RUAG Space has started production at their new Florida manufacturing facility at Titusville and now celebrates the firm's second U.S. facility opening in two months
Work from the Titusville factory will include the manufacturing of satellite structures for global communications company, OneWeb. RUAG Space held a celebratory reception, marking the commencement of full production capabilities in their new facility. Production is set to begin, with the first delivery batches estimated to be completed in approximately one and a half months. Embracing state-of-the-art machinery and automated processes, this new facility aligns with the industry’s ambition toward less expensive access to space. Finally, this event also commemorated the extension of work between OneWeb and RUAG, which also incldes the delivery of thermal insulation for the 900 satellites in that firm's global constellation.
Led by RUAG Space CEO, Peter Guggenbach, the RUAG team welcomed more than 100 guests to the event. RUAG officials thanked guests and showed their appreciation for the state’s economic development teams and industry partners. The strong partnership with OneWeb was highlighted, with Greg Wyler, Founder and Executive Chairman of OneWeb, also addressing the audience. OneWeb will be launching the first satellites for its global constellation in early 2018.
In addition to the mandate for satellite structures, RUAG Space also manufactures the dispensers that will be used to launch 32 satellites simultaneously and place them into orbit. Further, OneWeb and RUAG announced that they will expand their collaboration, to include developing and manufacturing the thermal insulation for OneWeb's satellites.
Weighing 200 kilograms and measuring 1.3 meters in height, the satellites require thermal insulation to ensure they maintain a constant interior temperature despite the extreme temperature fluctuations in space. Without this stability, the sensitive instruments on board would not work properly over the six and a half years of the mission. The production of the multi-layer insulation, RUAG uses a series of partly automated techniques that harness state-of-the-art laser technology – to excel in throughput time.
In addition to others attending this grand opening, RUAG space was joined by Dorothy Hukill, Florida State Senator; Debbie Mayfield, Florida State Senator; Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity; Walt Johnson, Titusville Mayor; Rita Pritchett, County Commissioner; Frank DiBello, President & CEO of Space Florida; and Lynda Weatherman, President and CEO of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.
Greg Wyler noted that OneWeb is building a new space based global infrastructure to bring low latency broadband to the four billion unconnected people around the world. The company would not be able to accomplish this goal without the support of partners such as RUAG Space. Together, the satellite manufacturing processes is being re-invented to support the world’s first high volume satellite manufacturing center. This is another tangible step toward bridging the global digital divide. This new space structures facility will build products that impact the world while also creating jobs and economic opportunity in Florida.