HawkEye 360 opens satellite manufacturing center
Will create 70 jobs, double production
Herndon-based HawkEye 360 Inc. has opened a new facility to boost production of its satellites.
The 19,000-square-foot center will also allow the company to streamline satellite integration, accelerate introduction of new capabilities and provide stronger security, allowing it to meet defense and intelligence customer requirements. The new facility also includes a clean room and electronics lab for advanced radio frequency technology and small satellite manufacturing, as well as room for data processing, software and payload development and constellation operations.
HawkEye 360’s satellites were previously built in Canada and finished on site in Herndon, CEO John Serafini told Virginia Business. The company will still continue to work with their Canadian partner, doubling its production to 12 satellites annually.
“We wanted to control our own destiny, as we move from our early constellation to a fully deployed constellation of 20 clusters,” Serafini said.
HawkEye 360 plans to launch a sixth cluster of three satellites before the end of 2022, bringing its total constellation to 18 satellites supporting defense, humanitarian, environmental and commercial applications. The company plans to reach all 20 clusters, for a total of 60 satellites, by the end of 2025, and expects to be halfway toward its goal by mid-2023, Serafini said.
Sixty satellites is “a lot of satellites to get up on orbit quickly,” Serafini said. “We need to have diversity of manufacturing to speed up the delivery of those assets on orbit, to best control the cost to ensure that we get the right economies of scale.”
HawkEye 360 invested more than $1 million in the new facility, including equipment, Serafini said. The company plans to add 70 new employees skilled in spacecraft manufacturing, as well as data analytics to support it, Serafini said. HawkEye360 currently has more than 150 employees.
In March, the company — founded in 2015 — helped convene a group of space industry companies to raise more than $1 million to fund relief projects in Ukraine.