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The OneWeb broadband satellite constellation has started issuing its ‘build and construct’ orders for its constellation of a planned 900 orbiting craft.
The orders come via OneWeb Satellites, a 50/50 joint-venture owned by OneWeb and Airbus Defense & Space.
The first trio of top-level sub-contractors include MacDonald Dettwiler & Assoc (MDA), the Canadian aerospace company, the UK’s Teledyne Defence and French satellite technology company Sodern.
Sodern will supply 1800 of its ‘star tracker’ (2 per satellite) Auriga devices which keep the orbiting satellites correctly orientated. To equip each of the 900 satellites forming the OneWeb fleet, MDA will provide on board antenna systems, while Teledyne Defence has designed communications repeater equipment.
“With this milestone OneWeb Satellites is pursuing its industrial development and rapidly moving forward,” says OneWeb.
In April, Florida in the USA was announced as the site for its high volume satellite manufacturing factory.
The initial goal is to build a super-constellation of 648 operational satellites. The rest will be back-up craft.
Virgin Galactic and Arianespace are scheduled to begin launching the first batch of satellites in 2018.