IABG breaks ground for a competence centre unique in Europe for measuring and qualifying optical systems

„Competence Center Optics (CCO)“


Today, with a symbolic breaking of ground, IABG started construction work on a centre for qualifying electro-optical space systems and components. This centre will establish a unique facility in Europe that will boost the technology site and in particular drive the development of new technologies. The centre will be attached to the existing national space test centre and will ensure all customers from industry, technology and research non-discriminatory access to a comprehensive range of testing facilities. This centre for electro-optical systems and components will close a national capabilities gap.

The chosen configuration also takes into account the sustainability of the new testing capabilities. It has a modular design that can be extended and adapted at any time for test objects of all sizes. In particular it will be able to examine innovative systems of the future like spatial and spectral high-resolution passive imaging systems or active optical systems for optical communication, for example.

The installation will feature a thermal vacuum chamber that is 14 metres long with a working diameter of 5 metres; two vibration-free optical benches with a total length of 14 metres are implemented in the chamber. The core element of the facility will be an optical test bench with collimators, different sources of radiation, plane mirrors, high-precision angle measuring instruments and the associated precision positioning devices.

The new testing facility, just as the existing space test centre, is a national research infrastructure and thus also an integral element of the national space strategy. After its completion in 2021, the Competence Center Optics (CCO) will be used by IABG to actively support the development and qualification of the GEORG satellite system pertinent to national security. The establishment of this test facility for electro-optical systems and components delivers an essential requirement for the success of future missions in the fields of space exploration, terrestrial observation and climate protection.

IABG mbH is proprietor of the Competence Center Optics. The new construction was designed by WSSA Architekten GmbH, Munich, in collaboration with specialized engineering offices and internal and external IABG plant specialists. Completion is planned for mid-2021.