Dublin space-tech wins contract to provide hardware for Ariane 6

12 Dec 2023

Artist's impression of Ariane 6. Image: D Ducros/ESA

Réaltra has previously designed and manufactured the video system mounted on the Ariane 5 launch vehicle for the James Webb Space Telescope.

Dublin space-tech Réaltra Space Systems Engineering has signed a contract with ArianeGroup to provide the next generation of European rocket launchers with key telemetry hardware.

Réaltra has revealed that it will provide a telemetry system that the French launch vehicle company will include in its latest Ariane 6 launcher, which is being built for the European Space Agency.

Signed at the French ambassador’s residence in Dublin last night (11 December), the contract is an example of the growing tech ties between Ireland and France.

It comes less than a month after French prime minister Élisabeth Borne visited Dogpatch Labs to highlight the successes of French companies and start-ups with operations in Ireland. Around 300 French companies have a presence in Ireland, including 28 of the top 40 listed companies in France.

Réaltra is a division of Dublin-based electrical and electronic manufacturing company Realtime Technologies, which was founded in 1996 by Paddy White. He established Réaltra in 2018 alongside Diarmuid Corry and Danny Gleeson.

The start-up has previously designed and manufactured the video system mounted on the Ariane 5 launch vehicle for the James Webb Space Telescope.

Now, Réaltra will provide technology for the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) on board the Ariane 6 launcher. This GNSS telemetry system, which collects and transmits data from remote sources using sensors, is designed to provide accurate and reliable positioning information on the first launch of Ariane 6 next year.

Laurent Mazo, supplier business manager at ArianeGroup, said that the technologies developed under the Ariane 6 programme require “the highest level” of performance and reliability.

“After working with Réaltra for several years on the development of our video telemetry kit for Ariane 5 and Ariane 6, we identified the right equipment for the GNSS telemetry system meeting our expectations, and Réaltra was selected by ArianeGroup,” Mazo said.

Michael Martin, engineering manager at Réaltra, added that the contract marks a “major milestone” for the company and demonstrates its commitment to delivering innovative GNSS technology for space applications.

“Since the establishment of Réaltra in 2018, we have built up significant experience and legacy in providing innovative space solutions and we look forward to expanding on these successes.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic