Beyond Gravity scales up for satellite launchers

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Beyond Gravity is scaling up production of satellite dispensers for Amazon’s Project Kuiper.

The company, formerly RUAG Space, is expanding its expanding its production capacity of satellite dispensers in Linköping with a new hall that will allow the production of twice as many products as before. In the new facility Beyond Gravity will produce the dispensers for more than 3000 internet satellites for Project Kuiper, an Amazon initiative to increase global broadband access through a constellation of satellites in Low Earth Orbit.

The construction of the new facility is scheduled for completion beginning of 2023 and instead of one dispenser system every month, the company will produce one every two weeks. This will also lead to the creation of new jobs in Linköping, as the number of employees in dispenser systems production will increase by 60, from about 160 at present to about 220 in 2023.

The company is Sweden’s largest industrial space company. Its separation systems have successfully placed more than 1,100 satellites into orbit and been built in Linköping for 40 years. A Beyond Gravity separation system placed the NASA Webb space telescope into space.

The dispenser systems allow multiple satellites to be launched and separated in a specific sequence to achieve exactly the right orbit. They have been used worldwide for missions such as Galileo, the TerraBella constellation of Earth observation satellites, the Canadian Radarsat constellation of Earth observation satellites and the UK-owned OneWeb satellite constellation. Beyond Gravity’s dispensers are particularly suited for large satellite constellations where a large number of satellites must be placed into orbit in a short period of time.

The company was visited today by Anna Ekström, Minister for Education and responsible for space.

“Everyday people benefit from space activities. Satellites in space provide crucial information for weather forecasts or a better understanding of the climate crisis. The Swedish space industry is of crucial importance to our society and to Sweden’s ambition to be a world leader in combatting climate change,” she said. “Space activities and research also provide new jobs as well as new knowledge and opportunities for innovation and competitiveness.”

“Every fifth satellite in space is placed in orbit by technology from Sweden. With the expansion of our site in Linköping we strengthen our world leading position in the placement of satellites. At the same time, we create high quality workplaces in the booming and increasingly important space sector,” said Anders Larson, Beyond Gravity’s Managing Director for Sweden, and mentions some examples: “Satellites in space provide essential information about climate, weather, navigation or security.”

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