OneWeb and Airbus develop future satellite production

OneWeb satellite and European aerospace giant Airbus have started producing a satellite constellation, hoping to deliver broadband links from orbit worldwide.

The network will accommodate at least 600 spacecrafts, which could encompass more than 2,000 in the future.

The projects main aim is for every school to have a connection, and to build a large constellation, which will require change in manufacturing satellites.

OneWeb will be focusing on high volume and low cost, although according to the BBC, it can take Europe’s biggest space company hundreds of millions of dollars and many months to build the specialist platform.

Despite this, there is concern that a proliferation of multi-satellite networks could lead to a cascade and collisions and a lot of junk.

“Here, we’ve had to go other ways, to be really commercial and calculating according to the target cost because that is very decisive in the whole business case for OneWeb,” said the Boss of Airbus, Tom Enders.

“The most obvious difference you notice between these new lines and the conventional satellite cleanroom is the trolley robot, which moves the developing satellites between the various work stations. But the ‘revolution’ here goes far beyond automation; it requires a whole chain of suppliers and their components to scale their work to a different game plan,” he added.

The first 10 satellites to come off the Toulouse assembly line have a deadline to launch in April next year.

Written by Leah Alger