed to protect the sensitive electronics of the probe from the intense radiation near Jupiter, was particularly demanding.

“This is a big achievement for the entire Juice team! The competitive selection for this contract and the valued, close collaboration with Airbus D&S and ESA allowed Antwerp Space once again to demonstrate with success its capability of taking full end-responsibility in the design of such complex system.” says Koen Puimège, Managing Director of Antwerp Space.

“Antwerp Space has been a solid and reliable partner since the beginning of the JUICE Project, and we look forward to future successful collaborations.” says Cyril Cavel, JUICE Project Manager of Airbus Defence and Space.

The JUICE mission is the first large-scale mission in ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 programme. Scheduled for launch in 2022, with arrival in the Jovian system in 2029, JUICE will spend three-and-a-half years examining the giant planet's turbulent atmosphere, enormous magnetosphere, its set of tenuous dark rings and its satellites. It will study the large icy moons Ganymede, Europa and Callisto, which are thought to have oceans of liquid water beneath their icy crusts – perhaps even harbouring habitable environments. The mission will culminate in an eight-month tour around Ganymede and end with the planned impact of the probe on the surface of the moon in 2034.

About Antwerp Space:

Antwerp Space, a member of the OHB Group and belonging to OHB's Space Systems Business Unit, develops systems and equipment for European space programs and commercial space applications worldwide. Antwerp Space provides expertise and system solutions for broadband access systems via satellites, navigation- and radar solutions and products for scientific, exploration and telecommunication missions.

Contact Antwerp Space:

Vanessa Peeters
Corporate Communications
phone: +32 (0) 3 829 50 07

Contact OHB:

Günther Hörbst
Corporate Communications
phone: +49 (0) 421 2020 620