Arralis wins European Space Agency contract

    • Arralis wins European Space Agency contract
    • Minister for Skills, Research & Innovation congratulates Arralis on contract to deliver radar chipset for use in space

The European Space Agency has awarded a significant contract to Arralis, a technology company servicing the aerospace and security sector founded and based in Limerick.

Arralis designs and manufactures high frequency semiconductor chips, modules and antennas up to and beyond 110GHz. Under the contract Arralis will deliver a 94GHz radar chipset with space end-use applications, such as unmanned landing of spacecraft and to identify and avoid space debris.

Welcoming the announcement Damien English T.D., Minister for Skills, Research & Innovation said; “I wish to congratulate Arralis on its success in winning this highly strategic development contract from the European Space Agency. Arralis is another example of an Irish company developing a highly innovative technology for the European space programme. The technology also has potential for use by the commercial space and aerospace market with the support of ESA. I wish Arralis every success in its space endeavours and in its future growth”

Previous radar systems used by international space agencies worked well when being controlled by an astronaut to guide the craft onto a suitable site; however, remote planetary landings have been difficult and prone to failure. The 94GHz radar system, developed by Arralis, can be used to identify dangerous landing zones with the identification of small objects, such as rocks, which may cause damage to the spacecraft. With the amount of space junk objects currently orbiting the Earth estimated to be 700,000 larger then 1cm and more than 170 million larger than 1mm, debris avoidance has never been a more critical issue when you consider the expensive satellite real-estate which could be damaged.

Speaking on the announcement of the ESA contract, Barry Lunn, CEO of Arralis said, “We see this contract as a real endorsement of our unique engineering expertise and the success of our design team to date, at previously unattainable frequencies. The most exciting aspect of this contract for us is that ESA’s very experienced millimetre wave group will work with us throughout the delivery process. Their experience in bringing MMICs through to space qualification is invaluable and since kick off it’s been obvious that both sides are enthusiastic about the opportunities ahead”.

Speaking at the announcement, Bryan Rodgers, Enterprise Ireland said that Arralis is ‘one of a growing number of Irish technology companies securing ESA contracts in 2014 with the active support of Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. The total number of Irish companies currently, or recently, active in ESA programmes is almost 50 and growing, with over 80 Irish companies having secured ESA contracts in the past ten years”.

About Arralis

Arralis is a millimeter wave technology company servicing the aerospace and security sector. The company has developed world-leading expertise in Radio Frequency, micro and millimetre-wave technology. Their products, which are the ultimate in precision and innovation, are used in both global and space environments where accuracy and reliability are critical.

Arralis was founded by Barry Lunn (CEO) and Mike Gleaves (CTO) to solve the lack of European Suppliers for high frequency devices. From MMIC & Modules to Systems and Capability, the company provide the Invisible Edge to some of the world’s largest aerospace and security companies.

Ireland’s membership of ESA

Ireland has been a long-standing participant in European space programmes, particularly through membership of the European Space Agency (ESA), and this has provided an effective means for Irish companies, most of them SME’s, to develop new opportunities both in space-related areas and other markets.

Ireland became a member of the European Space Agency in 1975. The purpose of Ireland’s membership of ESA is to participate in European space programmes with a focus on facilitating innovative Irish companies to develop leading edge space technologies and to commercially exploit their ESA participation in global space and non-space markets, leading to increased export sales and employment.

Irish industrial and research participation in ESA covers a range of sectors and technology areas including; software, precision mechanical engineering, telecommunications, electronics, optoelectronics and advanced materials and extending to end user equipment, services and applications. Enterprise Ireland (EI) provides support to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) in relation to Ireland’s membership, including handling Irish company and researcher engagement with ESA.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, with 20 member states. Established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, France, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000 with an annual budget of about €4.28 billion.

ESA’s purpose is to provide for, and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems. Ireland’s membership of ESA permits Irish companies and research teams to bid for ESA contract development work in a range of space programmes.

Issued by: Arralis

For more information contact:

Marie Bourke, Arralis