TAMPA, Fla. — Lithuania-based NanoAvionics said Feb. 9 it has doubled its small satellite production space to meet the needs of constellation operators.
A new 1,200-square meter manufacturing, assembly, integration, and testing facility is fully operational in Vilnius, Lithuania, next door to company headquarters that also houses production capacity.
NanoAvionics can now build up to a few hundred identical satellites simultaneously — depending on their complexity, CEO Vytenis Buzas told SpaceNews.
The company worked on 66 small satellites throughout 2022, Buzas said, and shipped 16 of them to customers.
“The new facility was built on the knowledge and experience gained through manufacturing nearly 2,000 subsystems for more than 120 satellite missions globally,” he added.
NanoAvionics employs more than 250 people across offices in Lithuania, the United Kingdom and the United States., and plans to add another 100 this year to ramp up operations.
The transformation is part of a multimillion-dollar investment plan from Norway’s Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, which bought a majority stake in the company last year.
NanoAvionics was created as a university spin-off in 2014 and the manufacturing, assembly, integration, and testing space inside its HQ was built for “a different market situation” and smaller orders, Buzas said.
“Those customer orders were for pilot and demonstration missions which required a higher level of customization and more non-recurring engineering hours,” he added.
“The new facility got mainly built for constellation missions requiring identical satellites. It is a step based on our customer’s demands and sales pipeline, as well as close collaboration and communication with our customers.”
In addition to producing satellites ranging from about 10 to 220 kilograms, the company said its larger facility will support the development of new products.
NanoAvionics is also considering adding an extra 800 square meters of usable space to the facility at a later date.
Buzas expects NanoAvionics to be in a position to expand the facility “in a few years,” although the company is also looking into other scaling options.
“We have always been customer demand and market driven and are not expanding for the sake of expansion,” he said via email.
NanoAvionics also has assembly, integration, and testing areas at facilities in Basingstoke, U.K., and Columbia, Illinois.
Buzas expects to announce a U.S.-focused development update “in a few weeks.”