LEMON LIDAR project SpaceTech FRUIT

We are proud to announce being part of the Lidar Emitter and Multispecies greenhouse gases
Observation INstrument project - short LEMON, a H2020 funded activity.
The LEMON consortium consists of 8 partners from 4 different countries, including academic experts,
research centres and SME partners.

lemon dial project introduction background
source: LEMON DIAL project

Mission goal

LEMON shall deliver a new DIfferential Absorption Lidar (DIAL)
sensor concept in order to measure greenhouse gases
and water vapour from space and demonstrate the concept
in an airborne campaign.

LEMON features

The innovative LEMON concept is based on a versatile, efficient multispecies Lidar emitter:

  • development of only one space instrument for CO2, CH4, H2O, HDO measurements necessary
  • simultaneous CO2+H2O or H2O HDO measurements possible
LEMON Spacetech Development Grafik CH4
Technology development of LEMON Lidar and
validation of the instrument by an airborne
measurement campaign (source: LEMON DIAL project)
  LEMON Spacetech DIAL Lidar Principle Grafik H552px
DIAL Lidar principle (source: LEMON DIAL
SpaceTech development for LEMON

Being part of the LEMON project, STI was elected to develop, manufacture and deliver the so-called LEMON FRUIT
which consists of a wavemeter, controlling unit, tunable absolute reference laser and heterodyne beating detection.
In addition, SpaceTech is responsible for the system planning and evaluation of a future spaceborne LIDAR.

LEMON FRUIT Spacetech Lidar System Grafik
LEMON sub-systems interrelation, TREE: TRansmittEr module, FRUIT: FRequency ReFerence UnIT,
ARM: Acquisition and Reciever Module, SEED: Software and ElEctronics for instruments control and
Data recording (source: LEMON DIAL project)

Growing branches for a spaceborne LEMON LIDAR development
  • Roadmap analysis
  • Sub-units environmental testing
  • Critical components radiation testing
  • Future mission proposals

Visit the LEMON website for further information >

Download LEMON brochure for more details >

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research
and innovation programme under grant agreement N° 821868.


icarus animal tag carried by a blackbird

The space-bound German-Russian animal monitoring system ICARUS (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) will start in-orbit commissioning today - 10 July 2019.

Final tests at STI facilities

In this final test phase, ICARUS engineers and scientists are going to check all system components on ground and on board the ISS as well as the tags (transmitters) that collect the animal data, including:

  • Health testing: The ICARUS payload will be switched on after being dormant on the ISS for almost one year. After switch-on the health of all components will be checked.
  • Background noise testing: Since the communication between tags and ISS is based on extremely low-power transmission signals, the ICARUS antenna will globally record the background noise in the used frequency range. The noise map will be analyzed for potential disturbers.
  • Uplink testing: A test ground station at STI facilities in Kippenhausen, Germany will simulate up to 1000 tag signals and transmit them to the ICARUS Antenna on the ISS. Correct reception on the ISS will be verified by recording the transmissions and off-line analysis of the data.
  • Downlink testing: The ICARUS antenna on the ISS cyclically transmits ISS position information essential to establish communication between tag and ISS and commands for the tags. The signals will be received by the Kippenhausen Ground Station and will be evaluated by STI for completeness and correctness.
ICARUS animal tag blackbird
Tagged blackbird
  ICARUS bird migration
Bird migration
ICARUS system

ICARUS is a cooperative project with the Russian space agency Roskosmos and the German Aerospace Center DLR under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Martin Wikelski from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Konstanz. The ICARUS system was designed and built by SpaceTech GmbH, with contributions from the German SMEs vH&S, Rohde&Schwarz INRADIOS, STT-SystemTechnik and with support of UniBW in München.
ICARUS will provide a global and innovative approach for constant tracking of flying birds and land animals, covering a multitude of regions and species.
The system consists of the ICARUS Antenna, installed on the International Space Station (ISS), as well as the small, ultra-light-weight transmitters, carried by the animal - so called animal tags. The tags collect data of position, magnetic field, humidity, temperature as well as motion of the tracked animal.
The ICARUS antenna on the ISS covers the data reception from >100 animal tags residing within an uplink window of 800 x 30 km and can transmit data to tags in a downlink radius of 660 km.

Mission goal

The ICARUS project will deliver new insight and information about:

  • Wild animal behaviour in changing environments
  • Preservation of biodiversity and endangered wildlife protection
  • Dispersal and migration of animals damaging human food
  • Global disease spreading by animals
  • Earthquakes and other natural catastrophes (early warning system)

ICARUS is expected to be available to the scientific community in winter 2019 upon completion of all the tests.

ICARUS communication antenna tag
Communication between antenna and tag
  ICARUS animal migrations
Visible animal migrations

See video for more mission details here >

Get more insight about the technical side of ICARUS here >


After successful final testing of the Solar Array Deployment Mechanisms (SADM), SpaceTech delivered the solar array for the first JASON-CS satellite to Airbus on April 18th, 2019.

SpaceTech Jason CS solar array deployment mechanism test
  SpaceTech Jason CS solar array delivery
JASON-CS solar array on the road to success


STI development

SpaceTech developed the JASON-CS solar array that consists of four solar panels, two are body mounted and two are deployable. STI got under contract with Airbus in 2016 and was able to design, produce, test and deliver within 36 months.


Being an international partnership between the U.S. and Europe, Jason Continuity of Service (Jason-CS) mission on the Sentinel-6 spacecraft will deliver valuable information about sea level change to all nations.
The mission is designed to ensure continuous observation of the earth sea level for a minimum of 10 years.
Global sea level rise is one of the most important impacts of human-caused climate change. The first JASON-CS satellite will be launched in 2020, followed by a second one in 2025. The data generated by the two satellites will be used to improve forecasts of weather conditions two to four weeks ahead. This system will be able to forecast hurricane intensity and other irregularly occurring weather conditions like El Niño even for the next season.

Find further mission details here >

No longer just a dream: Internet for everyone everywhere - Airbus OneWeb Satellites (AOS) is aiming for global broadband internet. The AOS mega constellation will consist of 900 small satellites. AOS selected SpaceTech to develop and deliver the 1800 solar array deployment mechanisms.

STI development

SpaceTech was able to provide Airbus OneWeb Satellites with a QM development of only three months and already delivered the Solar Array Deployment Mechanism (SADM) flight hardware for the pilot satellites that have been built at Airbus OneWeb Satellites (Toulouse site, France).
The launch of six pilot satellites took place February 27th, 2019 and the solar arrays deployed successfully.  Based on this, AOS contracted SpaceTech for the SADMs for the full constellation, 1800 deployment mechanisms – two on every satellite.
Delivering these key parts to make the project a success, SpaceTech proves once again its suitability for the New Space Market with utmost flexibility and cost-efficency. SpaceTech is proud to being part of this exciting project. Thanks to all of the project partners for the great team work.

Learn more about the mission here >

SpaceTech AOS Airbus OneWeb satelliteAirbus OneWeb satellite (source: AOS)

STI cleanroom deployment test solar array Jason-CS

March 18th, 2019, STI headquarters: The deployment tests of the solar array of the JASON-CS flight model have been performed flawlessly at the STI cleanroom facility under ESA supervision. With this successful demonstration STI concludes the mechanical verification of the solar array for the first satellite.
This is an important milestone towards delivery of the hardware to Airbus, scheduled for April 2019.

STI Jason CS solararray deployment test stowed STI Jason CS solararray deployment test deployed
STI cleanroom deployment test solar array Jason-CS 
STI development

The JASON-CS solar array features 4 solar panels of approximately 17.5 m² in total, two fixed ones and two deployable (see below). The solar array, including the deployment mechanisms, has been developed by STI under contract with Airbus.

STI Jason CS SolarArrays Stowed Configuration
Jason-CS SA stowed configuration
STI Jason CS SolarArray Deployed Configuration
Jason-CS SA deployed configuration
Mission goal

The Jason-CS mission is part of the Copernicus Space Component and is developed by ESA under the GMES Space Component Segment 3 (GSC-3) program. The main objective of the Jason-CS/Sentinel 6 mission is to provide a long-term availability of high precision ocean surface topography observations in support of Copernicus services.


The launch of the first spacecraft is planned for 2020.