01 Mar 2018

PAZ satellite launched with DA-Group's systems

The PAZ satellite was successfully launched on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 6:17 atop the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

During 2009 to 2012, DA-Group designed and built subsystems for the earth-observation PAZ satellite, as a subcontractor to EADS CASA Espacio S.L., now part of Airbus. PAZ is an X-band SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) spacecraft serving security and defense needs, owned by the Spanish Ministry of Defence and managed by Hisdesat.

DA-Group’s contribution to PAZ consists of the radar transmit/receive signal distribution subsystem. To achieve high image resolution, modern SAR use many transmit/receive antenna elements. These individual transmit/receive signals must be combined using an RF subsystem of exceptionally high stability, over temperature and frequency ranges. DA-Group has great experience in designing and providing such subsystems, adding PAZ to a long list of successful missions.

The Spanish PAZ, together with the German TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites form a constellation, the first international collaboration bringing together two national X-band radar remote sensing satellites. DA-Group also provided the subsystems for, Airbus DS GmbH, TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites.

”The long process of manufacturing space instruments presents significant challenges. DA-Group has an exceptionally comprehensive capability of know-how and resources. The entire scope, from design, manufacturing and testing, can be performed in-house. In the space sector, quality assurance and customer satisfaction play a central part. Reliability is easier to guarantee, when the whole supply chain rests in the hands of company's own experienced staff,” states Sami Kotiniemi, CEO.

Currently, DA-Group is manufacturing subsystems and instruments for ten satellites, e.g. for ESA’s Sentinel-1 C & D and MetOp-SG programmes. For Sentinel-1 SAR radar, DA-Group delivers the complete radar signal distribution network. For MetOp-SG, DA-Group delivers 89 GHz receivers for meteorological use.

“DA-Group’s deliveries demonstrate the depth and breadth of our professionals’ competencies in RF, microwave and millimeter wave technologies,” says Petri Jukkala, Business Director of Space Technologies. “In addition to the design expertise, manufacturing requires highly advanced skills in precision mechanics and electronics assembly as well as functional and environmental testing, such as vacuum tests, EMC measurements and vibration/shock tests.”

In 2015, DA-Group purchased Sanoma’s printing mill facilities in Forssa. This has enabled the construction of a large cleanroom required for space electronics manufacturing. These state-of-the art facilities and equipment make it possible to complete DA-Group's many current orders for space instruments, in parallel.

The long-term nature of space business is evident when looking at launch schedules. The first MetOp-SG satellite will be launched in 2021 and the last one in 2036. “The quality requirements are extremely high. No maintenance or repair work can be done for instruments circulating the earth,” adds Kotiniemi.

DA-Group has succeeded in its space deliveries over a considerable time span. In 2009, the Planck satellite was launched and Sentinel-1 A and B satellites were launched in 2014 and 2016. These satellites are fully functioning and met the mission objectives set by ESA and the primes. For the Sentinel-1 spacecraft, DA-Group delivered subsystems and instruments as a subcontractor to Airbus Defence and Space.

"We have been able to fulfill our promises and continuously develop our capabilities to take part in even larger projects. I am very proud of our top quality team.”

More information:

Sami Kotiniemi, CEO, +358 29 0800 922

Petri Jukkala, Business Director, Space Technology, +358 29 0800 926

DA-Group is a provider of advanced electronics and high technology solutions and products. We serve industrial, defence and space sector customers on a global scale. We are experts in embedded software solutions, FPGA designs, electronics, mechanics and RF, microwave and millimeter wave engineering. Our service portfolio covers the turnkey solutions: from R&T, product development and engineering, testing and validation, manufacturing to product lifecycle management. DA-Group excels in quality and security, having the required certificates for industrial, defence and space qualified projects.


Hisdesat, satellite operator

SpaceX video of the launch:

EO – Sharing Earth Observation Resource, eoPortal Directory



Pictures (Copyright: Airbus 2017)









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