Multi-purpose camera with radiation hard design

Jena-Optronik’s ASTROhead is a compact and light-weight space camera for demanding environments. Typical applications are:

  • Navigation
  • Inspection
  • Orientation
  • Space situational awareness

Our heritage from the successful ASTRO star sensor series led to the development of the ASTROhead. This is the first space application of the innovative FainStar sensor. Its use enabled us to set new standards for radiation hard designed space cameras in terms of both low mass and small envelope.

The ability of Jena-Optronik to design a space camera from the very first sketch to full qualification in less than two years has been demonstrated with this product. The maiden flight of the Visible Sensor Suite (VSS); which is based on the ATROhead, was on board of Northrop Grumman‘s Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV-1) launched on October 10th, 2019. The successful docking - a premiere in space - was achieved on February 25th, 2020.

View of IS-901 satellite from Mission Extension Vehicle-1 © Northrop Grumman

The VSS incorporates two ASTROhead camera versions with different fields of view as well as a common electronic control unit (Optical Head Controller Box). If needed this unit processes the data of up to six cameras complementing the ASTROhead to a complete navigational camera system., ASTROhead can be adapted to meet different customer requirements thanks to the modular design Approach.

NASA, ESA and Jena-Optronik: A space cooperation for exploring the cosmos

 Jena-Optronik has received a contract to supply star sensors as part of the international "Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope" Project.

read more

Turning science fiction into reality: MEV servicing mission to extend the lifespan of satellites

The "Mission-Extension Vehicle" (MEV for short) of the US tech company Northrop Grumman has been successfully deployed in space with the latest optical technology from Jena on-board. A new docking sensor system from Jena-Optronik GmbH is on its maiden flight as part of the world's first commercial on-orbit servicing mission in geostationary Orbit.

read more

All News-Articles

Rendezvous in space

Twelve years after its maiden flight on ESA‘s ATV-1 “Jules Verne“, our Rendezvous and Docking Sensor (RVS®) successfully completed its last mission.

read more

"We know what the Earth breathes"

A look at our contributions to "Sentinel-4" in the European Earth observation programme COPERNICUS.

read more

All Blog-Articles

Space photography

Apollo astronauts as photographers: stunning pictures of our blue marble, the moon and astronauts' lifes 

read more

Space: It’s all around us

Space inspires us all and creates a wealth of knowledge

read more

All Knowledgeplatform-Articles


Currently there are no news items.