The PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO) mission will identify and study thousands of exoplanetary systems, with an emphasis on discovering and characterising Earth-sized planets and super-Earths. Copyright: ESA–C. Carreau.

Solar Array Subsystem for planet hunter PLATO

Beyond Gravity will deliver the Sunshield Solar Array Subsystem for the European “planet-hunting” mission PLATO to satellite builder OHB.

Solar array subsystem produced by Beyond Gravity

The “planet-hunting” mission PLATO (PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars) of the European Space Agency (ESA) is a space-based observatory to find and study extrasolar planetary systems with emphasis on the properties of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone around solar-like stars. It is scheduled to launch in 2026. Mid-January 2021 Beyond Gravity and OHB signed the contract for the Sunshield Solar Array Subsystem. The contract is worth more than 20 million Swiss Francs. Beyond Gravity will provide mechanisms, structures (panels) as well as thermal insulation, a transport container and other ground support equipment. A solar array consists of several solar panels that generate electricity for the satellite. The solar array also shields the 26 cameras and electronic units of the PLATO observatory from the sunlight.