ST Electronics Marks Opening of Satellite Factory

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Singapore's S. Iswaran (hand on chin) is shown TeLOS-1 during tour of new facility. Credit: ST Electronics
Singapore’s S. Iswaran (hand on chin) is shown TeLOS-1 during tour of new facility. Credit: ST Electronics

WASHINGTON — Singapore Technologies Electronics Ltd. marked the opening of a satellite design and manufacturing facility Aug. 19 that the company is using to construct Singapore’s first commercial Earth observation satellite.

TeLEOS-1 is scheduled to be launched into a near-equatorial orbit aboard an Indian PSLV rocket in late 2015. The 400-kilogram satellite will collect 1-meter-resolution imagery with a revisit rate of 12 to 16 hours. ST Electronics has partnered with Satrec Initiative of South Korea and SPOT Asia of Singapore for the commercial distribution of TeLEOS-1 imagery beginning in 2016.

ST Electronics moved into its new 11,000-square-meter Satellite Systems Centre at the end of 2013, but waited until Aug. 19 to mark the official opening with a visit from S. Iswaran, Singapore’s second minister for home affairs, and trade and industry, according to ST Electronics spokeswoman Magdalen Loh.

The facility has a high-bay clean room sized to accommodate the assembly, integration and testing of two satellites at a time. ST Electronics said in a press release that it has already used the new facility to build and test a TeLEOS-1 qualification model.

Loh said ST Electronics is “in talks with interested parties about future projects” for the satellite factory but declined to be more specific. She noted that ST Electronics signed an agreement with U.S.-based ATK to collaborate on the development, manufacturing and marketing of microsatellites. ST Electronics, she said, is leading marketing efforts in the Asia Pacific region while ATK is leading marketing in the Middle East and North Africa.