Smarter and more eco-friendly control of spacecraft

Smarter and more eco-friendly control of spacecraftVestre Toten

Nammo Raufoss is developing a manoeuvring system and fuel technology intended to make the control and positioning of spacecraft greener and better.

Space operations is a growing industry with spacecraft being launched into space to contribute to research, navigation, communication, and security.

Nammo Raufoss in Innlandet County delivers solutions for the industry. In 2021, the company received NOK 25 million in grants from Innovation Norway in order to develop a complete control and positioning system for satellites and space probes in space, which will use a significantly eco-friendlier fuel.

Jobs and export opportunities

"The support from Innovation Norway is very important for the development work. What we achieve with our space operations is of significance for Norwegian business development. The project has huge job creation potential, regionally and nationally, and not least huge potential with a view to export sales," says Lars Åge Sangnæs, CFO at Nammo Raufoss.

The funding from Innovation Norway comes from a NOK 10 million innovation grant, NOK 5 million from the environmental technology programme, and NOK 10 million from the rural development pot. Nammo Raufoss thus received the largest allocation from Innovation Norway in Innlandet County last year.

The company is part of the Nammo Group and a key business in the strong industrial environment in Vestre Toten. Since its inception in 1896, defence products have represented a key part of the business, and today it also develops components and rocket engines for the aerospace industry.

More eco-friendly fuel

Launching spacecraft requires an enormous amount of energy and today’s engines use very environmentally harmful fuel. The RACS system that Nammo Raufoss is developing will use hydrogen peroxide instead of hydrazine as a fuel. This will represent a significant cut in CO2 emissions.

A change of fuel will require the redevelopment or modification of all of the components associated with the launch vehicle that carries the spacecraft from the launch pad and up into space. What the company wants to deliver must therefore comply with very stringent quality, precision, and safety requirements. If the project is a success, the system could also be modified for other types of launch vehicles.

Thumbs up from the experts

This Innlandet company has a high degree of technological expertise and employs around 100 people. To assess the project’s technology and risk, a panel of experts was assembled to assist with Innovation Norway’s assessments. This panel was generally positive about the project and believed that the timing was now or never. The project’s sustainability was also assessed, and no red flags were raised.

“This project involves a high degree of innovation and has a good environmental impact. The company has very good expertise and we hope that it will successfully develop the project,” says funding adviser Trond Husan at Innovation Norway Innlandet.

  • Grants for environmental technology
  • Regional district funds
  • Grants for innovation contracts
  • Business network
  • Innovation loans
  • Advisory in international markets
  • Extraordinary Innovation Grant