KDA - Facing the Sun
KDA provides the mechanism and electronics that rotate the solar panels on probes and satellites.
October 3, 2023
As a part of the Kongsberg Group, Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace has successfully obtained numerous contracts with the European Space Agency (ESA), Copernicus (the EU's program for environmental monitoring and public safety), EUMETSAT (the European organization for weather satellites), and more.
KDA provides the mechanisms and electronics that rotate the solar panels of spacecraft such as space probes and satellites. This is necessary to keep the solar panels oriented towards the sun in order to generate the power needed for the spacecraft's control, communication, and research activities.
Most of ESA's probes launched since the early 2000s have been equipped with KDA's solar panel rotation mechanism. These probes are or will investigate nearly all the planets in the solar system, from Mercury closest to the Sun, to asteroids and comets further out. This means that Norwegian technology has been present at all the planets in the solar system.
This includes, among others, the probe Mars Express, the probe Venus Express, the comet probe Rosetta, the Mercury probe BepiColombo, and the Jupiter probe Juice.
This also applies to the operational environmental satellites in the Sentinel series within the Copernicus program, research satellites in ESA's Earth Explorer series, satellites in the upcoming generation of European weather satellites, MeteoSat Third Generation, and the more than 30 satellites in the European satellite navigation system Galileo.