Beyond the Gaeltacht - Space Exploration takes off in Indreabhán

ÉireComposites begins working with the European Space Agency

1 March, 2021

min read

ÉireComposites, an Údarás na Gaeltachta client company based in Indreabhán, Co. Galway, has signed a contract with Belgian company OIP Sensor Systems, to design and produce stray light baffles which will form part of the European Space Agency’s ALTIUS satellite.

The baffles will be the first external part and largest functioning piece of equipment ever to be manufactured in Ireland and launched into space.  The baffles, made by ÉireComposites located in the Conamara Gaeltachta since 2002, will prevent stray light from reaching the lenses of the satellite’s optical instruments.  The satellite, which is expected to be launched by end 2023, will deliver profiles of the stratospheric ozone as well as profiles of other atmospheric trace gases. This will provide scientific understanding on how the rise in greenhouse gases affects the atmosphere.

Speaking of the announcement Anna Ní Ghallachair, Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Chairperson said:

‘On behalf of the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta, I would like to congratulate the ÉireComposites team on this very good news. The equipment, designed and produced in the Conamara Gaeltacht, will play a crucial role in the effort to collect information from space as part of a project researching the effect of greenhouse gases on the atmosphere. This order illustrates the company’s innovative vision and the quality of the product made there. It is also a vote of confidence in the expertise and standards of production of a company which is internationally at the forefront in its field.’

Tomás Flanagan CEO of ÉireComposites also added:

‘The ALTIUS satellite will signal a major milestone for Irish participation in space exploration as the three stray light baffles will become the first optical instruments manufactured in Ireland and the largest satellite parts manufactured in this country. I am delighted that OIP wants to work with ÉireComposites on this project. This is a massive achievement for the company and I hope this will be the first of many parts we manufacture for space exploration missions.’

Speaking of the announcement Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Enterprise, Employment & Engineering Director, Mark de Faoite said:

‘This is a great achievement for the team at ÉireComposites.  We are proud to support this company which is contributing to the economic development of the region with the creation of quality jobs in the Gaeltacht. The accomplishment of being selected to work with OIP and the European Space Agency is a testament to the talent of the team and the products they manufacture. We are thrilled that a piece of equipment made in the Gaeltacht is going to space.’