Materion and Swiss-based Synopta GmbH Partner for Space Satellite Success

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Materion and Swiss-based Synopta GmbH have announced the successful completion of the latest satellite as part of the Copernicus Earth observation project—an initiative that monitors the changing conditions and general heath of the planet. Materion provided the Electronic Materials used in the optical communication system on board the satellites, including the most recent one that launched in August 2019.

Copernicus, a European Union program, provides timely and accessible information about global temperature changes, atmospheric pollution, deforestation, urbanization and more by sending high resolution pictures to Earth via a high-speed data transmission system. Synopta GmbH was tasked with developing elements of a reliable, high-speed optical data transmission system for the program’s Sentinel and the European Data Relay System (EDRS) satellites. Synopta selected Materion’s AlBeMet® and SupremEX® metal matrix composites for use in critical parts of the satellites’ Laser Communication Terminal.

“Both AlBeMet and SupremEX materials from Materion have a unique property set that enabled us to design and produce a light-weight, high precision system,” said Jens Kunde, General Manager, Synopta. “As we selected a material, low mass and high stiffness were priorities for us and these composites offered both.”

In August 2019 the latest Copernicus project satellite, EDRS-C was successfully launched with components made of Materion metal matrix composites on board. This most recent satellite will contribute to the almost-live transmission of data to Earth, enabling faster response times to emergency situations. 

In addition to this project, AlBeMet and SupremEX materials have been used successfully in space applications for over 60 years due to their unique properties, which include high strength and stiffness, corrosion and wear resistance and high tensile strength at elevated temperatures.  


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