Satellogic is an Argentinian company founded in 2010 specialized in Earth-observation satellites. Satellogic began launching their Aleph-1 constellation of ÑuSat satellites in May 2016, and as of September 2019, have launched 5 satellites in that series (Fresco, Batata, MilaneSat, Ada, and Maryam). We were invited to visit their satellite assembly facility in Zonamerica, near Montevideo, Uruguay.
Each ÑuSat weighs some 70 kgs (154 lbs) and are launched as secondary payloads on Chinese Long March 6 rockets. Once in orbit, these devices travel at 25,000 kph (15,500 mph) and take about 90 minutes to encircle Earth. With the on-board telescope, these satellites yield images with one-meter-per-pixel resolution, which is impressive given the small size and reduced cost of the satellites.
The assembly facility, led by Eng. Fabricio Borsellino, is a truly remarkable example of how a high-tech manufacturing site should be run. In a very short time Fabricio has managed to hire excellent personnel to conduct all of the activities required for the delicate process of assembling a satellite, and has been able to instate a culture of personal responsibility, ethics, and quality throughout the organization that will undoubtedly pay off as Satellogic’s demands for higher throughput grows.
Satellogic’s plan in the coming years is to maintain a constellation of 300 satellites. Each satellite has a mission lifespan of around 3 years, so the assembly facility in Uruguay is gearing up to manufacture 100 satellites per year for ongoing maintenance and renewal of the constellation.