in Technology

Airbus and OneWeb Satellites start serial production

Posted 28 June 2017 · Add Comment

OneWeb Satellites has inaugurated its assembly line at Airbus' manufacturing facility in Toulouse to begin end-to-end validation, testing, and integration of its first satellites set for launch in just over nine months.

OneWeb Satellites is a joint venture between OneWeb, a global communications company whose mission is to provide affordable Internet access to everyone on Earth, and Airbus Defence and Space with its first order to include the production of 900 communications satellites for OneWeb’s low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite fleet.

The 4,600 square meters Toulouse facility will serve to validate the production methods necessary to manufacture high-performance satellites at a scale never achieved before, de-risk any potential issues, and lay the framework for the larger multi-line OneWeb Satellites factory near the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The initial 10 pilot and Toulouse-built satellites, after having undergone a comprehensive set of tests, will become the first of OneWeb’s fleet.

Benefitting from the industrial and space expertise at Airbus, this assembly line will include state-of-the-art automation, test equipment and data acquisition capabilities to shorten assembly times and provide means to analyze factory performance and process improvements. These satellites will provide valuable in-orbit data to confirm the design of the spacecraft and proceed with fine tune adjustments if necessary. They will also enable nearly real-time detection and correction of any anomalies in the manufacturing process.

“We have just about nine months until the first of our fleet launches into orbit,” said Greg Wyler, Founder and Chairman of OneWeb. “Then, if all goes well, we will begin the world’s largest launch campaign, sending new satellites up every 21 days, and building not just a fleet but a digital bridge to enable affordable broadband access for the billions of unconnected around the world.”

As well as building the fleet of satellites, OneWeb Satellites will provide customised versions of these ultra-high performance satellites, platforms and core technologies to Airbus to support their third party sales to other commercial and government operators globally. The mini-satellites, coming from the huge production line, will enable new cost and performance paradigms for those looking to benefit from the advantages satellites can bring to Earth observation, sensor and telecommunications markets

“Providing global internet access with the OneWeb satellites is a daring mission, which we’re very excited to be a part of”, said Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus. “Airbus thrives on innovation and innovation is at the core of this joint endeavor with OneWeb. Never before have high quality satellites been produced at such little cost, at such a fast pace and in such high quantities. As such, OneWeb is truly a transformational project – not just for Airbus but for the space industry as a whole.”

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

O.R. Tambo International Airport named ‘Airport of the Year’

O.R Tambo International Airport, South Africa’s biggest and busiest port of entry, was named African Airport of the Year at this week’s Air Cargo Africa conference and exhibition. This was the fourth time the airport has won the award.

Krimson marks handling of 150th flight since operations began in 2015

Krimson Aviation, the Ethiopia-based trip planning and flight support company marked the handling of its 150th flight since inception this month.

Aviation Africa: ‘Flying Forward Together’

The chairman of IATA - International Air Transport Association - H.E. Akbar Al Baker, the CEO of Gulf carrier Qatar Airways is planning a hard-hitting message about the future for aviation in the current highly politicised environment

Kenya takes ex-Emirati Fennecs for anti-insurgency ops

The Kenya Air Force (KAF) has taken delivery of nine Eurocopter AS550 Fennec light helicopters from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), writes Jon Lake.

IATA releases 2018 Airline safety performance showing progress in Africa

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for the 2018 safety performance of the commercial airline industry showing continuing safety improvements over the long term, but an increase in accidents compared to

Airbus certifies A400M Cargo Hold Tanks refuelling unit

Airbus has successfully completed the certification flight tests for the A400M Cargo Hold Tanks (CHT) refuelling unit, taking a new step towards the full certification of the aircraft for air-to-air refuelling operations as a tanker.

Connect MEIA SK1402010519
See us at
AviAssistBT201218280219AirCargoAFA_BT220318210219Connect MEIA BT1402010519AviationAfrica_BT0607280219