Astrix Series

Field-proven three-axis gyroscopes for space applications

Vue d'ensemble

Astrix results from a 20-year partnership between iXblue and Airbus Defence & Space. Benefiting from the expertise of both companies, it relies on the fiber optic gyroscope technology that withstand the challenging space environment. Astrix is a fail-safe and proven gyroscope for various applications such as observation, telecommunication and scientific satellites but also large constellations. Astrix already equips more than 25 satellites on all types of orbits (LEO, MEO, GEO, Lagrangian point…) while counting more than 2 million hours in operation without incident.

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Main features

  • Highly reliable thanks to 20 years of space experience and to the fibre optic gyroscope technology (More about the FOG)
  • Solid-state technology proven with 2 million hours of cumulated flight in more than 25 satellites without incident.
  • Compatible for GEO, MEO, LEO missions and including EOR
  • Outstanding inertial performances and stability
  • Wide range from the very high-performance Astrix 200 to the compact Astrix NS

Main performance

  Astrix NS Astrix 90 Astrix 200
ARW < 0.005 °/√h < 0.005 °/√h < 0.0001 °/√h
Bias stability over 1 h (steady temperature) < 0.02 °/h < 0.01 °/h < 0.0005 °/h
Bias stability end of life (all effects included) 0.3 °/h 0.3 °/h  
Scale factor linearity @ 3σ 300 ppm 500 ppm 10 ppm
Scale factor stability after launch @ 3s 300 ppm 300 ppm < 20 ppm
Measurement range (full performances)     > 60 °/s
Start up time < 1 s < 3 s < 3 s
Temperature (full performances) -20 ° to 65°C -25 ° to 65°C -10 ° to 50°C
Vibration 25g sin and 20g rms random 25g sin and 20g rms random 25g sin and 10g rms random
Shock 2 000 g from 1 kHz to 10 kHz <2 000 g from 1 kHz to 10 kHz 1 200 g from 1.2 kHz to 10 kHz
Radiation   100 krad. SEP tolerant. latchup immune 15 years GEO. SEP tolerant. latchup immune
Lifetime Up to 15 years GEO Up to 15 years GEO Up to 15 years GEO
Missions compatibility     GEO. EOR. MEO and LEO
RE     GEO. EOR. MEO and LEO
Mass 1 kg to 1.5 kg (depending on radiation shielding required) 4.5 kg 12.7 kg
Volume 100 x 100 x 100 mm φ 263 mm x h 192 mm Sensor φ 330 mm x h 280 mm and elec 150 mm x 145 mm x 295 mm
Power bus 20 V - 52 V 22 - 50 V 22 - 50 V


1553 and RS422 1553 and RS422
Power (end of life 15 years GEO) below 7 W 13.5 W 22.5 W
Power (end of life 7 years LEO)      

* For more information, please refer to the datasheet below



Satellite Pleiade

Astrix 200 for Pléiades : very high resolution imaging satellites

Observe and take pictures of any part of Earth with a 70 cm resolution every day, this is the mission of Pléiades satellites since December 2011. To reach this level of performances at that date, Pléiades satellites rely on a very sensitive optical detector and a very high precision gyroscope, the Astrix 200.

Pléiades is the first mission using Astrix 200, a gyroscope developed by iXblue and Airbus Defence and Space. Originally planned for a 5-year lifetime, the gyroscope on board Pléiades is still working. In the meantime Astrix 200 has been chosen for more than 10 satellites in the frame of very demanding missions: Science, military, Earth observation.

Rover Mars

Astrix 90 for ExoMars : Life on Mars ?

The primary goal of the ExoMars programme is to address the question of whether life has ever existed on Mars. The mission is planned for launch in 2022 and it comprises a rover and a surface science platform. The mission embarks an Astrix 90 to make the navigation during the travel to reach Mars and to manage the delicate landing phase on Mars.

An Astrix 90 reaching Mars is a great and new achievement for our product. It is also an extra ordinary mission. Indeed, among the 64 Astrix 90 produced as of today, most of them are used for telecom satellites where reliability is the upmost quality.