Nanosatellite maker NanoAvionics to open new factory in the UK


Satellite manufacturer NanoAvionics is to move to new larger facilities in the UK that will include assembly, integration and testing of its nanosatellites and cubesats.

The company, which has two existing sites in the USA, one in Lithuania and in the UK will open its new factory next month in Basingstoke, Hampshire. NanoAvionics products include the multi-purpose M6P and M12P, which are the first preconfigured nanosatellite buses in the sector

The satellite assembly, integration and testing (AIT) facility at Basingstoke will also host sales, technical support and R&D activities.

NanoAvionics said the move is the first step in its UK growth plans and that it aims to create jobs in the space sector and a local technology cluster with a dedicated supply chain of companies in Britain. The company’s customers in the UK include IoT connectivity provider Lacuna Space and Sen, a space company developing its “EarthTV” constellation to stream real-time and timely Ultra-High Definition (UHD) videos of Earth.

Vytenis J. Buzas, CEO of NanoAvionics said, “Following the establishment of our first office at Harwell Campus last year, we are now further expanding the business in the UK by investing in this new AIT facility, creating jobs and by developing a technology cluster and supply chain, similarly to what we have done in Lithuania and the USA.

“To grow our Satellite production capabilities locally, we are going to connect with companies in Britain such as printed circuit board suppliers, electronics manufacturers, cable assembly providers, producers of mechanical components and surface treatment providers.”

thermal vacuum chamber

Nanosatellite testing in a thermal vacuum chamber (Image: NanoAvionics)

The company’s engineering team has implemented over 75 successful satellite missions and commercial projects during the past several years. These have included scientific, commercial and civil space missions with research and space agencies such as NASA, ESA and MIT, as well as private companies such as Thales Alenia Space for the Omnispace constellation and Accion Systems to test their propulsion technology.

The company’s operations in the UK are being led by Robin Sampson, business development manager for NanoAvionics UK and Western Europe. He said, “The ambition which the UK has shown in competing within the global space industry resonates with NanoAvionics and brought us here in the first place.

“One of the reasons that we’ve doubled-down on our investment in the UK, is that we see the potential to conduct world-class industrial R&D  here. 5G telecoms and IoT technologies are set to play a big part in all of our futures and NanoAvionics is well equipped to support and benefit from the UK’s positioning in this key enabling technology and we look forward to connecting with the 5G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey.

“NanoAvionics has also played a key role in enabling chemical propulsion systems on 6U nanosatellite systems, and we have developed some world-class IP in this area. This is something we now seek to develop further with stakeholders at the UK National Propulsion Test Facility.”

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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