PLD Space Plans to Build a Satellites Plant with European Space Agency’s Support

5th Feb 2021
PLD Space Plans to Build a Satellites Plant with European Space Agency’s Support

PLD Space, a Spanish aerospace company, plans to create a satellites manufacturing plant with the support of the European Space Agency. The project will require an investment of €74 million and should provide additional opportunities for the European space sector development. The plant will be located in Elche, Spain and will produce telecommunication satellites. 

PLD Space & European Space Agency Plans for Satellites Plant

PLD Space and European Space Agency are planning to manufacture satellites that would be targeted at companies, aerospace operators, or state agencies looking to put them into orbit. The optical communication technology is an innovative system with which the company seeks to improve the data transmission capacity from small satellites to terrestrial users. In fact, the company closed a round of financing from Venture Capital last November. They received €2 million for the development of small satellite platforms with optical communication links.

Further on, PLD Space will be in charge of launching these satellites into space with the company’s own rocket. The rest of the companies working on this project will act as technology and component parts suppliers, ensuring fine-tuned production chain. DAS Photonics takes care of optoelectronics materials, searching for a way to augment electronics and improve their speed and performance; Comet Engineering is responsible for the mechanical parts and antennas, Ienai Space – for propulsion systems, Fentiss – for onboard software, and AISTech Space is interested in implementing constellations to provide communication services.

Another reason why PLD Space and ESA are interested in building this plant is for the economy. The development of the project, which would take three years, will create more than 50 jobs in the process. The construction should start at some point in 2022. The warehouse should be built in the first two years, and the third year is about implementing the production chain. Once completed, the idea is to create at least one satellite per week, so PLD Space and European Space Agency should be able to manufacture about 50 devices per year.

José Antonio Carrasco, CEO of Emxys, a company that has requested funds for the satellites plant, explains that right now, optoelectronic technology and electronics are the future of satellite production, as this technology allows an improved data transmission rate at a much lower cost. Emxys, which is part of PLD Space, have already requested €19 million of the total €74 million investment and hopes ESA will assist with the satellites manufacture grant. 

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