Airbus, Europe's largest space company, and OneWeb Satellites have teamed up to design and manufacture up to 650 satellites for the OneWeb constellation, which will provide affordable high-speed Internet access across the globe.
The challenge is enormous, since satellites have never been mass produced before. A requirement to produce several small satellites a day has inspired us to develop innovative designs and processes that dramatically lower the cost in large volumes for high-performance space applications. We set up an assembly line that is completely different from classic geostationary satellite assembly facilities and we organised a procurement supply chain that is unlike anything the space sector has ever seen before.
OneWeb calls for satellites of less than 150 kg each that feature fewer electrical connections between subsystems than are typical of traditional communications satellites. With first models manufactured at OneWeb Satellites facility at the Airbus Toulouse site in France, full series production is taking place at OneWeb Satellites new factory in the U.S. state of Florida, demonstrating once again the agility of this joint venture.