I am an Innovator: Small Satellite Manufacturing


I needed to be able to create a new type of factory we’ve never created before it needed to be flexible it needed to be agile It needed to think outside the box we needed to get away from- we’ve been doing it this way for 50 years and to try how can we do it differently. We should be able to knock out a hundred or two hundred of these a year and start putting up whole fleets of satellites. Most satellites are about the size of a school bus or the size of a small car. Whereas a small satellite is something like you see here the size of a shoe box. Those other satellites they are hundreds of millions of dollars whereas these small satellites they are in the single digit million dollars. It is because of their low-cost nature we are able to deploy large constellations of them so a number of satellites at one time and therefore we can cover a greater area. Instead of getting an image say once a day for some of the bigger satellites I can get an image every ten minutes. We’ve evolved manufacturing capability to be able to build and test those satellites in a very efficient manner and that’s leverage from our missile test line. Almost everything we do to build most of our products applies directly to that satellite we build missiles that have optics: this has optics we build missiles that have IMUs we have built missiles that have guidance systems radio systems almost everything was directly applicable. We have mastered the art of building missiles within a low-cost fashion as you introduce new products that need to leverage the same manufacturing capabilities we are only going to continue to grow our efficiencies and it will benefit our missile business as well as this emerging market portfolio.

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