Dublin, December 11th, 2023

Dublin based Réaltra Space Systems Engineering is contributing to the next generation of European rocket launchers and has recently been awarded a contract to provide state-of-the-art GNSS telemetry system hardware for launch vehicle provider ArianeGroup.

Irish owned Réaltra Space Systems Engineering, has announced today the award of a milestone contract with a value close to €1.0M, by the prestigious French based launch vehicle provider ArianeGroup. Réaltra have been contracted to develop and deliver a state-of-the-art Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) telemetry system, which will launch on the maiden flight of Ariane 6, the next generation of European launchers, designed and built by ArianeGroup on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA). ArianeGroup is prime contractor and design authority for the Ariane 6 launcher.

The contract between Réaltra and ArianeGroup was signed on the evening of Monday 11th December at the Residence of France in Dublin, in the presence of Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Neale Richmond and H. E. Mr Vincent Guérend, Ambassador of France to Ireland.

The GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) telemetry system has been developed by Réaltra and manufactured by Realtime Technologies Ltd. in Dublin for ArianeGroup and is designed to provide accurate and reliable positioning information and is intended to fly as an autonomous experimental system on the first launch of Ariane 6 in 2024, to validate the GNSS functionality in space at high speeds. It leverages advanced satellite navigation technology to ensure precise positioning, velocity, and timing measurements.

The Réaltra GNSS hardware will be located on the upper stage of the Ariane 6 rocket and will acquire data from the Galileo fleet of satellites. Galileo is a state-of-the-art European system which provides highly accurate global positioning and very precise timing. Galileo can deliver real-time positioning accuracy down to the metre range for users on the ground, in the air and in space. The Réaltra built GNSS system will receive signals from these satellites and convert this data before transmitting vital information about the launch vehicle to the operators on the ground.

This contract will support an increase in high-quality employment in design, engineering and manufacturing roles based in Dublin and in the supply chain companies located around Ireland.

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Neale Richmond offered his congratulations to Réaltra Space Systems Engineering in securing this important contract. He said “I am delighted that a young innovative Irish space company has secured a lucrative contract to deliver its technology with ArianeGroup. This will allow for the creation of new, high quality jobs in the Space sector, a key aim of our National Space Strategy for Enterprise. Irish space companies like Réaltra are well placed to build strong links with established companies in the Space Sector and with the continued investment by the Irish Government in the European Space Agency, including a €26 million investment in 2024, it is hoped that many more Irish companies like Réaltra will continue to excel in the Space industry.”

H. E. Mr Vincent Guérend, Ambassador of France to Ireland said “President Emmanuel Macron has set out a clear space strategy: France and Europe must remain at the forefront of the economic and scientific exploration of space. This commitment is reflected in the France 2030 programme, which devotes €1.5 billion to the space sector, focusing on two priorities: catching up in certain key market segments such as reusable launchers and constellations, and investing in new uses – such as space surveillance, in-orbit services and making the most of space data. This ambition is underpinned by collaborative projects between Europeans, bringing together research players, emerging industrial actors and established players in the space industry. The contract signed this evening between ArianeGroup and Réaltra Space Systems Engineering is testament to the excellence and potential of Franco-Irish cooperation in this sector for our two countries.”

Padraig Doolan, Irish National Delegate to ESA, of Enterprise Ireland, the State agency which supports Irish companies engaging in space technology developments with ESA, added: “Enterprise Ireland has a key role in the growth of an agile space-active enterprise sector in Ireland and provides a range of supports to space-active companies at various stages of development. Réaltra’s success reflects the current high level of technical innovation in Irish industry, which is helping to build capability and capacity in the space sector here in line with the Irish Government’s National Space Strategy for Enterprise 2019-2025. We wish Réaltra every success in its goal to become the world’s leading provider of electronic systems for the growing commercial ‘NewSpace’ market, in particular for new launch vehicles and satellite constellations.”

Laurent Mazo, Supplier Business Manager, ArianeGroup, said “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, including the broadcast of the iconic video footage from the separation of the James Webb Space Telescope from the upper stage of Ariane 5 on Christmas Day 2021, we identified the right equipment for the GNSS telemetry system meeting our expectations, and Réaltra was selected by ArianeGroup. The ESA, CNES and ArianeGroup target an Ariane 6 maiden flight between mid-June and end-July 2024. This collaboration will reinforce Réaltra’s experience in the space sector and guarantees the long-term support of our products.”

“We are delighted and proud that the Réaltra GNSS system has been selected to fly on the maiden flight of the Ariane A6 launcher,” said Danny Gleeson, CCO of Réaltra. “Our partnership with ArianeGroup is a testament to the dedication and talent of our team in Ireland in providing cutting-edge solutions for the global space industry.”

“This achievement marks a major milestone for Réaltra and demonstrates the company’s commitment to delivering innovative GNSS solutions and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology for space applications and for the aerospace industry. 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” said Michael Martin, Engineering Manager of Réaltra.

Paul White, Managing Director, Realtime Technologies Ltd., said “We are very proud that our Réaltra division in Realtime Technologies has been selected by ArianeGroup to join their industrial team for the development of the GNSS telemetry kit for the historic Ariane 6 launch vehicle. The selection of Réaltra by ArianeGroup is a testament to the hard work, deep experience and high standards displayed by our staff.”

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About Réaltra Space Systems Engineering

Réaltra is the Irish word for “galaxy”, which is appropriate in the context of the company’s vision of creating innovative low-cost electronic systems for space applications. The Réaltra division of Realtime Technologies Ltd. was formed in January 2018 by Paddy White (CEO), Diarmuid Corry (CTO) and Danny Gleeson (CCO), each with long experience in the space sector, to focus specifically on the growing global space market for high-quality and high-reliability electronic systems, targeting the commercial “NewSpace” market, with a focus on the burgeoning global micro-launchers and small satellite sectors. Réaltra currently employs 15 people, including staff with significant space heritage to recent graduates of UCD’s Masters in Space Science & Technology and interns from Irish Universities. The company plans to employ up to 50 highly skilled people over the next few years.

Realtime Technologies Ltd. is an Irish-owned company, employing over 50 people, that was founded by Paddy White in 1996 as a supplier of printed circuit board assemblies to the global IT, aerospace, automotive and medical device sectors.

About ArianeGroup

ArianeGroup develops and supplies innovative and competitive solutions for civil and military space launchers, with expertise in all aspects of state-of-the-art propulsion technologies. ArianeGroup is lead contractor for Europe’s Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launcher families, responsible for both design and the entire production chain, up to and including marketing by its Arianespace subsidiary, as well as for the missiles of the French oceanic deterrent force. ArianeGroup and its subsidiaries enjoy a global reputation as specialists in the field of equipment and propulsion for space applications, while their expertise also benefits other industrial sectors. The group is a joint venture equally owned by Airbus and Safran, and employs approximately 9,000 highly qualified staff in France and Germany. Its 2018 revenues amounted to 3.6 billion euros.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its 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.

ESA is an international organisation with 22 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA’s job is to draw up the European space programme and carry it through. ESA’s programmes are designed to find out more about Earth, its immediate space environment, our Solar System and the Universe, as well as to develop satellite-based technologies and services, and to promote European industries.

About Enterprise Ireland

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

Enterprise Ireland co-ordinates Ireland’s industrial and research participation in the programmes of the European Space Agency, provides a source of expertise for Irish companies in developing and executing space strategies, as well as being a point of reference for the international space industry when they want to identify relevant sources of space-related expertise within Ireland.

About Ariane 6

Ariane 6 is modular, flexible and competitive and will be the optimum launch solution for commercial and institutional customers for the next few decades. This new launcher – developed by ArianeGroup and its European industrial partners – combines proven solutions with innovation to address the changing needs of the global space market, allied with the unparalleled reliability of the Ariane family.

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(Image from left to right: Danny Gleeson, Chief Commercial Officer, Réaltra; Neale Richmond, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail; Paul White, Managing Director, Realtime; Laurent Mazo, Supplier Business Manager, ArianeGroup; H. E. Mr Vincent Guérend, Ambassador of France to Ireland; Oliver Charre, Head of Electrical Domain, ArianeGroup)