Every communications satellite is tested, retested and tested again while on the ground. The reason is obvious: you cannot send a technician into orbit to correct a defect.
But OneWeb, which is looking to launch about 650 satellites into orbit over the next few years, is looking to adopt an even more rigorous testing regime while its satellites are in the production phase.
Atos, a space and avionics specialist, is helping OneWeb with its Assembly, Integration and Testing of its satellites. A statement from Atos says: “The challenge is immense as satellites have never been mass-produced to this extent before. The demand to produce several small satellites a day and bridge the digital divide by 2027 are what inspired the Airbus OneWeb Satellites team to develop innovative designs and processes that could lower the costs with large volumes for high-performance space applications.”
Atos has supplied 80 of its suite of solutions to OneWeb, for the Airbus OneWeb Satellites’ Toulouse and Florida production lines. Atos is Airbus OneWeb Satellites’ largest and preferred supplier for Electrical Ground Support Equipment (EGSE).
The first batch of 6 OneWeb satellites were launched on February 27th.
Hans-Martin Steiner, Atos Space and Avionics CTO, said: “Huge congratulations to OneWeb for the successful launch. We are delighted to be part of the evolution of the leading edge technology of today. The Atos team has worked tremendously hard to overcome the challenges of delivering in a short timescale a large amount of EGSEs.”