Omnidea-RTG GmbH heritage and experience can be traced back to the 1960's through the companies preceding it. This page focuses on the historical recollection: for further details on components/services provided please consult the corresponding section.

In the 1960’s, Sterer Engineering (US), opened RTG (Regelungs Technische Geräte) as a maintenance company for their products integrated in the hydraulic system of the F-104 Starfighter in service in the Luftwaffe. In 1973, Mr. Peter Lüthge, Aerospace engineer and a former ERNO (today Airbus D&S Bremen) employee took management of RTG. Also, and complementing the aeronautical services offered, RTG became Sterer's Cold Gas Propulsion systems sales point in Europe. Between the 70’s and the 90’s, RTG participated in projects such as:

AMPTE-UK
Astro-SPAS

In 1997 Sterer's space division was closed during a merger process in which it was taken over by EATON. 

In 2000 comes the first milestone in Space, of the re-invented RTG: the CHAMP (Challenging Minisatellite Payload) mission, in which RTG acted as a supplier/sub-contractor to Dornier Satellitensysteme (now part of Airbus D&S) in Friedrichshafen for the satellite Cold Gas Systems. Launched from Plesetsk Cosmodrome (Russia) on July 15th 2000, CHAMP was a very successful GfZ/DLR mission, designed for a 5 year service life, but which continued to be operated until being deorbited in 2010. This success can be in part attributed to the very low leakage of the propulsion system delivered by RTG.

CHAMP
GRACE twin satellites

After CHAMP, came the GRACE (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment) I/II (twin) satellites, a joint NASA/DLR mission to perform GPS radio occultation measurements, using CHAMP configuration bus satellites. Launched on March 2002 from Plesetsk, Dornier (now Airbus D&S) was again the Prime with RTG supplying some propulsion components plus some assembly/integration work on the sub-system. The mission was so successful that over 13 years after its launch, GRACE is still performing mapping activities for the US.

After GRACE, came RTG’s breakthrough project for liquid propulsion: with 5 satellite units, the SAR-Lupe German military satellite constellation system, represented the company’s largest contract in space activities. With a radar payload (SAR) and under the supervision of the Bundeswehr, the project marked the initial collaboration with OHB, as well as the company’s first assembly of a complete hydrazine (N2H4) sub-system. Also launched from Plesetsk, between 2006 (initial satellite) and 2008 (final unit), SAR-Lupe changed the dimension and the operational capabilities available at the company, confirming the need for a 2nd Cleanroom, dedicated to sub-system assembly.

SAR-Lupe satellite constellation

After SAR-Lupe, and around 2008 the company, with a revised dimension, tackled ambitious projects such as:

  • the ARGO project, a project launched by NSPO (the Taiwanese Space Agency) which after significant interruptions and delays evolved into the Formosat-5 satellite. Aimed at providing remote sensing capabilities to the Taiwanese authorities, the project was steered by Spacetech. In 2014, RTG’s concluded its involvement in the project, even if Formosat-5 has not yet been launched
  • the qualification, according to ESA’s standards, of RTG’s Ball Latch Valves for Thales Alenia Space's Sentinel-3 missions.
Sentinel 3

In 2011, the company initiated a further collaboration with the OHB Group, this time to provide AIT (Assembly, Integration and Testing) capabilities on DLR’s EnMAP (Environmental Mapping and Analysis Programme) mission, an hyperspectral imager satellite to observe the sunlight reflected from Earth, with a propulsion sub-system based on the SAR-Lupe mission.

After an interruption in 2013, the complete propulsion sub-system of the satellite was provided to OHB (Prime) for integration into the satellite’s structure in the beginning of 2017.

EnMap

In 2014 and following collaborations in common ESA projects, the Space division of RTG Aero-Hydraulic was acquired by Omnidea, Lda (a Portuguese SME) to form Omnidea-RTG GmbH which, since April 1st 2014, has taken over RTG’s space division personnel, processes and facilities. It is our aim and firm intention to continue RTG’s long and successful endeavour in Space activities for decades to come.