OHB Italia selected ENPULSION as propulsion partner for the IRIDE constellation


Wr. Neustadt, Austria, Jan 23rd, 2023 – OHB Italia selected ENPULSION as their propulsion partner for the IRIDE constellation. In December 2022 OHB Italia and ENPULSION signed a contract for the delivery of 12 NANO thrusters, using ENPULSION’s unique Field Emission Electric Propulsion (FEEP) technology.

Under the supervision of ESA and ASI (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana) and in the frame of PNRR (Piano Nazionale Ripresa e Resilienza) the IRIDE constellation will be implemented in Italy and completed by 2026. ESA (European Space Agency) and OHB Italia have signed the contract for the development of an initial batch of 12 satellites to be delivered by November 2024, with a negotiated option for a further batch of 12 satellites to be delivered by November 2025. The industrial consortium led by OHB Italia also includes Telespazio, Optec, and Aresys as partners.

The IRIDE constellation will be composed of satellites of different types and sizes combining SAR, optical, panchromatic, hyperspectral, and infrared sensors. A unique and innovative constellation designed to observe from space what is happening on Earth.

“IRIDE represents the key know-how development essential to meet increasingly difficult challenges in the global space system. OHB Italia is very proud to offer its more than forty years Space-heritage to take part to this ambitious and all-Italian project. It will help the Civil Protection Department and other administrations to manage hydrogeological instability and fires, to protect coastlines and to monitor critical infrastructure, air quality and weather conditions. Moreover, it will provide analytical data for the development of commercial applications, all fundamental activities for a modern space-faring nation.” – declared Roberto Aceti, Managing Director of OHB Italia


IRIDE is among the most important European Space programs for Earth Observation in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and represents a fundamental component of the Next Generation EU dedicated to the development of space activities, supporting the ecological and digital transition. It includes all components (upstream, downstream and services) to provide geospatial data at national and European level, both to the public administration and to private customers.

“We are very happy to work with the team of OHB Italia on this mission with its very high strategic relevance for European competitiveness in the upcoming years. The IRIDE Mission will not only show, how the smart and sustainable use of near-earth economic resources can help us better understand the impact of climate change on our planet, it can in the long run also help enable a sustainable use of our planetary resources. We are very proud to be a part of this mission and provide it with our advanced electric propulsion solutions, which enable the most precise and reliable in-space mobility, that lies at the heart of this constellation.” – said Alexander Reissner, CEO of ENPULSION


About OHB Italia

OHB Italia S.p.A. is part of the European Space and Technology Group OHB SE (Orbitale Hochtechnologie Bremen), which is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. It is one of the three top space companies in Europe with 3.000 employees worldwide and total revenues for EUR 917 Mio. in 2021. OHB Italia S.p.A. was founded in 1981, nowadays in Italy it is one of the two major satellite system integrators with more than EUR 100 Mio. backlog and EUR 90 Mio. revenues in 2021.


With 200 thrusters in space, more than 300 thrusters delivered and close to 150 years of accumulated on-orbit operation, ENPULSION is the world’s leading manufacturer of electric propulsion systems for nano- and microsatellites. The company is based in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, and has business development offices in the USA and Toulouse, France. Its products are based on the company’s proprietary Field-Emission Electric Propulsion (FEEP) technology, behind which are more than 30 years of research and development work in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Research Facility FOTEC.

About the IRIDE constellation

The IRIDE constellation is a programme of the

European Union – Next GenerationEU

funded by the Presidency of the Council of Ministries of the Italian Republic, pursuant to Article 1, paragraph 254, of the Italian Law 160/2019’ and ‘Funded by the Presidency of the Council of Ministries from the Complementary Fund

carried out under an ESA Contract for the purposes of EO PNRR IRIDE PROGRAMME.


Views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion the European Union/European Commission/ESA/Presidency of Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic. Views and opinion expressed are those of the author(s) only and the European Union/European Commission/ESA/Presidency of Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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