Starting with Sweden's first satellite the magnetospheric explorer Viking, launched in 1986, OHB Sweden has procured, developed or acquired twelve spacecraft, which have all successfully been launched and operated in orbit.
Six spacecraft have been designed by OHB Sweden as main contractor, including the SMART-1 lunar probe platform developed for ESA and launched in 2003. For Odin, launched in 2001, and Prisma, launched in 2010, OHB Sweden had the total system responsibility, including development of the Odin main instrument, launch and operations.
Four of the six OHB Sweden satellites in the Swedish small satellite programme have been dedicated to magnetospheric research. For all OHB Sweden satellites, excluding ESA s SMART-1, OHB Sweden has been responsible for the operations.
OHB Sweden’s experience in the telecom satellite field covers a wide range of services from feasibility system definition, procurement, including insurance and risk assessment, launch vehicle and campaign consulting to LEOPS (IOTS) and operations.
The Swedish small satellite heritage is by necessity that of a low-cost approach applied to tailor-made systems in close collaboration with the scientists. The aim is always to minimize the overall cost for a complete mission without compromising the mission objectives.
Some key issues in the low-cost approach to spacecraft development are the simple customer interface, the small dedicated project team, competitive procurement, elimination of unnecessary management levels, use of off-the-shelf equipment (OTS) and commercial or industrial grade components where possible, and an optimized DD&V philosophy. The low-cost approach has also been applied to the development and organisation of ground control for the OHB Sweden satellites. The operational experience has in addition given valuable feedback to the OHB Sweden spacecraft development teams and a special understanding within the company of operational issues.