Initially, the company relied on AAC Clyde to build its first two prototype satellites, consisting of three-unit CubeSats that were launched into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in 2018. AAC Clyde is also working on Kepler's third prototype, a six-unit CubeSat that is scheduled to launch this spring
FREMONT, CA: Kepler Communications has decided to build its 140 CubeSats in a 5,000-square-foot facility, which was commissioned last year, at its Toronto headquarters. According to Kepler CEO Mina Mitry, the company took the decision after an exhaustive analysis of the supply chain for smallsats. It came to the conclusion that the industry had a significant challenge ahead in maturing the supply chain for smallsat components. Kepler took around ten different smallsat manufacturers into considerations before deciding to manufacture it in house.
Initially, the company relied on AAC Clyde to build its first two prototype satellites, consisting of three-unit CubeSats that were launched into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in 2018.AAC Clyde is also working on Kepler's third prototype, a six-unit CubeSat that is scheduled to launch this spring. Despite this, the company decided not to opt for AAC Clyde to build the constellation as they could not offer the right mix of price, schedule, and technology. Kepler's first two in house satellites are already under construction ad is expected to launch on a Soyuz rideshare this summer, arranged by Glavkosmos.
Currently, less than ten of Kepler's 50 employees have been dedicated to building these satellites. The company has received help in designing its CubeSat bus from the Canadian Space Agency, the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies' Space Flight Laboratory, and Sinclair Interplanetary.
Kepler's two prototype satellites, which are currently in orbit, have demonstrated the capabilities of its technology by delivering a high-speed internet data connection to the North Pole for the first time late last year. Kepler believes that the new facility will help them to be able to vertically integrate the development, production, and testing of its future spacecraft.
This works in favor of the company as it will help the startup achieve its goal of producing, launching and operating a constellation of 140 satellites in total, to provide high-bandwidth connectivity aimed for use in a range of industries, including agriculture, transportation, and maritime shipping and logistics.
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