CONTENT PREVIEW
C4iSR: Air

Made in Space believes its on-orbit manufactured power supply can save militaries money

01 August 2018

Key Points

  • Made in Space developed an on-orbit manufactured 5 kW power supply that can fly on smaller rockets
  • This is a cheaper approach as current 5 kW technology requires flying on larger, more expensive rockets

Made in Space believes its new on-orbit manufactured power supply can save militaries money by allowing them to launch higher-power small satellites on smaller rockets, as opposed to the larger, and more expensive rockets that current technology requires.

Made in Space is developing power systems for small satellites that can provide up to 5 kW of solar power and is enabled by the company’s Archinaut on-orbit manufacturing and assembly technology. Current small satellites are typically constrained to 1 kW of power or less.

Made in Space CEO Andrew Rush pictured next to a subscale version of a solar array that the company can produce in space. The golden Mylar pieces are physical mockups of what would be solar blankets. This solar array is over 3 m tall. (Made in Space)Made in Space CEO Andrew Rush pictured next to a subscale version of a solar array that the company can produce in space. The golden Mylar pieces are physical mockups of what would be solar blankets. This solar array is over 3 m tall. (Made in Space)

“Deploying these power-intensive payloads on small satellites is game-changing because these platforms cost an order of magnitude less to build and launch and can be fielded much more rapidly than 1,000 kg [or more] satellites,” Made in Space CEO Andrew Rush said in a statement.

Rush told Jane’s on 1 August that small Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA)-class, or 150 kg, satellites only produce roughly 1 kW of power. If a military acquisition official has a sensor that needs several kilowatts of power, Rush said, he or she must fly that sensor on a large satellite bus that flies on an EELV class rocket such as a SpaceX Falcon 9 or a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. A standard commercial launch on a Falcon 9 starts at USD62 million.

Instead, Rush said Made in Space’s on-orbit manufactured power supply enables militaries to fly a multi-kilowatt payload on a smaller, more affordable rocket such as a Rocket Lab Electron, which costs USD5 million to procure.

Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at ihs.com/contact





(313 of 588 words)
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT