HawkEye 360 opens satellite manufacturing facility in Virginia

HERNDON, Va. — HawkEye 360 has opened a brand new manufacturing facility close to its northern Virginia headquarters that may assist the corporate speed up the deployment of its constellation of radio-frequency (RF) monitoring satellites.

In a July 21 ceremony, the corporate formally devoted its Superior Expertise and Improvement Middle, a 1,765-square-meter constructing right here that may consolidate manufacturing of its satellites. The ability will host as much as 70 staff dealing with improvement and operations of its constellation, which has 15 satellites in orbit.

A significant facet of the power is that it’s going to enable the corporate to construct the satellites in-house. Whereas HawkEye 360 has all the time constructed the RF monitoring payloads, it has used satellite tv for pc buses from the Area Flight Laboratory (SFL) on the College of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Research.

That strategy is meant to enhance the effectivity of manufacturing the satellites, mentioned John Serafini, chief govt of HawkEye 360, in an interview. “Having the ability to do it collectively permits us to scale quicker and never must ship the payload backwards and forwards. That saves a significant period of time and power.”

HawkEye 360 plans to take care of its relationship with SFL. “What we’re shifting in direction of is 2 manufacturing traces, working in parallel,” he mentioned. “By doing so, we’ll be capable of construct these satellites quicker. We are able to higher management the timeline and higher management the prices.”

The corporate’s objective is to have 20 clusters of three satellites every in orbit by the top of 2025. Serafini mentioned the objective is to supply and launch at the least 4 satellite tv for pc clusters per 12 months to each full the constellation and to interchange getting old satellites. He mentioned the primary satellites in-built Herndon will doubtless launch late this 12 months on the primary Rocket Lab Electron mission from Wallops Island, Virginia, a part of a five-launch block purchase HawkEye 360 introduced in April.

The Rocket Lab missions will increase the SpaceX rideshare missions that HawkEye 360 has been utilizing for latest satellite tv for pc launches. “They’re so cost-effective and so routine,” he mentioned of the SpaceX missions. Devoted Electron launches, he mentioned, might be used to focus on particular orbits wanted to fill out the constellation and supply desired revisit instances.

The brand new facility and the growth of its satellite tv for pc constellation are backed by $200 million HawkEye 360 raised in two funding rounds final 12 months. Serafini mentioned the corporate doesn’t count on to have to boost extra money for the foreseeable future.

“We’ve received a really strong steadiness sheet,” he mentioned. “We’ve received money for a number of years and I feel we are able to obtain profitability with the money that we’ve. If we wished to exit and lift extra capital, I feel we may, however we don’t have to.”

The ceremony to open the power attracted a variety of native officers in addition to two members of Congress, Reps. Jennifer Wexton and Don Beyer (D-Va.), who thanked the corporate for increasing within the space. The corporate now has about 150 staff, with plans to develop to 200 by the top of the 12 months.

Serafini mentioned the corporate is taking a look at choices to develop or consolidate the brand new facility with its current headquarters a brief distance away, additionally in Herndon. “The underside line is that we’re going to be in Herndon for a very long time,” he mentioned. “It’s an excellent place to be for us: proximity to the shopper, proximity to D.C. and an incredible expertise base right here.”

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