Last year they were selected by Airbus OneWeb Satellites (OneWeb) to supply solar panels for the OneWeb constellation of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites—a huge job.
Now the company announces construction of a new 40,000 square foot facility at its headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and subsequently more than 100 new jobs. OneWeb plans to create a global gateway by deploying a constellation of LEO satellites that will bring affordable Internet access to the world. SolAero’s investment ensures their support of OneWeb’s objectives.
SolAero Technologies Corp (SolAero), provider of solar cells, solar panels, and composite structural products, announced a $10 million program investment to augment its existing solar panel production capabilities in support of the growing market for commercial satellite constellations. Once complete, this facility will contain the world’s only vertically-integrated, end-to-end satellite solar panel production capability.
Dr. Brad Clevenger, CEO of SolAero said, “SolAero is excited to partner with OneWeb on this truly groundbreaking endeavor. Our partnership further demonstrates that SolAero, the industry’s only vertically-integrated space solar panel provider, remains uniquely positioned to service the world’s most demanding satellite applications.”
Brian Holz, CEO of OneWeb said, “We are pleased to partner with SolAero on the OneWeb constellation. Their experience, high-volume production capability and proven track record made SolAero the right partner for us.”
SolAero’s experience designing and manufacturing power systems for satellite constellations includes Sierra Nevada’s Orbcomm Generation 2, Orbital ATK’s Commercial Resupply Services and SSL’s new class of imaging satellites.
“We recognize the opportunity that New Space business models present for suppliers to bring new technologies and novel approaches to market.” added Dr. Clevenger. “The OneWeb program provides a unique opportunity to do both while also quickly establishing manufacturing and flight heritage for the new capabilities we’re bringing to market with this additional investment in our Albuquerque campus.”