Lockheed Martin opens new facility for small satellite manufacture
The company plans to move the manufacture of Transport Layer satellites for the US Space Development Agency (SDA) into the new facility. The company is currently manufacturing 10 Tranche 0 satellites at another facility but the 42 Tranche 1 units will be built at the new factory along with other small satellites and Cubesats.
SDA’s Transport Layer will provide military users with low-latency communication links through a resilient network of integrated capabilities from low-Earth orbit. Tranche 1 satellites are expected to begin launching in 2024.
The 20,000-square-foot low bay clean room, located on the company’s Waterton campus, in Littleton, Colorado, will feature six scalable parallel assembly lines and is configurable to host different classifications of missions concurrently.
The facility hosts dedicated testing capabilities, including thermal cycle and electromagnetic chambers, scaled to efficiently build and test satellites ranging in size from CubeSats to smallsats. The tailored fit is designed to reduce waste and optimises energy and space, supporting the delivery of 180 satellites or more per year.
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