El Segundo, California – Millennium Space Systems, a provider of high-performance spacecraft and components, has inked a major contract to manufacture reaction wheels for a commercial satellite constellation.
The production order, received from prime contractor Space Systems/Loral (SSL) validates Millennium's multi-year investment in significant vertical integration of space flight components, subsystems, and spacecraft platforms, along with the necessary internal production controls and manufacturing processes.
Millennium manufactures the RWA1000 small satellite reaction wheel under exclusive license from Sinclair Interplanetary of Canada. The order covers more than fifty reaction wheels, which will be manufactured over the next 16 months in Millennium's new El Segundo, California, satellite factory.
Millennium Vice President of Product Development, Dr. Jeffrey Ward, commented, "SSL's production order is an early payback on our decision in 2012 to invest in and pursue internal development of spacecraft components. Vertical integration of this type gives us more control over quality, cost, and schedule – particularly at a time when the satellite component supplier base is contracting significantly. This large production run for SSL will allow us to optimize our reaction wheel manufacturing and testing processes and facilities, creating a highly affordable, quality space product for all of our reaction wheel customers."
The RWA1000 is a 1 Nm/second reaction wheel, used to precisely point imaging satellites to their intended ground targets. Each satellite carries four of the 1-kg units, which are fitted with precisely balanced flywheels and diamond-coated ball bearings. It is the largest reaction wheel in Sinclair Interplanetary's reaction wheel product line, which has wheels on 17 orbiting satellites.
Source: Millennium Space Systems