Nearly a third of commercial geostationary communications satellites in orbit are operating beyond their design lives, a far higher figure than previous years, according to a study.
As small satellites become more powerful, manufacturers say they need better ways to manage excess heat generated by their electronics systems.
“Space and semiconductor manufacturing, which we view as niche markets, are perfect for us to go to market, mainly because they have the most difficult environmental and reliability requirements,” Cola said.
Martin Fabris, Arsat’s space division manager, said by email March 18 that the contract signing will likely take about a month to close, partly because of the coronavirus pandemic, during which about 80% of Arsat employees are working remotely.
It came as a surprise to many cubesat manufacturers when Kepler Communications announced plans in January to manufacture its constellation of 140 Internet of Things satellites in-house.
Airbus Defence and Space will shed about 7% of its workforce because of weak sales, Airbus Group said Feb. 19.
“I’m very glad for the Dror-1 initiation, and I’m sure it will be followed by Dror-2 and others,” Levy said. “It will give us the right momentum in our space activities.”
The company said Jan. 28 it will build its constellation of 140 cubesats in a 5,000-square-foot facility it commissioned late last year at its Toronto headquarters.
Manufacturers speaking Oct. 10 at the Satellite Innovation conference here said they are trying to evolve their approaches to mission assurance — making sure what they build doesn’t fail in orbit — so that they can respond to a wider swath of customers.
Gsatcom Space Technologies, a joint venture of Argentina’s state-run technology company INVAP and Turkey’s partly state-owned Turkish Aerospace Industries, formed last year with the goal of building and selling small GEO satellites at home and abroad.
Thales Alenia Space is shedding around 6% of its workforce while rolling out a new line of reprogrammable satellites it says will benefit from an Iridium Next-style production.
Manufacturers say software-defined satellites that can redesign beams and capacity have shifted from a wish-list feature to a requirement for operators.
Boeing has joined the growing list of manufacturers offering smaller satellites for geostationary orbit, saying new digital payload technology can reduce the weight of its typical communications spacecraft by half.
The global slowdown in geostationary satellite orders is dragging on longer than it expected, causing Thales Alenia Space revenues to contract.
“The closure of this round is really allowing us to accelerate the ability to move into higher levels of production for these tip of the spear type of customers, and those are the space-related defense contractors.”