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InnaLabs® ARIETIS-NS Selected for ESA's Space Mission, HERA

Tue, 15 Sep, '20

Dublin, Ireland., 15th September 2020 - InnaLabs® is delighted to announce that ARIETIS-NS, a Rad-Tolerant Gyro System has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA), OHB and GMV for Hera; A Planetary Defence Mission to support deep-space navigation.  The contract was signed at ESA’s ESOC centre in Germany, by Franco Ongaro, ESA Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality, and Marco Fuchs, CEO of Germany space company OHB.  


Courtesy of ESA

Named after the Greek goddess of marriage - Hera will go alongside NASA's Double Asteroid Redirect (DART) spacecraft, humankind’s first probe to rendezvous with a binary asteroid system called Didymos.

Hera is Europe's contribution to an international planetary defence collaboration among European and US scientists called the Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment, AIDA. The DART spacecraft – due for launch in July 2021 – will first perform a kinetic impact on the smaller of the two bodies. Hera will follow-up with a detailed post-impact survey to turn this grand-scale experiment into a well-understood and repeatable asteroid deflection technique.

Mission scientists are hoping that the force of the Dart impact with the asteroid will be enough to deflect it out of its orbit. If Hera finds that deflection has indeed occurred, it means any future asteroid threatening Earth can be pushed on to a safe path. InnaLabs® ARIETIS-NS is based on InnaLabs® proven and qualified COTS (Commercial-Off-The-Shelf) Coriolis Vibratory Gyroscope (CVG) Technology and will be primarily used to support deep-space navigation. 

It took time for ESA to become convinced of the capability of InnaLabs® technology when the Irish company first approached it in 2013, recalls Steeve Kowaltschek (Head of the AOCS/GNC sensors unit at the ESA), an engineer who has worked on developing navigation sensors and equipment for the Hera mission. Speaking to the Irish Times, he admits that he was sceptical at first about the claims being made by InnaLabs®, a company he was not aware of.

"Originally we were doubtful that the performance they were claiming was achievable because the technology was very new and we had no point of comparison. Now we can say that we have reached, by far, a better performance than the original claims. The gyroscope on Hera is about 1.5kg. It’s not big at all for a gyroscope of this performance. It has very low power consumption, below 10 watts. Less weight and energy usage by mission instruments, facilitates higher performance."

John OLeary, Steeve Kowaltschek and Jose Beitia

John O'Leary, CEO of InnaLabs® (Left) Steeve Kowaltschek, Head of AOCS/GNC at the ESA (Middle) and Jose Beitia, CTO of InnaLabs®

Speaking about the company's success, CEO of InnaLabs® John O'Leary said, "It’s an extremely proud moment for the InnaLabs team, as its technology has been selected by such space primes as OHB & GMV on the exciting new HERA mission. I would like to take the opportunity to thank ESA and Enterprise Ireland for all their support and faith shown to us in our development as an Irish space technology company. I would hope they all celebrate this recent award and congratulations to our engineering team on their success, and wish for many more in the future".


About The European Space Agency 

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an international organisation, comprised of 22 Member States. ESA works to coordinate the financial and intellectual resources of its Member States in order to undertake programmes and activities beyond the capabilities of any single European country. ESA’s mission is to shape the development of Europe’s Space capability and ensure that investment in Space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. Investment into ESA works on the basis or geographical return. Essentially, the amount Ireland invests in ESA Irish companies will receive back in contracts. Ireland joined ESA in 1975.

For more information on the ESA, visit: www.esa.int


About Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. They work in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. In this way, they support sustainable economic growth, regional development and secure employment. 

For more information on Enterprise Ireland, visit www.enterprise-ireland.com


About GMV
GMV is a privately owned technological business group with an international presence. Founded in 1984, GMV offers its solutions, services and products in very diverse sectors: Aeronautics, Banking and Finances, Space, Health, Cybersecurity, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Automotive, Telecommunications, and Information Technology for Public Administration and large corporations.

For more information on GMV visit www.gmv.com


About OHB 

OHB System develops small satellites for navigation, Earth observation, telecommunications and scientific research. Its human space flight activities include the participation in the assembly and outfitting of the International Space Station ISS, the Columbus research laboratory and the ATV.

For more information on OHB Systems, visit www.ohb.de

Topics: News

About InnaLabs®

InnaLabs®, is a world leader in inertial sensor technology for GEO, LEO, MEO and Scientific Missions. As Europes No.1 market leader in Navigation Accelerometers, combined with our disruptive CVG Gyroscope technology,  we are proud to be an innovative solution provider for space, aerospace, land and maritime markets. InnaLabs®, are in full control of the product lifecycle, which allows us to create affordable, high performing inertial systems when cost, accuracy, robustness and lead-time are paramount. The research, development, and manufacturing operations are all conducted in Dublin, Ireland, with several more offices operating around the world.