SAN FRANCISCO – Toronto-based Area Flight Laboratory gained a contract to help improvement of HawkEye 360 satellites, which pinpoint the placement of radio frequency alerts.
Underneath the contract introduced Nov. 14, SFL will help improvement of 5 HawkEye 360 clusters, comprised of three satellites apiece. SFL will design, assemble and combine HawkEye 360’s Cluster 9.
As well as, SFL, a part of the College of Toronto’s Institute for Aerospace Research, will present technical help for HawkEye 360’s integration of Clusters 7, 8, 10 and 11 at its manufacturing facility in close to its Herndon, Virginia, headquarters. The worth of the contract was not disclosed.
The award is important for SFL as a result of reveals SFL’s ongoing relationship with HawkEye 360, an SFL buyer that constructed its personal satellite manufacturing facility earlier this yr. The contract additionally demonstrates the recognition of SFL Flex Manufacturing, a brand new program that gives to assist clients with any elements of satellite tv for pc design, meeting, integration and testing.
“The thought is to adapt to buyer wants,” Zee stated. “Completely different clients have completely different wants.”
Area startups are inclined to concentrate on lowering the price of space-related services. To maintain prices low, many corporations have opted for in-house manufacturing.
Nonetheless, some startups flip to organizations like SFL which have expertise in delivering satellites “that carry out properly in orbit and final fairly a very long time,” Zee stated. “The problem in business is to have the advantages of each worlds.”
Prospects in SFL’s Flex Manufacturing program, may have SFL “construct all their satellites or they may construct their satellites in-house or they may have SFL enlist the help of a 3rd occasion” to rapidly mass produce a big constellation, Zee stated.
Prospects are inclined to rely extra closely on SFL to help design adjustments like including payloads or performing different expertise upgrades.
HawkEye 360 satellites fly in formation to detect and geolocate RF alerts for quite a lot of purposes together with maritime, emergency response and nationwide safety. The corporate’s purpose is to launch 20 three-satellite clusters by the top of 2025.
SFL developed HawkEye 360’s three-satellite Pathfinder cluster launched in 2018. SFL additionally constructed the satellites in HawkEye 360’s second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth clusters.
HawkEye 360’s sixth cluster of three satellites is scheduled to launch in December on the primary Rocket Lab Electron from Wallops Island, Virginia.